Tag:Michigan State
Posted on: March 4, 2012 9:50 pm
 

Michigan State loses Branden Dawson to ACL

By Jeff Goodman

Michigan State lost the opportunity to win the Big Ten outright title today -- and that's not all the Spartans lost. 

Tom Izzo also watched starter Branden Dawson go down with a torn ACL early in the loss to Ohio State. 

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound Dawson was averaging 8.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game this season. He had four points in the loss to Ohio State prior to the injury. 

This is a significant blow to the Spartans -- who will now have to put Brandon Wood back in the starting lineup. 

Dawson is a big-time athlete who brings toughness, defense and a rebounding from the wing spot. 

Posted on: March 4, 2012 7:16 pm
Edited on: March 4, 2012 7:59 pm
 

Despite flaws, Ohio St. still a Final Four threat

By Jeff Borzello

We’ve been hearing it all year, but it had been getting louder recently. The talk about Jared Sullinger not being as dominant as last season, the talk about William Buford’s inconsistency, the talk about the lack of 3-point shooters, the talk about a lack of toughness and chemistry.

Well, despite the supposed flaws and weaknesses, one thing is clear: Ohio State is still a Final Four-caliber team.

The Buckeyes demonstrated that potential during their 15-point comeback and late victory at Michigan State on Sunday afternoon. Sullinger struggled, but still managed to get 14 points and 10 rebounds. Buford made big shot after big shot down the stretch, including the game-winner with 1.0 seconds left. Aaron Craft had seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.

This team has the pieces. Sullinger is still a hoss on the low block, capable of carrying Ohio State on the offensive end and getting opposing big men in foul trouble. He hasn’t been as effective as he was last season, but he’s still one of the nation’s best big men.

When Buford is hitting shots, he’s nearly impossible to guard. He steps up at clutch times, and is not afraid to take the big shot. Buford has deep range on his shot and can create his own look and get separation for pull-up jumpers.

Craft might not be a shot-maker, but he’s still one of the toughest point guards in the country. He’s a pest defensively, and completely takes opponents out of their preferred offensive sets. Aside from a few transition layups, Keith Appling really struggled as a result of Craft’s defensive intensity.

The X-factor going forward could be Deshaun Thomas. He can knock down 3-pointers, and has really picked up his play of late. Prior to the Michigan State contest, he was averaging 21.5 points in his last four games. Thomas is difficult to guard because of the multiple ways in which he can get off shots.

Of course, there is also that Ohio State defense. The Buckeyes are extremely efficient at that end of the floor, dominating the defensive glass and forcing turnovers at a high rate. They also limit fouls, which is why Thad Matta isn’t forced to go to his bench very often. Ohio State didn’t allow Draymond Green to control the game, which helped slow down Michigan State’s offense in the second half. Moreover, the Buckeyes made a concerted effort to get back on defense after the Spartans beat them down the floor for easy transition baskets early on.

When a team has studs at the point guard position, on the wing and inside, they are a team no one wants to face come March. That’s exactly what Ohio State has – and then some.

There are certainly some flaws, but the Buckeyes proved on Sunday that they are still a major threat to reach New Orleans. 

Posted on: March 2, 2012 4:56 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2012 5:01 pm
 

Is there a three-way POY chase?

By Matt Norlander

No matter who you think should be college basketball's player of the year, if you're a fan of the game, I think it's undeniable: Draymond Green is so, so much fun to watch. When you stop and think about it, isn't he the best big man with the most diverse weaponry in his game to wear a Michigan State jersey since Magic Johnson?

Green is a point forward, essentially. He does things for this team, and has skills at the 1/2/3/4/5 that nobody -- nobody -- in college basketball has. That inherently makes him unique, and I suspect Tom Izzo is thankful for every second he has remaining with Green at his disposal. He's not only reliable, he's impossible to gameplan against because you can take away what he does best, or second-best, or third-best, and he'll still be able to help his team in five or six other ways. It's because of this that he's even in the conversation for Player of the Year.

But should he be? At first reaction, I thought so. Jeff Eisenberg put up a comparison post using traditional, tempo stats on The Dagger Wednesday. It was only between Thomas Robinson and Anthony Davis. "Where's Day-Day?" I asked upon seeing the piece. Chris Vannini, who has spent the past four years covering Michigan State, thought the same. And then I realized I was automatically judging Green's value to Michigan State vs. his ability as a player. Without him, is Michigan State an NCAA tournament team? I question that it is.

That's the ever-lasting argument: value to a team vs. actual ability/talent and achievement that's been displayed in a given year. Without Anthony Davis, Kentucky is still very good. It doesn't make him nearly as valuable to the Wildcats as Green is to Michigan State and Thomas Robinson is to Kansas.

In talking Player of the Year, we're talking the latter part of that debate above. I hope voters are aware of that. It's not a valuable award, it's a talent+achievement award. From that combination's standpoint, unfortunately, Green is not in the same class with the two men who are a virtual length-of-a-nose race for Player of the Year. I'm talking numbers here; from a visual perspective, again, it's a blast to watch Draymond. I think when he scores 29 and his team is still not even sniffing a win against Indiana, that's a double-edged result.

The following data was used compiling as-of-today statistics at Statsheet.com (Player Efficiency Ratings and KenPom.com. And fortunately, all statistics are measured through exactly 30 games for each player. Stats need to be judged against schedule strength too, in my opinion. As a backdrop, here's the KenPom.com overall SOS for each player:

Robinson: No. 3
Green: No. 4
Davis: No. 60



Davis' O Rating is absolutely absurd. And take note that I'm using one grid as a background for all data comparisons, so Davis' lofty PER and block numbers look small here, but in fact are nearly as stupid as his adjusted offensive rating.

Here's how it spreadsheets out. Notice how frequently Green is third in these dozens valuable categoriges. His only advantage is when it comes to passing, wher he is clearly as far ahead in that category as any other player is in any other. He makes teammates better, which speaks more to value than his overall achievement profile, but it's still plenty noteworthy.



Green's had a great, great year so far, but he's going up against an all-time shot-block/freak in Davis and a relentless, superior rebounder and scorer in Robinson. I think, at this point, POY is out of Green's reach, even if he's deserving to be in the conversation. From a numbers standpoint, he's a notch below. It's not his fault. If he put up these numbers last year, against Jimmer, it would actually be a really intriguing race.

No matter. Green's still incredible to watch, just as valuable to his team as Robinson, and more diversified in his game -- even though his ceiling are lower -- than Davis. Michigan State won't get to the Final Four without him, and while any coach would love/marry/kill to have Robinson or Davis on their roster, Green is woven into the fabric of his team's scheme as much as any player in the country.
Posted on: February 29, 2012 12:34 pm
 

Pod: UCLA reaction, OSU doubt, UConn bashing

The photo that will define Reeves Nelson's college career.  (AP)

By Matt Norlander


In immediate wake of Sports Illustrated's piece on Ben Howland, Reeves Nelson and the culture of no accountability at UCLA, the podcast addresses why it's, really, not surprising. Nelson is no longer on the team, UCLA has a big recruiting class coming in -- and you could likely find these sorts of problems at most places not winning consistently right now. Why it's bad: Ben Howland's reputation takes a hit and it's unclear whether he ever separates himself from the past few years of bad chemistry and bad basketball. Aside from UCLA, Jeff Goodman and Gary Parrish and I touch on ...
  • From the beginning: UCLA.
  • 11:46: Aren't a lot of these problems mirrored at Mississippi State the past two seasons?
  • 15:40: Jerry Palm, as of this podcast's posting, has UConn in the field as an 11 seed. Why? Because the profile still stacks up favorably to other fringe squad. But the Huskies aren't a tournament team and cannot be trusted.
  • 19:36: Getting Draymond Green into the POY debate. Also, Goodman thinks it's "sad" one of these guys won't win it. What I forgot to bring up on the podcast: There are six POY awards, which is dumb, and so it's likely T-Rob/AD/Day-Day may split in some regard.
  • 24:26: Ohio State now has problems and Parrish thinks reaching the Elite Eight is highly questionable.
  • 28:28: Indiana away from home in the NCAAs -- will we see a different team?
  • 29:59: The lower seeds we're expecting a lot out of come bracket time.
  • 32:43: And out of nowhere, I'm raked over the coals for my final version of the Non-BCS Power Pyramid.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast -- whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: February 28, 2012 11:57 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:01 am
 

Day-Day can't do it all-all for MSU

Day-Day was the only one doing work-work Tuesday-Tuesday Night-Night. (Getty Images)
By Matt Norlander

Michigan State had this great play from Draymond Green, and other great plays from Draymond Green Tuesday night, but not much else in losing to Indiana, 70-55.

The Hoosiers and their crowd were ready. Everyone in hunter green who didn't have the name "GREEN" stitched to the back of their jersey was most definitely not. The Spartans' supporting case was basically a bunch of water boys, but we'll get to them in a second. The question in the aftermath of this game: Did MSU lose its chance at a one seed tonight? No. Beat Ohio State and win the Big Ten title and MSU is getting a one, I think, especially if UNC beats Duke Saturday, equaling out that season series between two top-seed seekers. Plenty of muck to clean up between the six teams flopping in the bowl fighting over those final two No. 1 spots. Still, MSU was done from the get-go against Indiana.

Take out Green and put in an average college basketball player and it's unlikely the Spartans put up 35 against IU -- that's how much Green meant tonight, and in a way acted as a microcosm for the Spartan's season so far. (Tomorrow on the blog we'll have a three-way comparison between Green, Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson, to see who's the best Player of the Year candidate). Spartans not nicknamed Day-Day were 10-of-34 from the field and 2-of-7 on 3s. To balance it out, though, Green had six turnovers, which hurt, but he had the ball so much he became a focal point for MSU's offense and the obvious, magnetic target for Indiana's defense.

Everyone knew where the ball was going when MSU had it, and eventually the Spartans wore down because of it.

It wasn't just offensive problems. Indiana's Victor Oladipo was unguarded at times and made Indiana look Final Four-worthy (which I don't think IU is). The Hoosiers got a couple of huge 3s from Will Sheehey and Christian Watford late to pull away, but I was stunned by how the rest of MSU's team didn't show up, leading to the late lead by Indiana. A credit to Tom Crean's team for limiting the love-to-run Spartans, who had just four fast-break points from MSU.

Big picture: a lot of things broke down tonight, and we saw that Green can't make up for so many faulty parts.

And one final note on Indiana. I was at Assembly Hall almost two weeks ago. I wrote it then, and it gets emphasized on a night like this: No matter what happens in the NCAAs, this will be one of the most memorable seasons of Tom Crean's life. His team has beaten then-No. 1 Kentucky, then-No. 2 Ohio State and now-No. 5 Michigan State at home. Assembly Hall has always had an aura, but this year it's established a haunt that could have long-term effects of intimidation like you see Wisconsin, Michigan State, Duke and Kansas benefit from.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:36 pm
 

Podcast: Seth Davis shares how he discovered CBB

Jordan Taylor's having a down year, but are there six better players in the Big Ten than him? Seth says yes. (AP)

By Matt Norlander


One of CBS' premier college basketball analysts joins me again. Seth Davis is preparing to basically spend the next month sleeping at CBS headquarters, as he'll be providing insight and analysis for the network. So before he hunkers down, it was time to get him back on the pod. We've our disagreements on the RPI's legitimacy -- and on Jordan Taylor's value and his season so far. .

Audio menu:
  • From the beginning: Treadmill tips. Yeah, I kind of get this thing off to a rousing start, let me tell you.
  • 2:52: OK, hoops. Duke is the first topic. Why does the perception of this team fluctuate so much over the course of three months?
  • 9:00: Seth is down on Jordan Taylor. I am not. Let's talk about it.
  • 13:22: Might as well get into the RPI and let Seth have one more lobbying session for it. This is pretty civil, all things considered. I'm actually proud of myself for not letting this devolve into a 30-minute back-and-forth, which is what I did with myself in the mirror this morning. Day's getting better.
  • 20:56: The refs suck, by the way. Actually, they don't. But everyone thinks so. Let's clear that up and remind people why Teddy Valentine isn't such a bad dude.
  • 27:13: Why is the Player of the Year race a two-man one with Anthony Davis and Thomas Robinson? Doesn't Draymond Green deserve to be at that table?
  • 30:00: NATE WOLTERS ALERT.
  • 30:37: The pod wraps up with some of our stories of how Seth and I got into college hoops when we were young.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast -- whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:42 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 12:46 pm
 

Damaged MSU chair sells for thousands at auction

The Spartans' seat got the John Hancock of Fran McCaffery and sold for big bucks. (via Matt Weitzel)
By Matt Norlander

The best way to get good PR out of a bad situation, if possible, is to alter course and turn bad to better by infusing a charitable donation into the mishap.

After Fran McCaffery got needlessly angry a month ago by awkwardly and violently throwing a chair in the team huddle, the coach and the program did good. They sold the abused seat at an auction Sunday night in Tiffin, Iowa. It went for $2,100, according to Iowa basketball and baseball sports information director Matt Weitzel.

The chair was up for grabs at the Iowa Steak Fry, a fundraising event for the Iowa baseball team that's taken place the past three years. Other items up for auction included a framed/autographed Jay Cutler jersey, a Chicago Cubs "dream package" to attend Wrigley Field (photo ops and meetings with players on the field included), an autographed Ron Santo poster, signed Iowa football memorabilia and more.

But was the chair you see there truly the one that felt the ire of McCaffery? Ah-ha. That is the catch; the answer is unknown. The brainchild behind this particular auction item was not anyone with the basketball program. Iowa's baseball coach, Jack Dahm, thought the chair could be a huge seller at the Steak Fry. He was right.

Dahm reached out to Michigan State baseball coach Jake Boss, Jr. last week and inquired about the chair.

"We're not 100 percent sure it's the same chair," Weitzel said.

Regardless, Boss got over to the Breslin Center and made sure a chair was taken. Iowa paid for the shipping and it was in Tiffin by Saturday. What do you think, has that chair seem some rough days? Of course it has. It's likely been sat on by Draymond Green dozens of times.

Cool of Iowa to do this and it's nice to see McCaffery still embraces his antics, even if they can be over the top in the moment.
Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:30 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 10:33 am
 

Podcast: CBS Sports Net's Wally Szczerbiak joins

Tom Izzo is doing it again. Think about it, if MSU gets a one seed, shouldn't he get Coach of the Year? (US PRESSWIRE)

By Matt Norlander


OK, for a day, for one podcast, no writers. I had to get someone who's actually played the game to come on and give a different perspective. That man is CBS Sports Network analyst Wally Sczcerbiak. (My boss, and Miami University alumnus, Eric Kay, is so thrilled right now. This podcast's for you, man.) 

Wally's new to Twitter and would appreciate your follow, so go ahead and give him a click. Enjoy the pod. It's a breeze.
 
On the docket:
  • From the beginning: If he had a good knee, how many points would Wally average in college today?
  • 3:35: Which current hoops player does Wally think most resembles his game?
  • 4:30: It's been 13 years since Wally played college hoops. I ask him to compare the eras and say which one is better.
  • 6:15: Kentucky as the clear-cut top team, it's a talking point that's picking up steam. But Syracuse is 1A, and a strong 1A.
  • 9:34: Tom Izzo and coaching and the common threads between the best basketball coaches. I also ask him to pick his coach of the year, given only the optino of Izzo and Frank Haith. Is that a hedge I hear from Wally?
  • 16:25: The results that stood out the most to Wally from over the weekend. There is mid-major love to be handed out.
  • 18:52: Since Wally's been a part of so many teams and played basketball for so long, I took the opportunity on this podcast to get his perspective on things that most writers flatly can't interpret the same way. At this point, I ask him what February feels like and how teams stay on message without looking ahead ot March.
  • 23:36: Think you might be a little surprised with Wally's take on conference tournaments.
  • 26:45: We wrap up things with a couple teams Wally and I are high and low on. He doesn't hold back with his Baylor and Perry Jones III critiques, which is refreshing to hear.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to listen to the podcast--whenever you can. I ask that you, if you like what we're doing here, encourage like-minded hoopheads to subscribe in Tunes as well. Guests like Wally, Jay Bilas, Seth Davis, they're the guys who make me sound better and make the podcast worthwhile. The other guys? Gary Parrish and Jeff Goodman, they really make it entertaining, and of course you can count on our trio show each Wednesday. The RSS feed is another way to keep the podcasts coming to you ASAP. We've got a Zune download link as well.


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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com