Eron Harris – Just as the Egg McMuffin is the headline and the MVP of the McDonald’s breakfast menu, Eron Harris was the main reason MSU didn’t get totally embarrassed at Indiana. He remained aggressive and knocked down some big second-half shots that kept MSU in striking distance although we never fully closed the gap. Defensively, however, the entire backcourts inability to defend the perimeter early and down the stretch never let MSU get back into the game. Harris was certainly a part of that. On a positive note, MSU seemed to be a different team coming out of the half, and you’d like to think some of that starts with Harris stepping up as a senior. His ability to recognize the team needed him in the second half and for him to step up as he did could be an important factor in his development,and the overall development of Izzo’s young team. Egg McMuffin’s are delicious, relatively healthy, and the breakfast item that revolutionized McDonald’s famous breakfast. Today, Eron Harris was the Egg McMuffin.
Nick Ward – I was pleasantly surprised with Nick Ward today; who I thought would struggle more against the bigger and more experienced Thomas Bryant. Giving up 2 inches to Bryant, Ward was still able to score 15 points and grab six rebounds, and he was able to stay out of foul trouble while racking up four on Bryant. Plus that Hakeem Olajuwon "dream shake" he scored with in the first half was a thing of beauty and the first time I’ve ever seen him utilize it. The Fruit and Yogurt Parfait isn’t the most exciting thing on the menu, but if your kids force you to swing through a McDonald’s on the way to school, it’s a good alternative to a majority of the other menu choices as it involves some ingredients that will help to start your day, such as, you’ll never guess, fruit and yogurt!
Miles Bridges – Look, playing at Indiana’s Assembly Hall does not look like fun. The fans are knowledgeable, and they’re loud in a gym that is designed to amplify sound. Once you couple in those factors with Indiana’s hot start, it’s easy to see how freshman could struggle in this circumstance. Miles looked a little bit rattled by this, as he struggled to find the basket consistently despite finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds. His 13 points came at a price, as he went 4 – 17 on jump shots excluding free throws. Also, he played a game-high 37 minutes even though I was under the impression Izzo was watching his minutes. As the season drags on, MSU will need Bridges to be at his best for very well near 30 – 35 minutes a game going forward. Miles reminded me of the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal breakfast item, as it’s pretty good, a solid choice, but it too comes at a price, with the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal being more expensive than other larger menu choices.
Matt McQuaid –The season-long struggles for Matt McQuaid continue, as he was on a whole ‘nother level of awful against Indiana. I can’t really place it, he just looks rattled and not in a good place mentally. A few games ago he seemed a little timid to shoot, and today he seemed a little timid to even catch the ball. Hopefully, he is able to break out of his slump soon, as MSU could have used his 3-point shooting to keep pace with Indiana in the first half. We will definitely need it Tue… oh, my God, we play Purdue on Tuesday. Great. Matt’s cameo against Indiana (five minutes, three turnovers) would rate at the bottom of the Spartan’s individual performances, similar to the infamous Pink Slime. You really don’t wanna hear about it, see it, or even think about it when you’re ordering McDonald’s, similar to how I’m sure Matt would like to think about his performance against Indiana.
Josh Langford – I feel like it’s possible that I am expecting too much from the freshman, but in a fast paced game where he played 23 minutes, Josh needs to contribute a little more. I like that he was willing to shoot, but I don’t like that he wasn’t willing to shoot better than 25% from three. Josh reminds me of the McDonald’s hotcakes, there’s a lot of potential there, you get real excited about it as a kid, but not a lot of great substance has come from it especially following the relatively quiet game against Indiana.
Cassius Winston – It was good to see a glimpse of the old Cassius tonight. He had a few frustrating plays, but he looked for his shot and was still able to contribute three assists in only 22 minutes played. In a loud arena like Assembly Hall, I was a little worried to see how the freshman point guard would respond, but I thought, for the most part, he played admirably. I really didn’t expect Cassius to play much with his seemingly lack of interest in anything related to defense, but with Tum struggling it was totally necessary especially as Indiana’s lead ballooned to 20 and MSU had nothing to lose. Similarly, there are times (generally Saturday or Sunday morning in college (generally after a night at Ricks)) when you’re at McDonald’s, and you know it’s not gonna end well, but you just need to order the most unhealthy thing on the menu and hope for the best. Sometimes it backfires, but today Cassius was just what we needed to put a temporary stop to the bleeding.
Tum Tum Nairn – Man, Tum hit that first three to start the game, and I thought for sure MSU was going to not only beat Indiana, but win the National Championship before ultimately blowing a 3 – 1 lead to the Cavs in the NBA Finals. Believe it or not, that expectation was quickly ended. Tum wouldn’t score the rest of the game, only attempting two more shots, and you guys saw what James Blackmon did to him. I thought Tum Tum hung with Blackmon really well for the most part, but Blackmon was able to shoot over Nairn when he wasn’t denied the ball. Overall, not a great performance from our point guard. His performance against Indiana was similar to the Steak Egg and Cheese Bagel. It’s totally unhealthy, I’m not sure anyone orders it, and guys, I used to work at McDonald’s… ordering steak from there is not your best bet.