Yeah, yeah Michigan State rolled and Miles Bridges is back cramming on fools and the team played its best all around game in weeks blah blah blah. WHO CARES! Joking, but the most important return of night was clearly that of The Four Factors! Here they are, courtesy of a man you all know and love, Joe Tuohey.
The Four Factors
Final 4 factors. MSU 1.29 PPP, Rutgers 0.9 PPP pic.twitter.com/b3XdY5mCts— Joe 2E (@Jobin2E) January 5, 2017
Basically, MSU was super efficient on offense — finishing with their second-highest points per possession of the season — and that was good, because they were even in rebounding and gave up 15 offensive boards to the Scarlet Knights. Even though they won by almost 30, height remains their irreversible Achilles Heel.
Now, for the other takeaways...
1. Miles is BACK
Bridges finished with a modest stat line (6 pts on 3/5 shooting, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 blocks) but flashed the highlight-reel explosion MSU fans have already come to love him for.
The ankle looks HEALTHY.
Bridges and Ward give MSU a frontcourt duo to be feared on both ends of the floor. Offensively, Ward had more room to work — albeit against a 7-footer — than he has in the last few games and put up another robust line (15 pts, 6 rebounds). Defensively, the two were able to rack up six blocks despite facing taller players most of the game.
This has all the makings of a beautiful partnership.
2. Eron Harris: Back from the Upside-Down
We’ve harped on it a lot this season, but Eron Harris has to be an efficient offensive player if the Spartans hope to reach their ceiling this season. Tonight, he was just that. After scoring nine total points against Minnesota and Northwestern, the senior bounced back and led the team with 24 points, including five three-pointer’s.
He doesn’t need to go for 24 every night, but shooting efficiently from the outside and playing with all around confidence will help this team tremendously. Hopefully he can use tonight as a springboard to more consistent play.
3. Balance, Balance, Balance
This may be an indictment of the competition, but 11 different spartans scored in this one. There were notable performances up and down the roster...
- Matt McQuaid — another player who could use a confidence boost — dropped 12 points and making two of his three triples
- Kenny Goins chipped in 9 points, 6 rebounds and two blocks
- The backcourt freshmen — Cassisus Winston (8 dimes) and Josh Langford (8 points and 4 rebounds) — played well
- Finally, Matt Van Dyk continued to steal minutes racking up 7 points, 3 rebounds and a two blocks.
Hard to imagine these all keeping up, but each performance was encouraging in its own right.