Saturday, November 22, 2014

Michigan State 87, Loyola 52

I had the good fortune to attend last night's MSU basketball game win over the Loyola Ramblers.
In any of these non-conference blowout victories featuring mid-major and/or bottom feeder opponents, it's hard to tell whether it's the Spartans looking very good or the opponent looking very bad. Presumably, it's a little bit of both.
The Spartans deserve credit for coming out with energy and enthusiasm in their first game after the Duke loss. They jumped all over the Ramblers and held them to one bucket over the first eight minutes and 53 seconds of the game. The game was over, for all intents and purposes, after about the 10-minute mark of the first half.
I was impressed with the outside shooting of Marvin Clark, Jr., and the speed, ball-handling skills, and overall fearlessness of Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn, Jr. Travis Trice and Branden Dawson had excellent games. Matt Costello looked much better than he did against Duke, but still has a tendency to be a bit tentative. Denzel Valentine makes some remarkable passes and can look absolutely dazzling, but then have some puzzling mental lapses.
This team is a work-in-progress, and I still contend may surprise some people this year. It should be one of those years where we, as fans, need to keep our expectations modest and realistic and simply enjoy the ride.

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