– Script was more or less the same as in the first two meetings, except neither Lyle nor Loving could really get loose and those are the two guys who can occasionally give OSU a real scoring presence. Without that, it was VERY difficult for them to hang in there offensively and that’s why you saw the big margin.
– MSU was definitely better in the second half, in pretty much every facet of the game. Defense led to offense on many occasions and easy baskets got MSU’s offense humming overall. 61% shooting after a sub 40% first half, better ball movement, more active defense, you name it, MSU was better at it in the second half.
– Again, lots of good moments from a lot of guys beyond the people we expect greatness from every time out. I thought DD was extremely active, maybe the most active he’s been in a few weeks at both ends. He is a game changer when he plays like that. I thought Marv did some nice things…hit a 3, ran the floor, and played some defense. Alvin Ellis once again quietly did some really nice things passing the ball, making a couple of really nice feeds in the second half. I thought Tum gave MSU some good minutes defensively and he finally got a bucket for himself on a pure hustle play after DD’s rejection.
– Man, having Denzel Valentine is such a seperator for this team. We’ve grown so used to it that I think we (or at least *I*) take it for granted that he’s going to answer the bell and impact the game in every area in every single game. Especially when I see him in transition, that’s where the Magic thoughts come to mind (not that he’s Magic, but you get my drift). He is under complete CONTROL in that setting. It has to be sheer terror to have #45 coming at you if you’re on defense and guys are on the move, because you KNOW he’s going to make the right play.
Interesting game coming up. Nebraska would give MSU an easier matchup and a chance for a score settling but Maryland obviously provides a sterner test and that might not be the worst thing for MSU.
One other note…I liked a few moments from Eron Harris in the second half a LOT. That first take to the rim (his first bucket of the second half) in particular, the way he used his body control and stop/start to snake his way to the rim to finish. That is an element he can give this team that no one else can.