– Posted at halftime, I thought MSU needed to pound the ball down low against IU to extend it’s lead, seeing that as an area where the Hoosiers just simply can’t guard MSU.
Asked for and answered, in major league fashion. MSU came right out of the locker room obviously looking to shove it down IU’s throat, going to Zel and Costello frequently in the post to good effect, and they just kept it up. IU is better defensively than last year (see: damning with faint praise) but despite Bryant’s size, he’s not yet even a good post defender and the rest of their guys are just too small. Great job by MSU in staying focused and delivering the punches IU simply isn’t built to respond to.
– While MSU wasn’t perfect defensively, I thought overall they did a great job with the most important thing…containing Yogi. He had 9 points on 3-10 from the floor and while he had 7 assists, he wasn’t slicing and dicing his way through the MSU lane. Most of his assists were more passive, move the ball around the horn types to a 3 point shooter. Eron Harris did a fine job. Matt McQuaid chipped in with some admirable minutes. Bryn fought through it at times. Zel was solid in some turns against him. All the big kids did great work staying in touch on the high screen pick stuff and kept him contained.
IU leans so much on Yogi. He is the catalyst for everything they do. It is not an accident that on a day when MSU kept him well under control, IU ended up shooting just under 38% from the floor. Mission accomplished.
– What can you say about the seniors yet again? Denzel had one of his best games on “his” day and it might be his best game of the season, when you consider the stage (national TV on CBS on a Sunday), importance of the game, level of opponent, and the way he controled the whole deal throughout. 30 points. 11-19 from the floor and maybe one bad shot the whole day. 13 assists and just 1 TO. Phenomenal defense. He was never rushed, never pushing to try to do too much. Really almost a flawless effort. Then Matt with a career high 22 points, punishing a team which can’t guard him…that’s what you have to do in that situation and he did it. 11 tough boards as well. Bryn had a huge first half to keep MSU in touch when IU came out red hot, chipping in a big 14 points.
– Only real downside to this one is Kenny Goins. If he’s gone long term, that’s a definite blow as he’s earned every bit of the role he’s had with the way he’s checked and rebounded. Now, if that’s the case, the door is opened yet again for Marvin Clark. Can Marv seize an opportunity and run with it? Can he check well enough to stay on the floor and earn a steady role?
– I thought Matt McQuaid and Alvin Ellis once again had productive turns on the court. Neither put up big stats today but both were solid defensively against a team which presents some challenges, and both played under control at the other end.
– If I’m an IU fan, I’m asking one question after this game (well, one big question…some of the stuff, like what they try to do defensively is an almost existential level issue at this stage)…why did Troy Williams get the minutes he did and OG Anunoby the PT he received? This disappearing act stuff from Williams is not new..it’s marked his entire IU career. Anunoby isn’t perfect by any stretch but he has similar athleticism, is much tougher and competes consistently hard. I’ve seen him enough…this wasn’t just today, it’s been the case ever since Blackmon went out and OG started to get consistent minutes. If you want to change the culture of your program, you could do a lot worse than giving that kid a larger role. He was one guy who was ready to go right at MSU (Bielfeldt being the other).