Sunday, February 22, 2009

UW-Michigan State thoughts

Talk about a blown opportunity. We had that team dead to rights about halfway through the second half but couldn't make a layup and couldn't block out the Big Ten's leading crybaby, Goran Suton.

I had this game pegged as a loss coming in, but that doesn't make the outcome any less disappointing. A win and we're definitely in. Now we have to sweat out these last few games and leave it up to a committee.

Plus, seeing State's runt coach, who according to the linked story above challenges his center for the crybaby title, scurry around and pump his fists is never fun to watch. (Had my wife, like Tom Izzo a Northern Michigan alum and Yooper, seen me type that last sentence, she'd have slapped the back of my head. She seemed to be relishing our late-game collapse and Izzo's smug grin.)

-For my moaning about our inability to hit a layup, credit State with making a lot of big shots late and for kicking our ass on the boards. No excuses, they are the better team and it came out in the end.

-Today was another case of us not trusting ourselves to make decisive plays against a superior athletic team. Many times we had a sliver of an opening to get off a 3-pointer, or to make a pass for a layup, but double-clutched or held onto the ball. The result was, once again, overly safe play and an abundance of Trevon Hughes buzzer beaters that had no chance of going in.

-For as well as Krabby has played lately, he had a stinker of a game today. One blown layup later on really sticks out in my mind as a crucial play we didn't make.

-Conversely, Timmy Jarmusz seemed up to the challenge today. He seems poised to step into Krabby's role next year.

-Also good to see Nankivil starting to get more minutes, productive ones at that, he had to play today against State's height. If he's able to continue providing 15-20 minutes of solid play a game we're a lot tougher in the postseason.

-It was fascinating to see how many times State was able to set up their offense where we were fronting their posts but were not able to get adequate weakside help. I can't remember our defense being attacked like that this year. Fronting was probably the right move, as Suton and Roe could shoot over us if we played behind them and allowed easy catches. As it was they got a lot of good looks and drew a lot of fouls.

-Travis Walton has played some good games against us in his career, hasn't he?

-Kalin Lucas has some electric talent. Seems that he's struggled with his shot a bit, but stroked it pretty well today.

-As much as I needled Suton earlier, he's a really nice player and his persistence on the boards kept State in it while they were misfiring. I had to chuckle at his quote about us in that story, "They push, they hold." Sums up the whole Big Ten, doesn't it Goran? Dirty? Come on, that's the residue of a lot of losses talking. He likes Michigan better? That's because they beat Michigan all the time.

Now we've got a week off before Michigan, who has to play Purdue on Thursday. They're playing for their tournament life, too, and as much as we handled them easily in Ann Arbor I expect a tight game.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is what it is..Suton meant what he said.Remember this choke job for a while Badgers...We waited for this day since last year's big ten tourney.
The game was decided in the last 5 mins and who wants to win more.oh..by the way there was no Ed Hightower to help you guys.nothing makes my week than a come back win and especially over the most hated badgers

Jeff Burch said...

Thank you for your kind words Anonymous. I think within the last 10 minutes of the game, I yelled "BOX OUT!!!" 27 times. I'm turning into my father...

Scott Tappa said...

There's something very gratifying about the comment from Anonymous (thanks for signing), that fans of a program like State, with a national title and several Final Four appearances in the last decades, relish a win over us more than a win over any other team. Even this year, when we're slightly above average and they're once again stocked with high school All-Americans. Whatever floats your boat ...

Anonymous said...

will take whatever it takes to beat the badgers..4 FF, a Nat Champ,anything... this rivalry has been heated, so if the margin is 1 or 20 we do not care.we do not have Roe, Sutton, and Morgan at full strength..will take them sometime to be in sync..but not taking any thing away from Wisconsin.They played a perfect game for 34 mins.

by the way Korie Lucious and would be prospect Jamil Wilson are from WI.
we will take good prospects from any state.

Phil Mitten said...

"Conversely, Timmy Jarmusz seemed up to the challenge today. He seems poised to step into Krabby's role next year."

He sure does ... I think he missed one the easiest bunnies of the day.

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Anonymous said...

"Conversely, Timmy Jarmusz seemed up to the challenge today. He seems poised to step into Krabby's role next year."

Why, because he made his free throws and hit a three pointer? He also had an inexcusable miss at a crucial point in the game.......so wait, yes he will fill in nicely for Krabbenhoft.

Anonymous said...

If Jana needs (or wants) a place to stay, she's welcome to stay with us on short notice. Thanks-Austy

Mr.Man said...

Sparty fans-- classy as always.

Scott, I haven't seen the game yet, but I'm not that surprised at the outcome. For the season though, your description of a lack of a killer instinct on offense is apt. Against good defensive teams, you can't count on them breaking down with 8 seconds left on the shot clock. And pump fakes don't work all that well against squads as quick and long as the Sparties.

Anonymous said...

Is it a lack of killer instinct or lack of talent?

scott.tappa said...

Yesterday it was a lack of talent relative to the opponent. State has the best collection of talent top to bottom of anyone in this league. When the loss/tentative play happens against Northwestern or Minnesota, that's when you question.

Overall, I think the lack of a killer instinct has cost this team 3-4 games this year: Marquette, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa.

And why the hating on Jarmusz? I really did think he played a solid game yesterday.

MSU1978 said...

Scott,

You wrote "once again stocked with high school All-Americans". Delvon Roe is the only one we have. You really have to overcome your inferiority complex. We have no problems with Purdue (picked to win this year). or Illinois. We do hate Michigan for obvious reasons. Relax, take a deep breath, you had our number and now the tide is turning.

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