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Hoops Recap: Flawed, yet Happy

Joe recaps the win in Piscataway and makes an announcement

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

MSU 71, Rutgers 51

Despite an entirely dominant first half, MSU went into halftime up just 8 points in a game that could have had major postseason implications. After the half, the Spartans went on a 20-2 run to put the game away; the 20 point margin was largely indicative of the dominant performance.

It's not hard to find the blemishes on the face of this win. MSU played the first half in Bennie Hill fashion (25 TO%) and Denzel went just 2 for 13 from the field. Rutgers is not only an overmatched opponent but also had #excuses due to an injured backcourt. You expect a 20 point win in a game like this and when you find yourself surprised at that result you realize what this season has been like.

Bryn Forbes was not only great shooting the ball but also finally showed what I think most (if not all) of us knew, which is that he has the ability to create offense when given the chance. There was one possession in the first half where a ball screen was set for Forbes, and he nicely drove into the lane and hit a mid-range jumper. That seems like an exceedingly easy way to generate some offense in the half-court which mostly just hasn't been attempted. Here's to more of that.


I wanted to let everyone know that I've taken over the managerial duties for The Only Colors. This is an incredible opportunity and I'm totally honored to be the new manager. I've got a story to tell, and I think it'll both contextualize my excitement and give you some more background on me.

The Only Colors legitimately changed my life. As a sophomore at MSU, I happened upon a little blog that used a bunch of numbers I didn't understand during the 2010 Final Four run. Luckily, they had the articles to tell me how to interpret what was happening. I was totally hooked; you couldn't pull me away from KJ's introductions to the Four Factors of basketball.

I figured this was just kind of a hobby, but as a senior I received an ad for an internship with the Cleveland Cavaliers to be an Analytics Assistant. In my first interview, the first question I answered was, "what do you think of Draymond Green's NBA chances" and when I explained that I was impressed by his ability to increase his usage rate while maintaining his efficiency, I knew I was in.

I worked for a summer with the Cavs in their front office, largely helping flesh out their database using tempo-free stats. I returned to MSU in the fall of 2012 to finish my degree. But, as it happens, I ended up receiving an offer to work for the Atlanta Hawks as an Analytics Assistant in their front office once I graduated. And while that was an incredible experience, it turns out that lifestyle just isn't for me.

So, fast-forward to today, I live and work in Ann Arbor, and got the opportunity to give back to the blog that gave me so much. I'm a craft beer lover, a distance runner, and a Parks and Recreation enthusiast. Life's good, especially when trolling Michigan fans.

My vision for the site is informed by my personal experience with it. I'd love TOC to be a place where learning, intelligent discussion, and active contributions to narratives are made. To that end, I have an embarrassment of riches between the incredible base of readers and commenters, as well as the staff of current and former contributors. All of you amaze me every day with your knowledge.

To that end, please bear with us while we try to create meaningful content. I want to pursue quality over quantity and we might miss some recruiting news or have a recap slip through the cracks. And that quality doesn't necessarily need to be in the form of numbers; there's all kinds of rare, technical, or particularly useful analysis out there that we haven't done or seen just yet. And if you haven't noticed, we're very open to potentially taking on new contributors that can contribute in unique ways. I'll be watching and promoting FanPosts regularly!

One thing I'd like to do right away is make some TOC merch available. It seems like a great way to show TOC pride, enhance the #brand, and you guys seem to be interested. The only issue is that I'm not real creative in this way, and so if you could give me some ideas for designs in the comments I'd love to see them.

Another thing I'd like to do is a mailbag. I'd love to hear questions about MSU football/basketball and try to answer them with some data. Seriously, please e-mail me. My address is Even if you don't have questions, I'd love to hear from you.

Sorry for the overly long post, everyone! I'm excited to get started. Go Green.