This blog is coming to you live from Cloud Nine.
This was, to date, the biggest game of the season and our Spartans delivered. Miles Bridges played out of his mind. Cassius Winston played smooth. Matt McQuaid nailed big shots. The Breslin Center atmosphere was euphoric. And it was an emotional win on Jud Heathcote Night.
Let’s dig into this Roundball Recap, and crack open a celebratory drink while doing so. Heck, I am while writing this (that’s also a cop-out for any typos you read).
What more can you say about Miles Bridges? He’s on a completely different level than his college competition, showing it once again in a 20 point performance that included this shot (in case you forgot):
HE GOT IT HE GOT IT MILES BRIDGES HE GOT IT!!! pic.twitter.com/ta7fBDbIUY— Seth Newman (@SethNewman32) February 10, 2018
Now I just feel silly for all those times saying Bridges wasn’t aggressive enough or didn’t take over the game like he should. He was the MVP in the biggest game this season.
Gavin Schilling shined in his role, and he was given an impossible assignment of guarding Isaac Haas with zero double team help for 20 minutes. Haas got his 25 points, but he had two turnovers and two missed shots in the final 10 minutes thanks to Schilling.
I think it’s time for Matt McQuaid to get the start over Josh Langford, for now at least. Is that even a hot take? I don’t know, but right now he’s the shooting guard riding with the confident hot hand and also provides nice defense. That was shown by his nine points on 3-5 shooting from long range. Langford on the other hand struggled to find his shot again and was shutout in the first half.
Do you agree with McQuaid starting? Or would you rather he brings his game off the bench?
Who should start at shooting guard?
This poll is closed
Tom Izzo said after the game that Cassius Winston had “his best game as a Spartan” for his all-around game. He had 10 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds in his afternoon. Now I don’t know if I agree with Izzo in that it was his “best” game, but he definitely had a big night.
I’m truly impressed this squad beat a great Purdue team, especially with the fact Langford didn’t play all too great and Jaren Jackson was mostly absent the entire afternoon. Bad games are going to happen to individual players, and usually when it happens to two key starters against a top five team, that spells doom. Not for the Spartans though.
The game plan was clear, and it also clearly worked. MSU wanted to hold Purdue’s offense from the perimeter, holding them to just six threes (they walked in making nearly 10 per game).
That was done with not double-teaming Haas in the paint (which I thought would bite them in the end) and also great defense from Kenny Goins, who played 30 minutes. McQuaid and Bridges also had solid perimeter defense, but Goins needs to be pointed out after the increased role he saw tonight on that end of the floor.
That win was huge for a NCAA Tournament to Detroit. It looks like it will be MSU, Purdue and Xavier jockeying for two available top seeds in Detroit, and picking up that victory is massive. Plenty of season left, including a potential rematch in the Big Ten Tournament, but right now MSU is now in the driver’s seat for a Detroit opening weekend bid.
I thought the Izzone was outstanding, so shoutout to them.
Up next is Minnesota on Tuesday at 9 p.m. The Golden Gophers have been a bigger disappointment than the newest Snapchat update, who entered the season as a top 25 team and are now trying to backdoor itself into the NIT. Their barn is usually a tough place to play in, and it could be the case again as those fans are just looking for something to hang their hats on this season.