Michigan at Michigan State Discussion Thread


They had a terrible week and obviously are playing very poorly right now but they had plenty of wins that flexed their potential dominance in the early season.

Maryland by 30
Nebraska by 29
Norte Dame by 18
UNC by 18 (held them to 45 points)
UConn by 20


I think that is a problem that plenty of coaches would love to have :slight_smile: Blow outs are generally good, even if there are some off moments, that’s just basketball.

As far as their schedule? The conference slate is definitely light with single plays against OSU, Michigan and Purdue. Ohio State’s is light too. Problem is that the Big Ten as a whole is pretty light.

I don’t really blame them for the non-conference schedule… They played Duke, UNC on neutral floors. Won their bracket at the PK80. Beat ND in the Challenge.

I guess maybe they could go one more home-and-home, but probably was smart with the Big Ten games in December to skip it.


I wonder how their future opponents will learn from Beilein and Haltmann. Suddenly, the biggest bully on the block has clearly exploitable weaknesses and everyone wants to lay their revenge on him. If Izzo does not make necessary adjustments, it could turn ugly pretty fast.


What are we saying is their exploitable weakness?


sluggish halfcourt offense, Ward unable to pass off double team, Winston’s one-on-one defense


Still think it is a pretty tough ask to a) take away their entire transition offense b) defend all of their halfcourt stuff c) effectively double ward d) hope that Langford isn’t hitting.


Honestly all they need to do is play Bridges at 4 more and I think a lot of their problems go away. He’s an ideal 4. In fact, imagining him in Beilein’s system at the 4 is scary to think about.


Obvious problem there is that moving Bridges up means more minutes for McQuaid or Tum Tum.


not only OSU and M beat them convincingly, even Rutgers went to their house and almost took it down. They were a bully that everyone fears, and I don’t think that this is true anymore.


OK – If MSU is broken, what is the next game they lose?


The funniest part of not playing Bridges at the 4 is that the main excuse is their lack of guard and wing depth.

Winston, Tum, Langford, McQuaid that’s it.

It’s been 4 seasons and those are the only recruits at the 1-3 positions he has landed. Pretty sure he’s signed like six guys that can only play the 5 in that time span.


Exactly, I suspect that lack of backcourt depth was a big factor that Izzo kept Ward on Wagner. Even if Langford was able to hold off Matthews, which I doubt. MAAR would do whatever he wants to McQuaid or Tum Tum.


Agreed that playing Tum Tum or McQuaid is not ideal but it’s worth a shot at least.

Also agreed that it’s outrageous development/recruiting malpractice that those are their only options on the wing. I know Ahrens is injured but all he’s been is a low-rent McQuaid.

Man, Izzo is lucky that Bridges came back cause I don’t know what they’d be doing without him.


I’m not saying you can’t go to it, I think it would be effective for 10-15 mins per game with a Bridges-Jackson at the 4-5. McQuaid is a solid defender and can hit open shots, I don’t see why you don’t try it.


Yeah, at that point you’re trading the matchups of: [Moe v Ward, MAAR v Langford] for [Moe v JJJ, MAAR v McQuaid]. Sure seems like MSU would prefer they neutralize Moe, even if MAAR might eat. And, Izzo played the matchups so that their best defender (JJJ) was guarding our lowest-usage player (Livers), typically just sitting in a corner.


the game was back and forth before Wagner broke Ward’s ankle, then it was too late to make any adjustment


Just because the game is close doesn’t mean you can’t make an adjustment.


What would failing to guess their next loss prove? I don’t think anyone is trying to prove they are a “broken” team. I just think it is reasonable to a) recognize that they have some flaws; and b) reassess the probability of them getting a great seeding in the tournament. Even if they win all 3 of their toughest games that will still give them only 6 kenpom top 50 wins, as kenpom rankings stand now. I am not sure how “elite” that best case scenario is going to look when you put it down on paper and compare it to the rest of the field.


They still seem like a team that will go 26-5 or 27-4 n the regular season, win the Big Ten Tournament and get a 1 or 2 seed. Is that that much different than what people expected?

I do think that Purdue has to be the Big Ten regular season favorites right now though.


I’m just not sure I see how they can get to a 1 or 2 seed with their schedule and resume thus far. Even if they win the Big Ten tournament, I don’t see it.

Heading into the Big Ten tournament, their top resume wins would be: Neutral UNC, Home against fading Notre Dame and Home against Purdue. (I guess thinking more they’d HAVE to win the Big Ten tournament, which you said. Still might be tough to bump them up)