The good, bad, and ugly from MSU game


#1

Good:

  • Brooks taking the ball strong to the basket, 13 pts
  • Babb 16 pts, 5 assists, 2 steals
  • Battle 16 pts, 8 assists, 6 rebounds (again our leading rebounder)

Bad:

  • PSU can’t make the big play in crunch time. Poor execution at the end of each half.
  • Four 2 pt FT opportunities where we only made one of two
  • Jones & Brooks were dominated in the paint - totally out muscled and out of position

Ugly:

  • Bench points MSU 26, PSU 1
  • Rebounding MSU 39 (14 offensive), PSU 24. Not good when Battle has 6 rebounds and Brooks has 2.
  • Lane violation & Babb’s turnover when PSU had numbers

#2

Not sure I agree with Jones and Brooks being dominated. Officiating wasn’t exactly consistent in the paint tonight. We tried to play physical to match them and wound up fouling out, but they really didn’t hurt us inside at all after going zone… at least not more than a couple times where it was much more a team breakdown than simply those two being dominated.

Otherwise I agree with your assessment. We played sloppy but we played hard - MSU will remember we gave them a fight tonight and on another night with slightly different bounces we probably get out of there with that W.


#3

Didn’t get to see much of the game because of the Seton Hall game. I did tune in during the last few minutes because Seton Hall was up ~10. The Babb fumble / turnover on the 2 on 1 at the end was just heartbreaking. He played a good game but that was just heartbreaking.

I think PSU will beat Purdue but imagine what a three game winning streak over NW, MSU and Purdue could have done for PSU’s confidence going into the BTT?


#4

As soon as Jones fouled out they attacked the paint, and I don’t believe they had a single empty possession. Before he fouled out they were chucking up threes. I know its anathema to admit Jones has any value whatsoever, but seriously. ::slight_smile:


#5

The 2 best plays of the game (in my opinion)…

1.) With about 13:50 remaining in the 2nd half, after calling hard for the ball in the paint and watching his teammate hit a 3, Brooks does the same thing next time down the floor. He gets the ball, turns to face the rim, and goes right after his defender. THAT’S what we are waiting to see out of Brooks.

2.) about 12 seconds left in the game, Babb has the ball stripped, and MSU passes it to a wide open man steeaking to the basket. Bill Edwards comes with a full sprint to deny the easoy bucket, slamming himself into the support while doing so. He gave it ALL on that play. Bill Edwards is going to be a fantastic player at PSU !!!

most troubling moment…

…the cameras catch Brooks coming close to a meltdown while walking off the court after the game. There were a few times during the game that Brooks was visibly troubled by some of the events of the game. He needs to pull it together.


#6

Assessment of our freshmen tonight:

Edwards - more composed, better decision making. He had a couple of nice looks and just couldn’t get them to go down but he played within himself.

Borovnjak - wasn’t strong enough to defend the MSU bigs but he’s only a freshman. He could be a solid player in 2-3 years, but PSU still needs a PF who can attack the glass off the dribble. Sasa isn’t that type of player.

Frazier - looks like he’s 16 years old. What a baby face. Incredible athlete but he needs to grow up to compete in the Big 10. He also needs to develop a jump shot.

This is going to sound funny because these guys combined for 0 points, 0 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 turnovers. Still, I thought that Edwards and Borovnjak played OK. Frazier not so much tonight.


#7

Good:
-Probably Babb and Brooks played their 2 best games of the season. Brooks’ stretch from 16-12 min mark of second half was the best 4 minutes I’ve ever seen him play. Babb’ shooting got us back in the game, and he even showed he can score off the bounce.
-The improved play of Brooks and Jones continues, where a month ago I was sure they were about to/had already checked out.

Bad:
-No answer when Jones got in foul trouble. Ott’s lack of speed and offensive game got us burned in the first half as MSU wasn’t even pretending to guard him. That forced Sasa to play meaningful minutes and he’s clearly not ready to that. It was telling that Ed went with the small lineup of Brooks/DJ/Edwards after Jones fouled out.

Not ugly but defnitely interesting
-Jeff Brooks was by far the most captivating player of the game. I couldn’t take my eyes off him in the 2nd half. Not only did he play like a monster in the 16-12 minute-mark stretch, but I’ve never seen him more emotional, especially at the defensive end. One time he practically berated DJ on the court after he blocked a shot but DJ’s man scored a layup, and at the end of the game Chris Babb of all people was trying to calm him down. It’s amazing how a guy can look disinterested for 2/3 of the season, then have a good game and all of a sudden he’s our most emotional player. Either way, good to have him back on board.


#8

[quote=“Skeeza, post:5, topic:915”]The 2 best plays of the game (in my opinion)…

1.) With about 13:50 remaining in the 2nd half, after calling hard for the ball in the paint and watching his teammate hit a 3, Brooks does the same thing next time down the floor. He gets the ball, turns to face the rim, and goes right after his defender. THAT’S what we are waiting to see out of Brooks.

2.) about 12 seconds left in the game, Babb has the ball stripped, and MSU passes it to a wide open man steeaking to the basket. Bill Edwards comes with a full sprint to deny the easoy bucket, slamming himself into the support while doing so. He gave it ALL on that play. Bill Edwards is going to be a fantastic player at PSU !!!

most troubling moment…

…the cameras catch Brooks coming close to a meltdown while walking off the court after the game. There were a few times during the game that Brooks was visibly troubled by some of the events of the game. He needs to pull it together.[/quote]
Brooks jawed at DJ after the block that he had and was then batted into a trailing Sparty who put it up and in. If Jeff plays with that much passion it will be a good thing for the team.


#9

I still can’t share the love for Brooks. I loved the way he was taking the ball to the basket tonight so I’m giving him major props for that. But his defense and rebounding were bad. He gave MSU several second chance opportunities by not getting a body on somebody on the defensive boards. He finds himself out of position on defense way too often. Only 2 rebounds - that’s horrible!

Some of the same stuff happens to the freshmen, but Brooks is a junior. He should have better court awareness and he needs to hustle more on defense.


#10

[quote=“bdroc, post:9, topic:915”]I still can’t share the love for Brooks. I loved the way he was taking the ball to the basket tonight so I’m giving him major props for that. But his defense and rebounding were bad. He gave MSU several second chance opportunities by not getting a body on somebody on the defensive boards. He finds himself out of position on defense way too often. Only 2 rebounds - that’s horrible!

Some of the same stuff happens to the freshmen, but Brooks is a junior. He should have better court awareness and he needs to hustle more on defense. [/quote]

I’m not gonna blame Brooks or Jones for the rebounding issues tonight. Everyone tries to point out specific events that the refs screwed up but for MSU seem to get away with a lot down low that lead to offensive boards. I know it’s part of the game but there was a stretch were a lot of over the back and shoving wasn’t called.


#11

Hey I am not going to say I have converted to the Church of Andrew & Jeff, but these guys have turned it around in the last 5 games. Too bad they didn’t start playing like this at the start of the Big 10. We could have been a middle of the pack team right now.


#12

Best efffort of the year. Rather than blowing leads, they kept fighting back from being down 10 or 11 points. Don’t really mind this loss as much as those games where they seemed lost on the court. They put together a very nice road game.


#13

Agree. Nothing more needs to be said.

This PSU bunch is playing some ball and has a little swagger in their step. Great to see.


#14

I really thought that the difference tonight was the number of easy looks that MSU was able to get at their offensive end, and the ball pressure and ability to deny our shooters at the other end. They just got a few more easy looks and it was the difference in the game. Our turnovers tonight weren’t unforced turnovers (mostly), they were the type of plays that you make when you’re on the road against a top-10 caliber team that can put so much ball pressure on you and force you to start the offense 30 feet from the basket.

Although it goes down as a loss, this was one of the best 2-3 games that we played all season. Brooks/Jones are the keys to next season, and they are starting to get it together (not an uncommon theme at this point in the season). It’s imperitive that they build off of this instead of starting over at square one. Though we missed some FTs, we made the front ends of 1-and-1’s which is something that’s killed us. Babb is really finding his stroke again and also has a servicable midrange jumper. If he and DJ can make shots, it adds a different element to our offense and opens up both Talor and the lane a lot more. Had PSU played at the level that they played tonight for all 18 games this Big Ten season, it would be a 10-8 type team. I really hope that the guys realize next season that it’s their last chance, and that we see this type of intensity and execution every night.

For those that comment on Sasa’s offense, I think it’s pretty clear that he has the offensive game to be a regular in the rotation. However, he still needs a lot of work at the defensive end. He just looks a step slow at the defensive end, but I don’t think it’s a quickness or speed issue as much as it’s needing to get more comfortable to this level of play. He’s always just a little unsure of when to switch on a screen or lets his man get a little too deep on the block to receive the ball. I think it will come to him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s seeing more minutes than Ott as the backup at the 5 at this point next season. I also think that we’ll have the opportunity to keep mixing and matching next year, as we say Brooks at the 5 for a stretch tonight and it might be necessary if we want to get all of our guards on the court next season. I think we might see Babb playing more and more at the 3 (or just simply going with a 3 guard offense), with Edwards/Jones/Brooks getting all of the minutes at the 4 and Brooks even sliding to the 5 if we want to go small and create a match-up problem. We probably can’t get away with that type of lineup in a m2m, however running a 1-3-1 or a 2-3 gives us a little more flexability in stretches.


#15
[quote="hoopla, post:12, topic:915"]Best efffort of the year. Rather than blowing leads, they kept fighting back from being down 10 or 11 points. Don't really mind this loss as much as those games where they seemed lost on the court. They put together a very nice road game.[/quote]

Agree. Nothing more needs to be said.

This PSU bunch is playing some ball and has a little swagger in their step. Great to see.

Even the TV guys mentioned that we played with a confidence and swager you don’t normally see from a team at the bottom of their conference. A lot of credit to the Kids and Coaches for hanging in there.

Ed has talked before about “we still have the b-10 tournament” when we’ve had difficult years, and I’ve laughed him off as being an unrealistic optimist. This year, I’m buying. We’ve been competitive with just about everyone. On TV they showed a “if they played today” bracket where we get NW in opener, then Purdue in Round 2… I would take that.


#16

MSU had an meaningful game at home with a big crowd. They came out like a young Mike Tyson looking for a quick knock out. ALMOST…got it but our guys hung together.
Excellent PSU effort. Played hard. Competed all game.
The Freshman have not really played well in the league except for a game or two. Learning curve. Two of them will be fine, with time.
MSU works (and fouls) so hard on most every rebound that they get away with a lot. Refs don’t want to blow the whistle every time down court. They have been playing this way for years. The refs are “used to it.”


#17

Exactly tundra…MSU has earned its reputation and will get the benefit of the doubt. Some of the calls against Jones were a little off, but for the most part I thought the refs were fair. In fact, I think PSU earned a good bit of respect from the refs for their play last night.

To go one further, every now and then Tim Frazier or Talor Battle will get called for a carry. Do you ever see Evan Turner get called for the same thing. No, even though when he’s trying to juke a player with his mean cross-over, he’s pretty much holding the ball in suspension, which in essence is a carry. But he does it that way all the time and has earned the free pass from the refs (Iverson was the same way). No argument here, just an illustration of how a player or team can develop a rapport with the refs. Battle has been getting some love from the refs on his drives to the hoop a lot too. Whistles blow when Talor goes crashing into the bigs down low. Next year, I expect to see him get even more love.


#18

In my opinion, it was a big mistake to go small after Jones fouled out. When MSU saw this, with the game at it’s most critical juncture, they turned the game into a layup/slam-dunking circus. Go back and look at the tape. Every shot thereafter was from ground zero. After this happend a few times, I thought DeChellis would adjust and bring in Ott. But he stubbornly watched as MSU dispalyed their slam-dunking skills.

I fully understand that Ott isn’t Bill Russell. But he is only marginally less effective than Jones. And he always provides a “physical presence” in the paint. With him in the game, I do not believe that MSU would have been so obsessed with slam dunking on every posession. Not that they couldn’t have, but very likely they wouldn’t have.

This was the wrong time to initate an experiment with no center. Just my observation and my opinion.


#19

In “hindsight” Ott would have been the best option. We had a 2 point when Edwards was backed into the seats by Green and scored an easy layup!

WHY do our 2 centers get so little respect! Ott has had a fine/OK year. MUCH better than expectations. Heck a few weeks ago it seems everybody was saying he should be our starter! Ott would have “held his ground” against Green!


#20

[quote=“Skeeza, post:5, topic:915”]most troubling moment…

…the cameras catch Brooks coming close to a meltdown while walking off the court after the game. There were a few times during the game that Brooks was visibly troubled by some of the events of the game. He needs to pull it together.[/quote]

Yeah, what was that about? It was like Brooks was mad he didn’t get the ball in the final possession. Maybe he should gotten the rebound himself. Despite having an inside position on the box along with DJ, Jeff was behind both Battle and DJ for the board. He’s often in no man’s land. Difference is, Battle’s willing to go get it. Jeff isn’t. Not sure that can be taught.

I can’t share the love either. By far his best game, in his career, I think, but something incomplete. How a 6’8" guy can be held to 2 rebounds in 27 minutes is hard to believe. It’s like he leaves them up to somebody else.