Friday, March 9, 2012

Thoughts on MSU's 92-75 win over Iowa

INDIANAPOLIS — Dawson who?

Without the small forward who would create matchup problems, MSU rolled to a 92-75 win that only got that close late when MSU had pulled most of the starters. MSU had 10 offensive rebounds and a 36-24 total edge on the glass.

Here is my game story for The Oakland Press and here is a notebook on Travis Trice, Adreian Payne, Indiana natives and Izzo's rant on Bruce Weber.

Some quick thoughts:

So we do know that Payne can play well against a team that isn't Ohio State. Payne was making plays all over the place, finishing with a career-high 16 points along with seven rebounds (three offensive) against a smaller Iowa team. He showed off a hook shot a bit, which no one can defend. As Payne mentioned after the game, if he can consistently play like that, Draymond Green will see less double-teams, which bodes well for MSU. Derrick Nix also played solid with nine points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.

Trice's return was huge. With another true point guard, Keith Appling was able to play off the ball a lot more on offense, along with getting rest. The 31 minutes were Appling's fewest since the game at Ohio State on Feb. 11, when Trice got hurt. Trice also gives MSU a guy who can consistently hit an outside shot against a zone defense. He finished with nine points on three 3s, and also had three assists and no turnovers.

With so many other guys playing well, it almost seemed secondary that Draymond Green finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and one steal. Due to some early foul trouble and a big lead in the second half, Green only played 24 minutes. MSU top two guys, Green and Appling, should be plenty rested for Saturday's game.

Speaking of Saturday, how about Wisconsin? In front of a mostly-pro-Hoosier crowd, Rob Wilson exploded for 30 points and the Badgers scored 79 against a woeful Indiana defense. The Hoosiers were picked by many to win this tournament, but are out on the second day. Tom Izzo is 0-3 against Bo Ryan in the Big Ten Tournament all-time.

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