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Hoops Recap: The South Bends

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Recapping the 78-79 loss in South Bend

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Welp. Do we have something that is the opposite of tDOJ?

The Good

Branden Dawson's energy level was significantly improved, especially on the offensive boards. His shot selection was not. I thought that the main detriment of Dawson's jumpers was that they made Dawson unable to board his own misses. Also, what happened late?

Bryn Forbes was 7-7 from the field. There was a sequence where he made an acrobatic 3, followed by a steal and a layup. I will never understand why he wasn't involved more late.

Gavin Schilling looks significantly more comfortable and he should continue to start going forward.

The Bad

The (lack of) Crunch Time Offense was infuriating. Is it not possible to run a set offense in these situations? Is that an experience thing? Valentine initiating the offense is understandable but it seemed there were very few possessions that ended in easy shots at the end of the second half and overtime.

Defensive Rotations were exposed, completely. Notre Dame can shoot the lights out and that required a precision execution of the pick-and-roll defense which just wasn't there.

My Liver simply cannot handle this level of drinking for the entire season. The good news is that I've found out that drinking coffee helps. Count it as an upset.

Marvin Clark played just 4 minutes and got called for a moving screen. Is he in Izzo's doghouse or is he sick? Not having him on the perimeter hurts.

Conclusions

Tom Izzo said this after the game:

I agree with Coach. To me, "the roof caving in" equals not making the tournament. Even pessimistically, this MSU team is 9-9 or 10-8 in the B1G which equals 19-12 or 20-11 going into conference tournament season. That's a bubble situation.But maybe others don't agree with that concept of "the roof caving in." Regardless, I think it merits an expectation re-set.

Look, teams other than ND won't shoot this well in the future. But that wasn't the issue against Kansas. We have no cohesive understanding of the issues this team truly has; they are all opponent-dependent. Does this team find an identity? I don't know; that's basically up to Branden Dawson.

There were three decent games MSU played in the non-conference season, and every one of them was a loss. The next best is Marquette, and that's a stretch. Why exactly should I trust this team? Could not hit a layup or rebound against Kansas. Could not defend against ND.

I think the expectation previously was that this would be a rebuilding year in which the team still made the tournament easily. I'm not sure that's the case.