Friday, December 16, 2011

SPAR-tans, blah blah, What is your blah blah PROFESSION

The Falcons make their second trip in two years to the Breslin Center tomorrow to take on what is probably the best team they will play all season, the Michigan State Spartans.  They went 0-2 (one loss at sea to UNC and one to Duke is MSG) but then have been all "how you like me now" in the past few weeks, ripping off 8 straight wins, including beating EMU by 32, Florida State by 16, Milwaukee by 13 and then winning @Gonzaga.

Just as a reminder, the Spartans are slated to play in the Stroh next season.

They are 6-0 at home this year and were 12-3 last year.  They are very tough to beat on their floor.  Speaking of last year, BG did play there and the result was as painful as feared, with MSU beating BG 74-39.

With 18 left, it was 28-23 Spartans, and from there, it was, yeah, 46-16.  At .59 points per possession, it was BG's worst offensive game of the season by .14 points per possession (WKU).  It was the 65th worst offensive game in all of D1 that year and the worst for BG since 1998 when they lost 53-41 to UT.

Now, MSU was #6 at that time and they are ranked in the 20s this year.  Anyway.

Coach said in his presser this week that you know what you are getting from the Spartans, and you do.  They are 11th in the nation in defensive efficiency (.83 points per possession), 23rd in Effective FG% defense, and 13th in defensive rebounds.  They are also 17th in assists.  They get 39% of their available offensive rebounds, which is also in the top 50 in the country.

This is not a team that shoots the 3 very well, but their overall shooting is around 47% which is in the top 1/4 of the country.  On offense, these guys really do play in the paint and on defense, they play very good field goal defense, don't try to pressure for turnovers and limit second chances.

I'm sure you already know more about these guys than you did about Howard.

Individually, they are led by Draymond Green, the 6'7" F who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals.

So G Keith Appling is also scoring in double figures and Brandon Wood is nearly in double figures from the other G position.  They really have two true bigs who split 35 minutes between them, but obviously they have guys like Green who are strong and beast-like on the inside.

Obviously, this is one of those games.  Every year, some of these games go to the underdog--not very often, but it does happen.  For it to happen, BG will need to play absolutely as well as they are capable of playing, especially on defense and then find a hot shooting hand or four.

Game will the on the Big Ten Network, and we'll be watching.


ZiggyZoomba said...

Just a SLIGHT correction... it's at least the Falcons' third trip to the Breslin Center. I was actually there for the very first trip, the first regular season game ever in the Breslin Center, when Clint Venable hit a last second shot to shock Sparty and send BGSU home with a big 81-79 win in December of 1989!

Orange said...

Thanks....I thought previous trips had been at Jenison. Hopefully, the Falcons can deliver a similar surprise!

Noel said...

At least the fourth as I attended another time when the falcons along with lefty driesell's georgia southern team were in a holiday tourney in '94 Or '95. As an aside, I own the orange #11 Clinton Venable jersey that was worn during that historic victory mentioned above.