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Michigan State Basketball: MSU 70 - Iowa 83 Kneejerk Reactions

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MSU suffers its first loss of the 2015-16 season to the Iowa Hawkeyes

MSU lost its first game of the season due to falling behind early after some foul trouble with Forbes and Harris. They had to throw some weird guys out there who just weren't able to step in and do what they had to. Harris had another nice game which is good to see from him but Forbes struggled after scoring 32 points in his last game.

  • The biggest issue was Forbes not being able to get it going as Iowa's long-ish athletic wings were able to contain him. His value is mostly as a catch-and-shoot guy but when the scouting report is "don't let him catch-and-shoot" and his defender doesn't let that happen, it's hard for him to make a big impact against a good defensive team.
  • Harris was a nice bright spot with an efficient 21 points, 4 offensive rebounds (wait, what?), and just 1 turnover. It really looks like he's turned the corner and he's one of the few guys that can score without Valentine setting him up.
  • Matt Costello is another guy who's taking advantage of Valentine's absence by being someone that MSU can give it to for a decent shot at points. He finished with a very efficient 17 points which ties his career-high. His post-game is extremely underrated in my opinion. In the first half he passed up a shot for a long 2 from Bess and Izzo got on him which forced him to create more in the post during the second half.
  • Deyonta Davis didn't play for most of the second half for some reason despite picking up 3 blocks early on. Per Kyle Austin, Izzo was vague on why he didn't get more playing time. The issue right now is that two of MSU's best players appear to be Goins and Costello at the moment who take away playing time from Davis.
  • McQuaid, Bess, and Ellis were just bad. With Harris and Forbes out for much of the first half in foul trouble, the had their chance to step up but they all struggled which allowed Iowa to increase their lead and that was the game. Izzo might deserve some blame for sticking with #autobench but Harris is pretty foul prone (fouled out but two were hack-a) and Forbes struggled anyway.
  • On a somewhat more personal note, I don't like Iowa's fanbase. They just boo incessantly and it drives me crazy. That being said, the court storm was totally fine because they're an unranked team beating the #1 team who they haven't beaten since 2011.
Per KenPom this was MSU's 2nd hardest conference game and it's fine that MSU lost when they didn't have Valentine. Next up is Minnesota this Saturday on the road.