Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Every point Jahlil Okafor scored felt like a punch in the gut

...or so it seemed to me last night watching Coach K and Duke beat Michigan State yet again.
It made me want to cry seeing how damned good Okafor is, and how much MSU could have used him in a season in which they--at least for now--have no low post players.
I'm sure Tom Izzo felt about the same.
There has been lots of hand-wringing on the Red Cedar Message Board about MSU's defeats on the recruiting trail, and how all the good players are going to Duke, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Well, hasn't that pretty much always been the case for years now?
The harsh reality is that Michigan State is not a blue blood program and may never be. Heaven knows Izzo has done everything he can to get blue chippers to MSU, and has sometimes succeeded, but it will always be difficult going up against the likes of basketball aristocracy.
I didn't expect the Spartans to win, so I approached the game as calmly as I ever do with MSU sports. Since Dick Vitale was the color commentator and I assumed he'd be slobbering all over Duke, I turned the TV volume all the way down.
I was pleased with MSU's effort, but the team is undermanned and has a long way to go, though their ceiling seems high and the team should be much better in March than it is now. (Isn't that the case with every Izzo team?). Travis Trice had another good game, and Branden Dawson was much better than he was against Navy. Bryn Forbes started and played 30 minutes and displayed that smooth shooting stroke that had been advertised.
The main issues for this team are lack of size and nobody who is a threat as a low post player. Matt Costello will need to step up his game.

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