MSU won without Denzel Valentine in very large part due to the heroics of Bryn Forbes' career high 32 points (a lot in the first half) and Eron Harris' MSU high 27 points (a lot in the second half). It was a really ugly game with a combined 90 FTA's and 62 fouls. Kay Felder is a fantastic college player who put up 37 points and 9 assists against the #1 ranked team in the country. Now some bullets:
- Eron Harris finally got it going against a top 100 team with his 27 points coming with a 69% true shooting percentage and 5 assists. I've been harping on him because his quickness, shooting, and ability to get into the late isn't something that anyone else on the roster has. Hopefully we'll keep seeing him attacking in Valentine's absence and be able to feel more comfortable with Valentine when he returns.
- Bryn Forbes killed it tonight and started out 6-6 from 3 and then finally making the dagger 3 to put MSU up 5 in OT. He got into the lane coming off screens and made plays that he didn't seem capable of making last year.
- Kenny Goins was the main 4-man tonight and he played his role in grabbing 6 rebounds without scoring a point. His general issue is that he turns the ball over too much which mostly seems to come right after grabbing the rebound and an opposing guard takes it away.
- Alvin Ellis had a sneaky big game scoring 7 points and getting 3 assists. He's been having a quietly solid season and he stepped and made plays when he had to.
- Tum Tum Nairn lost the matchup with Felder who's just a great player. Felder hit some tough shots on Nairn in the first half and at the end of the regulation. My biggest issue with him is that it's much harder for MSU bigs to post-up because his man can often come double without any issue. Also FT shooting is very poor for him at the moment.
- Deyonta Davis has great offensive stats with 11 points on 5 shots and 2 FTA's but his playing time was limited due to his defense tonight. Gibson at 270 was able to nullify his shot-blocking and hurt MSU on the offensive glass.
- Matt Costello was someone that MSU could somewhat rely on in post-ups. There were some issues when he got doubled but it seemed he did pretty well one-on-one.
Next up is Iowa on the road where MSU will likely face its toughest test while Valentine is recovering.