MSU on Offense
MSU on Defense
Things to watch for
- This game is all about stopping Hammons. He's reached the point where he's has everything you'd want in a college center on both offense and defense and it doesn't hurt that he's 7 feet tall. He's a good offensive rebounder, he has a great post-game, and he has a solid mid-range game that just doesn't feel fair. He had 19 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 blocks in Purdue's win over MSU in the regular season. If I'm Izzo, I go against my general principles and I double him in the post to force Purdue's sub-par guards to make plays.
- While Rapheal Davis is unlikely to repeat his 19 point performance with 6-8 from the 3 that he had last game (he's bad shooting when not at home), he's still going to be a factor whether he's guarding Valentine or Forbes. With their most common lineup, 6'8" Edwards will most likely be guarding Valentine which leaves Davis on Forbes. Forbes has struggled when teams have focused in on him and he can't affect the game in many other areas if he's not getting good looks coming off screens. If MSU is going to win this game, the good Forbes is probably going to have to show up.
With the third game in three days for Valentine and MSU, I'm just not feeling great about this one. Purdue size on the interior and length on the perimeter makes them a bad matchup for MSU who usually has an advantage with its big men. Forbes has struggled in the tournament and playing for a third day isn't likely to help him. Valentine had to do a lot yesterday and Purdue is only going to try to tire him out even more by pressing him while he brings the ball up the floor.
MSU 71 - Purdue 75