Final Score: MSU 79-Kansas 73 pic.twitter.com/dQCU1eGgwo— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) November 18, 2015
The Four Factors
Well that was certainly a lot of fun. Denzel Valentine put up one of the best performances in MSU history (or at least recent MSU history). He said after the game that he wasn't efficient because he took a lot of shots (bless his heart) but his 54.7% is actually fine and his 12 assists to just 1 turnover is tremendous. Now some bullets to figure out some other thoughts.
- Again, I can't stress enough just how great Valentine was. If you can think of better performance by an MSU player not named Magic Johnson (or even from Magic Johnson), I'd love to hear it in the comments below.
- Matt McQuaid stepped up in a big way making all three of his 3's after looking a little shell-shocked in the first half. His defense didn't stand out as a negative aside from a few ticky-tack fouls where he has to be careful with his arms. He's a great reason to be excited about this team going forward as he looks like he can be another shooter like Forbes and at 6'5" he should be able to guard most college small forwards.
- Matt Costello was really solid with 2 or 3 hooks for MSU in the post and overall played the best post defense. However his biggest asset was coming down with some tough offensive and defensive rebounds. He had a mental error when he punched the basketball for a tech but we won so who cares about that now.
- Bryn Forbes was Forbes in that he made shots but unlike 2014-15 Forbes, this Forbes played solid defense for the most part. He's going to be on the floor in crunch time and most of the time in general because the way he moves to get himself open helps Valentine create because he's always a threat from the perimeter.
- Eron Harris was bad at defense and shooting from 3. At some point he'll start making 3's (I hope) but his defense won't allow him to get any playing time if he's not going to be a great offensive playmaker. I'm getting a little bit worried about where MSU can find a secondary playmaker if he can't step up.
- Javon Bess had his bright spots early in the first half before picking up his second foul. He had a couple turnovers which hampered his ORtg to a tune of just 81 but the way he scored was encouraging.
- Tum Tum Nairn can't shoot and he needs to know that. His form doesn't look bad and he probably worked on it a lot this summer but there hasn't been any statistical evidence that his jumper is actually better. His defense stood out as he kept Frank Mason in check with his speed when he was on him but the way other teams can ignore him on offense hurts the team.
- Kenny Goins and Colby Wollenman had bad turnovers. As guys who aren't asked to do much more than be role players, they shouldn't do that.
- Deyonta Davis picked up 3 fouls in the first couple minutes of the second half but he was good in the time he was out there with a couple blocks and a couple offensive rebounds.
- The biggest issue with MSU overall was their turnover issues but they turned it over just 5 times in the second half after giving it up 10 times in the first. Quite a few of those were offensive fouls either by extending an arm or a moving screen but turnovers are going to happen early on for an Izzo team.
- This team looks like it has the pieces to do a lot this year. Complementary role players with a clear star can do some damage and Valentine might end up being an All-American (1st, 2nd, or 3rd team) this year.