I can’t start this without sharing this quote from MSU coach Tom Izzo today:
“Vazquez is like the ‘Magic Johnson’ of Maryland”
Now, he meant it as to say Vaz does everything for the team, including being the leading rebounder, but it just made me chuckle to hear him say that!
I’m listening to Izzo’s press conference today (an advantage by working in the media in Detroit), and Izzo shared his thoughts on the Terps. He was very complimentary as you would expect with him being buddies with Gary.
Good news for us is that their senior big man Goran Suton is not expected to play much if at all due to a knee injury. He’s the type of guy who could have dominated the boards with putbacks both on the offensive and defensive glass. Marquis Gray will be playing and he’s a big guy who we should be aware of, as is Delvon Roe.
The Spartans guards are very quick, so we’ll have to do a very good job taking care of the ball. It will be difficult to press them as well.
This will be a difficult game as I don’t think we match up well with Michigan State. But you never know what can happen, and the gutsy win last Friday could help the guys’ confidence going into a big time atmosphere.
Obviously our guard play will be key in this one as I’m sure they’ll zone us a lot, but if we can get both Hayes and Vaz to get aggressive (not too aggressive Vaz!), and drive to the basket, then dish, or at least look to get fouled, we can have a chance. With a zone defense, we could look to JSK to try and get hot from the outside and make them pay, but JSK is very slow on the defensive side of the court, so it’ll be a pick your poison.
If our guys can match MSU’s physical play down low, it could make a difference, but I have yet to see our bigs be able to do that against much smaller competition, let alone a Big Ten team. It’ll take a great effort to win this game, but do they have a chance? Yes, sure they do.