I hope everyone is feasting on Feast Week as much as I am! There is nothing better than food, family and excessive amounts of college basketball....Sigh. Bliss!
Unfortunately, a slightly less blissful part of my evening included MSU's loss to Connecticut. I know that techinically it counts as a "upset" because UConn is unranked and Michigan State was #2, but I'm not quite ready to say it was a total debacle. I refer you to the previous post, in which I said MSU would lose at least one game they shouldn't in the preseason that will make people question them...Well, they're over that hump. Pressure's off. ;)
I also think that UConn might also be slightly better than everyone gave them credit for...just a thought. Regardless of where they go from here, the Huskies played really well tonight and Kemba Walker has just been out of his mind...I think someone mentioned the kid has scored over 100 points in the last 3 games?!? Not surprising given he's a senior and has been a strong scoring threat his entire career at UConn.
As far as the Spartans go, I have mixed emotions. Obviously, it was a game they could have and should have won, so that's always disappointing. However, they didn't play "badly" so I can't say it was for lack of effort. HOWEVER, there were a few key issues--things that shouldn't happen given the level of experience on the team.
Missed free throws, not being able to grab rebounds (batting it around like a balloon is all fine and dandy and can often serve a useful purpose....but just grab the darn thing) and throwing the ball away down the stretch (Kalin Lucas, I'm talking to you) are things that won't get you a W in a late game situation. Annoying? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. But here's why I'm not freaking out:
1.) It's November. This kind of stuff happens early in the season and good teams remember and learn from it (and I do think Michigan State is a good team). I would MUCH rather see this now then in a tournament game. You can argue that Kalin's mistakes should be a concern, but at the same time, the kid also hasn't played in a game situation since the Sweet 16. I'm willing to cut him a little bit of slack as he gets back into it (but just a little).
2.) Tom Izzo is the head coach. There is no doubt in my mind that Izzo will make SURE they learn from what happened tonight.
3.) The vets of the team making some of those key mistakes (Lucas and Green) won't let themselves forget it. Not that I know them personally, but it seems like they're both too competitive to not use it as motivation to get better. And getting better is ALWAYS a good thing.
Off to watch the rest of K-State/Duke--PEACE!