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MSU vs UNC Game Thread
Nov 26th, 2017 by Kindle

 

Michigan State vs. North Carolina Tonight

TEAM PPG PA FG% RPG APG BPG SPG STRK

92.8 73.6 49.4 44.6 19.0 4.6 5.4 W5

84.4 66.6 52.3 40.2 19.2 6.8 5.2 W3

GAME INFORMATION 
Who: No. 4 Michigan State (4-1) vs. No. 9 North Carolina (5-0)
When: 8:30 p.m. ET
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Ore.
TV: ESPN
Radio: Spartan Sports Network, WJIM-AM (1240)/WMMQ-FM (94.9) in Lansing, WJR-AM (760) in Detroit
Line: Michigan State -2
Twitter: Follow Kyle Austin

The Spartans are coming off a 20-15 season that ended in a loss to Kansas in the Round of 32. Ranked second nationally to enter the season, Michigan State has a couple of cupcake blowouts sandwiched around a loss to No. 1 Duke. The Spartans were picked as the preseason Big Ten winner by the conference’s coaches.  MSU’s best player is still recovering from a sprained ankle and, thus, Miles Bridges is the wild card for MSU in this game.

In the previous thread Jersey John noted the following: “announcers for tonight’s hoops game are roxy Bernstein and bill Walton. never heard of her and I don’t recall Walton ever doing a Spartan game. I predict I will hate them both by games end.”  (A general discussion followed with a majority agreeing on all points except for Roxy’s gender)

UNC PLAYERS: Luke Maye is Carolina’s first player to score 100 points (106) and grab 50 rebounds (54) in a season’s first five games since Antawn Jamison in 1996-97.  This guy can score from any situation on the floor.  He is a Wooden Award Watch Candidate along with teammate Joel Berry.  You will also hear Kenny Williams and Theo Pinsons’ names called tonight.

More on Luke Maye: “A year ago, Luke Maye was an undersized forward buried on the depth chart behind future NBA players Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks and Tony Bradley. Maye was one of the wholesale substitutions Roy Williams would use to prove a point when his starting five wasn’t playing well.  But then March happened. Maye was the Most Outstanding Player of the South Regional after posting a double-double against Butler and netting the game-winner against Kentucky. Now, after dropping career highs in points (28) and rebounds (16) against Arkansas, Maye is a legitimate National Player of the Year candidate.”

* This will be the 16th meeting in the history of the two schools. North Carolina has won 12 of the 15 games overall, including seven straight. Tom Izzo is 2-10 against the Tar Heels. In the last meeting, an unranked North Carolina team beat No. 1 Michigan State in December, 2013.

* Michigan State has now advanced to the championship game of its preseason tournament for the fourth time in the last five years. Two of those times, the Spartans have won the tournament: the 2013 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic and the 2015 Wooden Legacy.

* Michigan State has lost five straight games against teams in the AP Top 10, dating back to its 2016-17 season-opener. Its last win over an AP Top 10 team was in January, 2016 against Maryland.

* North Carolina beat Arkansas, 87-68, in a semifinal game to qualify for the championship game. Junior forward Luke Maye notched career-highs in points (28) and rebounds (16).

* Spartans forward Miles Bridges returned from a one-game absence due to a sprained ankle in Michigan State’s semifinal win over Connecticut. He played 17 minutes in the game.

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Some will say this is merely an early season test or measuring stick; that it’s what happens in March that really matters, and will shrug off a loss at this juncture.

Shrug if you will, but there is no denying that it is important to win a game like this.  Such wins are what helps to ensure a team gets a coveted No. 1 seed in the NCAAs. Experts feel that seed is “most important in helping better ensure a team advances to the Sweet 16 and possibly the Elite 8 before really playing a team that has the likelihood of matching up well.”

GO GREEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MSU at Rutgers Game Thread
Nov 25th, 2017 by Kindle

QB Brian Lewerke has now had two less than stellar games in a row, on the heels of back-to-back 400 yard performances. That said, Lewerke has been a huge part of this bounce-back season. I look for a return to top flight play today.

Michigan State will try to pick up its ninth win when it travels to play Rutgers on Saturday, Nov. 25, in New Jersey. The game will kick off at 4 p.m. ET and will be televised by FOX.

That is correct, you read it right….9th win.  And we have every right to believe it will be a win today.  And if that happens, it will represent an unprecedented turnaround~~~going from a 3-9 season in 2016 to a 9-3 record this year, putting them one bowl victory short of finishing with 10 wins.

In the words of Jeff Lubeck, as whispered to Mark Dantonio, No. 16 Michigan State has a chance to “flip it” when it meets Rutgers in the regular-season finale for both teams on Saturday at High Point Solutions Stadium at 1 Scarlet Knight Way, Piscataway, NJ 08854.

[Piscataway? Really?]

Which brings us to this:  There might be only one way MSU is not awarded a victory today.  What might that be?

To that, I simply say FAT chance!! A loss to a bad Rutgers team is simply unacceptable.

 

Tale of the Tape:

Michigan State:

Record — 8-3, (6-2 Big Ten)

Offense — 373.5 total yards per game (8th in Big Ten), 214.8 passing yards per game, 158.7 rushing yards per game, 21.5 points per game

Defense — 314.6 yards allowed per game (4th in Big Ten), 205.5 passing yards allowed per game, 109.2 rushing yards allowed per game, 21.5 points allowed per game

Rutgers:

Record — 4-7 (3-5 Big Ten)

Offense — 276.4 total yards per game (12th in Big Ten), 117.2 passing yards per game, 159.2 rushing yards per game, 19 points per game

Defense — 395.6 yards allowed per game (11th in Big Ten), 216.3 passing yards allowed per game, 179.4 rushing yards allowed per game, 27.3 points allowed per game.GREEN!!!

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UPDATING SPARTAN BASKETBALL

The next Spartan Basketball game will feature #4 MSU vs #9 UNC. That game will tip off at 8:30 PM Sunday night on ESPN for the PK80 Victory Bracket Championship Game.

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Miami vs Pitt

Miami’s perfect season is over as Pitt upset the #2 Hurricanes 24-14 yesterday.

 

PK80 Kick’s Off – Spartans Shake Loose Win Game 1 – UConn Next
Nov 24th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

 

MSU’s Matt McQuaid drives to the basket. Fouled he sank both shots from the Free-Thow Line.

16 Men’s and 4 Women’s teams – All of the teams are sponsored by Nike Athletics.

  

The 16 team – three day – one city Men’s tournament honoring 80 year-old Phil Knight kicked off on Thanksgiving in Portland Oregon.  The teams will play again on Friday and Sunday.  A four-team double-header for Women’s basketball honoring Knight will be played in Eugene, Oregon on Saturday. The event is the brainchild of Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis and has been six-years in the making.

Michigan State University is represented in both the Men’s and Women’s events.

After beating DePaul (73 – 51) late on Turkey Day, the Spartans Men’s (3-1) team will face the Huskies of the University of Connecticut(4-0) at 11:59 PM ET (ESPN).  UConn defeated Phil Knight’s Alma-Mater; Oregon 71-63.

The MSU vs. UConn theme continues on Saturday as the Women’s teams face off in Eugene 11AM ET (ESPN3).

In the game against DePaul, MSU was in the giving mood in the first half.  Turnovers, fouls, allowing for open shots and, disinterest in rebounding was the theme.  At one point in the first half – four of the five Spartan Starters were sitting on the bench with 2 fouls.  The game was tied 31-31 at the half for a few basic reasons.  Despite a multitude of opportunities DePaul shot poorly from the field (25%).  For the Spartans it was Matt McQuaid’s 3-4 and Josh Langford’s 2-3 shooting from beyond the arc that kept MSU close.

In the 2nd half MSU got their act together;  fewer turnovers, more rebounding and continued good shooting.  The result: a 22 point gap favoring MSU.  McQuaid continued his hot hand shooting another set of 3-4 from beyond the arc.  Jared Jackson contributed heavily in point and rebounds (finishing with 13-10).  For the 2nd straight game Freshman Xavier Tillman made the most of his 14 minutes contributing 6 points and gathering 4 rebounds.

 

New Nickname?
Nov 21st, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

 

In my book, Flip is a cool name.  Originally to call someone “flip” was meant as a slur or disrespect.  But then came Flip Wilson  and Flipper – cool… extremely cool.  The late Flip Saunders was a winner and a good man!  It is fascinating (to me at-least) how names and phrases change meaning over time.  Yet, for example, the original meaning for Dakich ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ is “one who is insightful, and brilliant in mind and word.”  This definition appears to remain true today as well.  Would not everyone agree?

If the MSU Spartans beat Rutgers in football this weekend the team will have flipped its record from last year 3-9 to 9-3.  The leader of the effort is a guy named Mark Dantonio.  If MSU wins, should MD get a new nickname of “Flip”?  And if Mark’s counter-part in Ann Arbor loses to the Acorns should he be knicknamed “Flip-flop.” ?

In the end I will defer to TUS resident Knicknameologist; USMC(retired).  However I thought general membership might want to weigh on the matter?

Note: Wilson was misnamed Nelson in an earlier version.  All printed editions of this post are to be burned.

Two Topics for One: Lack of Depth on the Bench and MSU Men’s Basketball Gamethread (Stoney Brook)
Nov 19th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Topic #1:  Lack of Depth on the Bench.

MSU’s victory in College Football left a lot to be desired.  However a win-is-a-win and there should be no discounting the Spartans turn-around.  Go Green!

However, can the broadcast networks be doing a poorer job of providing sportscasters and commentators for these regional\national contests? And the half-time talent?  Big names with little-to-no background covering and commenting on the college game.

Let us put the subject of bias off to the side.  Way off to the side!

Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman were about as bad as it gets.  Both were ill-prepared. Their game-call was mistake-ridden from start to finish.  It would probably be easier to count the number of times a play sequence did not include some type of announcing error.  And hey,wasn’t it great that MSU Alum Holly Sonders was the field reporter!  Did we get a report from the field? Seriously! Other than the self engrandizing “coming home” half-time segment, did Holly actually make a report from the field while the game was in progress?  Holly covers golf (with a good deal of competence).  College football?  Shame on you FOX!

As we are all aware, the issue is not isolated to this game or FOX.  What has happened?  Not enough money left-over after the payment to the conferences to hire good talent?  Too many games broadcast and not enough time for preparation?  Potential Announcers know that USMC(retired) and JerseyJohn are going to offer public ridicule so they have chosen another profession?  For example, where are the days of ABC Wide World of Sports and Jim McKay, Bill Flemming, and Chris Schenkel.  Gosh, Chris Schenkel’s call made bowling exciting! Do I have Rose Colored Glasses on this topic?

Topic #2: MSU Men’s Basketball Gamethread (Stoney Brook)

The Spartans take on Stoney Brook.  The Seawolves play in the American East Conference.  They are 0-3 so far this year – losing all games by double-digits.

If you are saying to yourself “hey why I am thinking Stoney Brook as being a pretty good team.”  Stoney Brook used to be a good team.  The Seawolves jumped into Division 1 basketball at the turn-of-the century (gosh that sounds weird).  Coach Steve Pikiell was retained soon after and Stoney Brook starting winning at a high-level.  From 2009-2016 Stoney Brook almost always finished around 22 and something, play in the American East Conference Title Game (usually losing to Vermont) and go to the NIT\CBI.  In 2016 Stoney Brook won the American East Title and made the NCAA Tournament – losing to Kentucky as #13 seed.  Pikiell was hired by Rutgers.  Jeff Boals left his position as an Assistant Coach at the Ohio State and was named Head Coach at Stoney Brook last season.  The Seawolves finished 17-12.

The Seawolves lost 76-61 (in Uniondale NY) to the team representing the heritage of Henrietta Maria of France and Queen Consort of England and Ireland.

Visitors Representing Mary’s Land Travel to East Lansing – Spartan Football Gamethread
Nov 18th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Henrietta Maria of France – Queen Consort of England and Ireland. Mother of the Maryland Terrapins.

The up and down and highly unpredictable Terrapins of Maryland (4-6) are in East Lansing take on the Spartans of Michigan State (7-3) in college football.  The Terrapins need to win both games in order to become Bowl Elegibile.  That is unless there are not enough eligible teams and Maryland is at the top of the losers bracket (best 5-7 record and best graduation rate).  The Spartans are playing for bigger prizes.

Schooled Again! MSU Retains its Also-ran Status Against Duke
Nov 14th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

Two of the very best, if not The Best two teams in college basketball for 2017-18 collided on the court tonight in Chicago in the Champions Classic.  What a great game for basketball followers.

However, for the 11th out of 12 times Coach K. and Duke beat Coach I and Michigan State.  The score this time: 88-81.

Why?  Because I believe Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski (the 70 year-old Chicago native) continues learn and adapt like few others. The Blue Devils presented a Zone Defense that MSU could not figure-out how to overcome. How many times over the years has this situation presented itself?  Too many!

Coach Izzo – who we love to no end – at age 62 – simply has never figured out to beat an average zone defense – let alone a great one.  Add to the fact that MSU does not possess a lock-down perimeter defender (e.g., Mateen Cleeves or Travis Walton) and you have a loss on the schedule.

Ironically I think MSU has the player personnel to win a national title. However, I do not think MSU has the coaching personnel to establish a [sic., game plan] that offers MSU a chance to run-the-table at tournament time.

MSU has a wonderful basketball program, a Hall-of-Fame Head Coach, and a great team for the 2017-18 season. However, MSU will ultimately remain an also-ran in the NCAA Tourney until it learns to adapt its game-plan through some new blood and line of thinking from the coaching staff.

Harsh?  Yes.  Accurate? I think so.

 

#1 vs. #2 Yes… But This Is No National Title Game
Nov 13th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

 

College Basketball in the United States has a bevy of problems. If Vin Scully were making the call he would likely announce “College Basketball has a varietal cornucopia of opportunities for improvement – let the 1964-65 season begin – first shot by Skip Thoren wide right off the rim and into the hands of UCLA’s Goodrich who forwards the ball towards Keith Erickson but it is intercepted by Tai Brody of Illinois.” If you disagree I have a hotel room in China to discuss with you the finer details of this line of thinking.

On Tuesday Night (11/14/2017) in Chicago at the United Center #1 Duke faces #2 Michigan State in the Champions Classic.  Four years ago – almost to the day – the #2 Spartans defeated the #1 Kentucky Wildcats 78-74 in the same arena in the same sporting contest.  Is there a statistical correlation of high probability to discuss? It think not, but I will leave it to 89 Chemistry for analysis and comment.

Duke is the AP Preseason #1 in 2017.  The Blue Devils have received this distinction 8 times previously and it has it has won the national title one time – 1991-92, and made the final twice.  It should be noted that the #1 Wildcats of Kentucky (of 2013) finished the regular season un-ranked, but advanced to the National Semi-Final as an at-large team.  So much for the Rankings.

The Spartans under Tom Izzo are 1-10 against Coach K. and Duke.  Will the Spartans defeat the Blue Devils?  Does it matter?  The answer to both questions (in early November) is: I do not know and who cares!

What does matter (from an entertainment and competitive sport value) is that two of the top college basketball programs in the United States can meet and go toe-to-toe during the regular season and the result does not single-handedly establish success or failure for the season.

Bus Driver Identified
Nov 11th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

November 11,2017

Columbus, Ohio (TUS Breaking News)

Urban Meyer, Head Coach of the Ohio State University Football team was released Saturday night on his own recognizance by Franklin County Public Safety Officials after being charged with Hit-and-run of an opposing football team.  A review of the video replay by game officials have confirmed the ruling. The complaint includes the naming of 107 OSU players as accomplices. Meyer was also charged with a number of other offenses which include (but are not limited to):

Driving a state vehicle (a bus) with intent to harm.

Driving a state vehicle (a bus) beyond its seating capacity (84).

Ospreys at Spartans – Gamethread
Nov 10th, 2017 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The University of North Florida swoops down into East Lansing MI to take on Michigan State in Men’s Basketball.  The game kicks off the 2017-2018 Regular Season for both teams.

The Spartans were 3-0 for the exhibition season.  The Ospreys did not participate in any events recognized as exhibition games.  The Spartans are favored by 30 points.

The Osprey play in the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-SUN).  It would be easy to suggest that the Osprey’s could answer to the call name Sacrificial Lambs (if this post were created by USMC(retired)).  However, ask the recent BIG teams from Illinois and Purdue.  In the 2015/2016 the Illini were trounced 93-81 in the season opener in Champaign by the Osprey’s.  UNF went 22-12 in 2015/2016.  In 2014/2015 the Boilermakers were humiliated in West Lafeyette, with an early season loss to the Osprey (73-71). UNF went 23-12 in 2014/2015.

For a reality check UNF played MSU in the 2013/2014 season and lost by 30 (78-48) in a Christmas Break game in the Breslin.  Adreian Payne scored 19 for MSU.  Russell Byrd added 10 off the bench and Gavin Schilling contributed 7 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes of action.  The Osprey head to Harbaughland for a game against scUM in Ann Arbor on Saturday.  On Monday the Osprey’s fly into Richmond VA to take on VCU.  GoSt8Go’s cats (Lilly, Snickers and Socks?) will possibly act as the BirdPatrol.

 

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