– MSU needed to get tested…I mentioned that before the OSU game in kind of hoping that we’d get Maryland. Asked and received.
– That was unbelievable defense in the second half by Maryland. Yeah, we were sloppy at times and made our own troubles on occasion but man, give credit where it’s due. Here’s the thing…there are teams which have tilted their defense toward Bryn…OSU was one. Nobody who’s done that could really deny everything else at the same time, though, and that’s what Maryland did.
Now, the good news is this…find me another 6’10” guy who’s going to guard Zel or Bryn. You won’t find him. Maryland is unique in terms of some of the things they can do and they did all of them in that second half.
– Down the stretch on defense, MSU got big moments from a few guys. DD was first on the list. That rejection was HUGE and then he followed it up by playing that last shot by Trimble perfectly. He stayed long but backed off enough to not allow Trimble to draw a foul…so he did the job of contesting the shot and making it tough to finish without taking a risk or giving him a chance to slop his way into free throws. Just remarkable.
Then when the shot was off, Eron Harris contesting Carter for the board caused it to kick loose, where Zel could corral it and seal the win. That’s the kind of effort play in the grit areas of the game that MSU needs from Eron at times and he stepped up.
– We’ve talked a bit about matchups and the kind of team MSU would have the toughest time with. You saw it today in a sense. Maryland in the second half set the bowling ball approach to the rim and got into the penalty early. It’s remarkable they didn’t get more FTA than they did, given how it was going. To me, that is the biggest worry…facing a team that decides to go kamikazea.
Of course, it will likely take someone who can do that AND check somewhere near the way Maryland did. Not many of those teams around.
– I thought perhaps Maryland’s minutes for their starters showed up late. You can say MSU struggled down the stretch too and that’s true, but I didn’t see MSU settling the way Maryland did. Just some bad three point looks that didn’t come close…that’s often a sign of mental surrender and I think there was just enough of it on that end for Maryland to cost them. Defensively, they gutted it out but I thought they showed the lack of focus on offense you normally see from tired teams. Funny, because it usually goes the other direction in those cases.
– This was far from a pretty game but it was very much a “Big Ten” kind of feel. We’ve seen so many games like this in the past…OSU in many seasons, Wisconsin during Ryan’s era (and even Bennett’s to some extent), Illinois when they were good. Though I love pretty basketball, every once in awhile I don’t mind a traditional all out war and we got that today AND managed to get the victory.