How do you beat MSU? Well, a good start is making them turn the ball over 25 times.
So, how do you win with 25 turnovers? Well, shooting 68 percent from the field is a good start. And out-rebounding a team 40-20 is another good way to do it too. Do both of those, and 25 turnovers don’t deter you from winning a game 87-74.
It’s a nice win, even against a bad Illinois team. A win is a win when it’s a win on the road. That’s the saying, right?
My goodness did Miles Bridges come in looking to overthrow the state of Illinois. He ended with 31 points on 11/13 shooting, with 18 of those points coming from dunks. Yes, just dunks. Like this...
Don't leave the lane open for @MilesBridges01 ... you'll instantly regret it. pic.twitter.com/uigH7RuIll— Michigan St. on BTN (@MichiganStOnBTN) January 23, 2018
And his showing in the first half was huge -- 17 points on perfect shooting to give MSU a seven point lead at halftime. He was aggressive. He was a highlight reel. He was Miles Bridges.
Jaren Jackson being a human is now up for question. Forget the 21 points and 11 boards — I don’t know how a kid his size can move so eloquently with the ball before dropping a hammer on the world.
Jaren Jackson is playing at another level right now. pic.twitter.com/dsVUVAWYN0— The Only Colors (@TheOnlyColors) January 23, 2018
And then does this...
Just stop it, Jaren Jackson. pic.twitter.com/ksnPmRgb6d— FOX College Hoops (@CBBonFOX) January 23, 2018
We’ve got two and a half more months of enjoying him in a Spartan uniform. Enjoy it.
The rebounding was bananas all game. Forty rebounds — 12 coming on offense — and it really felt like all of them were man-sized rebounds. The Spartans played tenacious on the glass Monday night.
Alright, let’s talk about turnovers. It’s been a problem all season. It will be a problem the rest of the season, sadly. And, if they play like they did Monday night, it will be what ultimately ends their season against a team that isn’t Illinois.
MSU dribbles up court, tries to set up the offense... pic.twitter.com/nCgbbBx6aX— Matt SheehAND THE BALL IS FREE!! (@Sheehan_Sports) January 23, 2018
Fifteen first half turnovers is embarrassing — eight players had at least one too. I wouldn’t trust this team to drive a basketball across the street. They would somehow kick it out the window and then run over and when trying to recover it.
I can’t believe Illinois is 0-8 in Big Ten play. Is Lovie Smith coaching the hoops team too?
In all seriousness, I agree with what Tom Izzo said after the game — that’s the best 0-8 team in the country. With how aggressive that defense is I’m surprised they don’t have at least one or two wins in this down Big Ten season.
I also can’t believe Ward was left in the team hotel until halftime. But really, not sure what that was all about in the first half. Six minutes, no fouls, no points, no rebounds or no anything.
Up next our Spartans got Wisconsin on Friday. Wisconsin’s NCAA Tournament streak of 19 straight years will end this year unless some serious FIFA corruption goes down. Ninth-year junior Ethan Happ (seriously, how is he only a junior?) will be the key player to stop, but other than that, this game doesn’t concern me.