Michigan State Preview

Here is this morning’s article from the Lansing State Journal.

MSU’s [starting lineup], by comparison, comes in at 6-5. The size mismatch between Fells, Grant, Degand and some of the perimeter Spartans who will be guarding them is why Izzo said this game “comes down to them.”

From the MSU perspective, it also comes down to the Spartans simply playing better. Izzo has been spending time in the past couple days working on offensive execution, which has been disjointed for stretches.MSU’s, by comparison, comes in at 6-5. The size mismatch between Fells, Grant, Degand and some of the perimeter Spartans who will be guarding them is why Izzo said this game “comes down to them.”

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07-08 Basketball NCS Basketball

36 Responses to Michigan State Preview

  1. stlouiswufpacker 11/28/2007 at 11:01 AM #

    It really seems like the Spartans are having very similar issues as the Pack early on:

    “And the chemistry still isn’t there for a team that is integrating talented freshmen Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen and Durrell Summers.

    “It hasn’t been the same as, say, the end of last year,” MSU senior center Drew Naymick said. “We’re introducing the freshmen, and the roles have been not as concrete, hammered-out, especially defensively. … A chemistry thing like that is just something you’ve got to work out through repetitions and time – you can’t just flip a switch.”

    The Spartans have been practicing together for less than six weeks. That does not, however, explain away MSU’s turnovers. Giveaways were a problem last season, and these Spartans are averaging 16.8 a game so far.

    “That’s probably by far the biggest issue I have,” Izzo said, “because the turnovers at times are of a ridiculous nature.”

  2. wxpack 11/28/2007 at 11:20 AM #

    Very good Preview!

  3. SuperStuff 11/28/2007 at 11:28 AM #

    A very good analysis of each team. Thing is you never know what can happen on any given night until they play. Some guys can get hot and others not. I like that NC State has several guys that can take over if someone else is down. Should be a good match-up.

  4. highonlowe 11/28/2007 at 11:41 AM #

    For size mismatch–>defensive rebounding–>MSU foul trouble purposes, I really want to see Costner, Hickson, and McCauley on the court together tonight.

  5. Astral Rain2 11/28/2007 at 11:49 AM #

    I’d like to see Sid try the old Pistons approach, and try to bully MSU. I think that’s the best bet.

  6. JimValvano 11/28/2007 at 12:01 PM #

    bullying MSU is a tough thing to do…they are always one of the toughest teams in all the ncaa

  7. MadWolf92 11/28/2007 at 12:18 PM #

    I dunno. You press a pressing team, why not bully a bullying team? Y’know, so far as conventional wisdom goes …

  8. JimValvano 11/28/2007 at 12:23 PM #

    hmmm…interesting theory. too bad we don’t press or bully anyone.

    If I were coach we’d do both. Especially when we come out and don’t have enough intensity. We’d go right into the full court press.

  9. beowolf 11/28/2007 at 12:36 PM #

    I was also struck by the similarity between the teams.

  10. Trip 11/28/2007 at 12:36 PM #

    We’ve have the bodys to bully them around, throw in Tracy smith/Simon Harris and we have 5 guys over 230 pounds each… Although, MSU also has 5 guys over 230 pounds. It’s gonna be a rough game…

  11. VaWolf82 11/28/2007 at 12:40 PM #

    We’d go right into the full court press.

    That would quickly turn into a huge disaster. You need quick backcourt players and plenty of good guards sitting on the bench to make a full court press work.

  12. packbackr04 11/28/2007 at 12:57 PM #

    im not sure i go RIGHT into the press, but if wen come out flat, you could try it. heres hoping we come out of the gate like we did against Nova.

    i would also like to see mccauley, costner, and hickson on the court together too.

    Costner, to me, has been the biggest diappointment of the year so far. if he thinks he is gioing to play in the NBA the way he has been playing, he better think again

  13. VaWolf82 11/28/2007 at 12:58 PM #

    Couple of more articles from MSU side:

    Big 10 Prespective on annual Challenge

    Another NC State preview

  14. highonlowe 11/28/2007 at 1:03 PM #

    Izzo is coach – its definitely going to be a rough game. The refs better have a backup whistle just in case.
    Speaking of, I assume we have big 11 refs, is this a good thing or a bad thing?

  15. JimValvano 11/28/2007 at 1:28 PM #

    “You need quick backcourt players and plenty of good guards sitting on the bench to make a full court press work.”

    I’m not sure how true that is. With enough length…you can make up for things such as quickness. Especially if you run a 1-3-1 press. You put Degand as the lone man on the inbounds, you put Hickson as your shot blocker on the opponents goal, and you put all that length of Grant, Fells, McCauley or Costner or Horner in the middle and its tough for smaller guards to pass over those guys without lobbing the ball in the air so much we have time to pick off the pass like a free safety.

    You would be correct if you are talking about a man-to-man full court press or a 1-2-2, but in the event you don’t have the quicker peskier guards to run those…you can use length and athleticism to run a 1-3-1.

    We need to do things like this when our guys come out flat. This will force them into moving around and create energy and ideally fast break opportunities.

  16. branjawn 11/28/2007 at 1:40 PM #

    VaWolf? Did you get from my blog? If not that’s cool, if so, props would be nice.

  17. JimValvano 11/28/2007 at 1:42 PM #

    VaWolf…interesting find on the Big10 perspective. I think its interesting how Izzo makes reference to the ACC’s #2 team playing a Big10 team predicted to finish #7. If that were the case…who did the Big10’s #2 team play? I’m pretty sure that mathematically the difference is made up, think about it… … … … … …

    Another point made is how in the ACC the sports writers make a big deal out of the “challenge”, but the Big10 writers do not. The perspective is taken that the reason is because the Big10 views it as a way to play top level competition while the ACC sees it as a conference v. conference competition. Well, that’s a mighty convenient view point. Considering the fact that the Big10 has lost every “challenge” thusfar. I think they probably don’t print all of that stuff in the local papers in Big10 country in an attempt to keep from publicizing the ineptness of the Big10 v. the ACC in head to head competition. Otherwise all the local recruits would have these stats in the back of their head when an ACC school comes calling for their services.

    The article really sounds like a way for the Big10 to try and make excuses for why the ACC dominates the “challenge” every year.

    Doesn’t sound like much of a challenge to me. Maybe we should let the Big10 out of the contract and dominate some other conference i.e. the BigEast or SEC for a decade or two before we go back and castrate the Big10 again when they start claiming to be the supreme conference in hoops.

  18. McPete 11/28/2007 at 1:49 PM #

    another interesting point, in the Lansing State Journal story, is how from MSU’s perspective NC State’s depth would be an issue for the pack – they say only playing 7 (eight by my count). i really thought the problem was too many players, not enough. i wonder if tracy smith – being from Detroit – will be able to get in there and have a little extra motivation to have a nice game(maybe some family in town). and yes, i’m aware that lansing is a bit of a drive from detroit. i think he can score down low, but maybe he’s a defensive liablility. i haven’t seen enough of him to really evaluate his game.

  19. VaWolf82 11/28/2007 at 1:50 PM #

    VaWolf? Did you get from my blog? If not that’s cool, if so, props would be nice.

    What in the world are you talking about?

  20. Dr. BadgerPack 11/28/2007 at 1:50 PM #

    highonlowe: Living in Big 10 country for 5 years and watching pretty much every game, I thought Big 10 officiating sucked. But I would guess you could go to just about any conference, and if you watch enough games you’ll develop a poor perception of the officiating.

    They tend to allow physical play, but 1 out of every 6 games or so they inexplicably call every touch foul they can find (and some they can’t). On a bright note, Fells shouldn’t get T’d up if he gets acrobatic with the rim– they let Oden pull his knees up to the backboard without repercussion every freaking time he dunked last year. They also tend to call a lot of traveling (although I’m sure UNC will draw the blind crew that doesn’t like to call it). Alando Tucker was hit with those calls regularly, and he was a freaking All-American.

  21. stlouiswufpacker 11/28/2007 at 2:05 PM #

    I don’t see Tracy Smith getting any minutes until after this game when we play some easier competition that we can build and sustain nice leads on. Right now Sid is trying to win ballgames and not give guys experience and rightly so.

  22. WolftownVA81 11/28/2007 at 2:35 PM #

    My favorite quote from the VAwolf Another NC State Preview link:

    “You’ll recall this is the team first-year coach (and boldly jacketed) Sidney Lowe almost led to an NCAA tournament bid last season by winning three straight games in the ACC tournament, despite being the #10 seed, before falling to UNC in the tournament final.”

    I know the red jacket is reserved for special occassions; but, considering that this is a very important early season game (MSU is ranked #10) and we’re getting national exposure, might we see it?

  23. highonlowe 11/28/2007 at 2:37 PM #

    They tend to allow physical play. Not what I wanted to hear since they have a rep as a physical team, but who knows what’ll happen tonight.

  24. wxpack 11/28/2007 at 3:01 PM #

    It will be interesting to see how this game is called tonight from an officiating standpoint. If they “let em play” under the basket I think that favors MSU. If they call it close I think it favors State.

  25. Luke12321 11/28/2007 at 3:02 PM #

    This is a big game but I kind of hope the red jacket is not brought out. But if it what it takes for us to win, then go for it! haha I think being physcial is not the issue with the pack rebound, I think we can be a physical team. The problem is knowing who to block out and what spots you should be at for the rebound while JJ is going for the block shot. I think Sid mentioned something about this and I am sure we have been working on it in pratice. How many times in the first few games have you seen JJ go for the block and alter the shot but only for his man to at the front of the rim for the tip in. JJ needs to go for the blocks….he saves us many points but the other four guys have to find his man and the others to block out. If we can do this and limit turnovers, we have a great chance to win the game tonight!

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