I was just going to toss out a couple tweets, but this is probably slightly longer than a tweet, although it won't be the huge word vomit type I post I used to litter this blog with. Couple things I didn't like about the game, besides the soul crushing loss.
- The pick and roll. It flat out didn't work, and they went to it over and over and over and over and over again. The Spartans hard hedged/doubled the ball-handler every single time, and I can't remember a single time the roller got the ball. I haven't rewatched because I'm not a weirdo, but it's bizarre that they never hit the roller on a single pick and roll. Even if Michigan State covered the roller with help defense perfectly there should have been a skip pass that was memorable.
The only success they had with the pick and roll was when the ball handler would go the opposite way from the pick and get to the rim. I do remember this working with more than one of the guards a few times, but the success rate was just overall brutal. The team needs to switch things up, and use the pick and roll maybe to start the play, but with some kind of pick/screen action away from the ball to kick start things. This offense flat out did not work against the Spartans defense.
- Partially because of the bad offense, and partially because they screwed up like, every single fast break, the assists dropped off in this game. 11 assists on 20 made baskets, or 55%, below their season number of 62% (after this game). May not seem like much of a drop, but the prior games were 73%, 69%, 71%, and 72% and it seemed like the offense was humming. So this game was a bit of a fucking record scratch.
- Where was Springs? He played 17 minutes but I swear I hardly saw him in the second half or overtime. I now he's not the greatest, but he's shown he can light it up. If he's off he has little value and shouldn't play, but he only took two shots and the one he made was a bit of a tough one on a real quick catch and shoot. On a night where the offense mostly sucked, maybe giving your streakiest shooter more of a chance is a good idea?
- Reggie Lynch. Cut the shit. 11 minutes due to constant - CONSTANT - foul trouble. He's the most game changing player on this team and the team is totally different on both ends of the floor when he's in the game. Eleven god damn minutes. Knock it off. Bakary Konate has turned into a much better back-up than I expected, and he actually did a nice job on whoever that fat guy was who kept scoring, but Lynch is the most important player on this team. Eleven minutes. Stop being dumb.
- I think that's it. I thought both plays at the end of games with chances to win were fine. Shots didn't go in. Free throws sucked, and if we counted up the number of missed front ends of 1-and-1s maybe I'd feel different, but they shot 68.9% in this game, basically their season number (69.2%) and the overall college basketball number (69.6%). The real problem was the terrible second half offense. Be more interesting. And cut the shit with the weave to start every possession. It's not doing anything but wasting time.