First and foremost, prayers to Eron Harris. The senior’s season looks to be in serious jeopardy after a right knee injury midway through the second half. Here’s to a speedy recovery.
In regards to the game, this was expected. Purdue is a horrible matchup for Michigan State defensively, with two huge skilled players surrounded by a bunch of knockdown shooters. On the other end Michigan State just can’t get out of their own way.
Add those two factors together and you get this.
1. Sloppy Play
The Spartans, as they have been so often this year, were sloppy. Committing 15 turnovers, falling asleep numerous times on inbound passes and getting lost on screens are just a few examples.
The roster is constructed poorly due to injury, but these issues have nothing to do with that fact. They have to do with effort, discipline and knowledge of the system. This is a pretty young roster, but in their 27th game of the year, it’s reasonable to expect some of these errors to stop being made.
If they want to make the NCAA Tournament, they have to tighten up ASAP.
2. Inside Out
Purdue’s two big men — and Vince Edwards — were just too big. Swanigan finished with 24 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists, Haas had 18 points and 5 rebounds and Edwards had 12 points, in the process getting Nick Ward and Kenny Goins to foul out with just under six minutes to go in the game.
Michigan State was already at a disadvantage but with their only two “bigs” getting in foul trouble this writing was on the wall.
3. Miles is a Mess
Miles Bridges dropped 33 points the first time out against Purdue, but was a completely different player today. The standout freshman had a decent second half once the game got out of hand and finished with 14 points and 9 rebounds but was once again far too passive in the first half.
If they were going to have any chance in this one, Miles had to be the best version of himself. Today, he was not.