Previewing Michigan State

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.

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Terps vs. Youngstown St. Thread

I couldn’t help myself and plopped down the $5.95 on ACC Select to watch the Terps tonight. 

So I’ll be chiming in throughout the game with my thoughts.

– Another slow start by the Terps with Vazquez looking oh so familiar.  Bad passes from Vaz and some bad shot selection.

– Sean Mosley came in and hit a short J off the glass, then nearly airballed a long 2, but also took a charge. 

– Defense looks good early, but the offense could be a major problem.  They are missing shots they should be making.  They are down 8-4 at 1st timeout.

 

– Milbourne playing well.  He’s got 4 points and took a charge.  (That’s 2 already, who are we, Duke!!?)

– Mosley a little out of control, but had a nice assist to Milbourne.

– Bowie came in for Hayes to run the point.

– Game tied at 10 after 2nd timeout. (JSK has entered the game)

 

– Kim had a nice steal, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1.  The good free throw shooting from Game 1 has disappeared.  They have missed 5 FT’s already.  Kim did hit a nice 3 coming off a screen, but he seems a little flat-footed on defense. 

– The offense doesn’t seem to have much flow with Vaz and Hayes out of the game.  Bowie is doing okay, but besides Milbourne, there was no scorer on the floor for the last few minutes.  Defense is still decent.

– Terps up 17-16

 

– Great couple minutes for the Terps.  The defense started to get to the Penguins and they forced a ton of turnovers.  Vazquez started to assert himself offensively and made some shots.  Eric Hayes had a pretty darn good block and the Terps are on a 12-0 run to take a big lead.

Halftime:  Terps up 37-18.  Defense took over and helped us score some easy baskets.  Outside shooting has been miserable so far, but not needed tonight.  After watching one half, we will have some major holes this season, but defense is the ultimate equalizer, so if they can play good D, they’ll have a chance in most games.

 

– Second half, Vazquez took over.  He’s so much better overall than these guys.  He’s got 28 points with about 8 minutes left in the game.  Outside shooting still struggling for the most part, but they haven’t really needed it tonight. 

– Mosley looks like a pure energy guy.  Even though he makes mistakes, he’s all over the court. 

Terps win 73-49

They looked good at times, but if this was against a really good team, we might have been smoked.  Defense was good, but Youngstown missed a lot of open shots that teams like Michigan State will not miss.  The offense is a work in progress and they need to start hitting some shots.  Gary said as much after the game.  Gary also asked Terp students who have tickets and are not using them to give them to others.  He really seems to be annoyed at the lack of fan support in these early games.

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