Michigan State loses to 5 1/2 guys at home

Posted: February 21, 2010 by Jared Field in College

Can someone tell me how it’s possible for Michigan State to lose to a “team” comprised of 5 1/2 players?

Take a look at the box score from Sunday’s 74-67 loss to Ohio State. The Buckeyes had four players on the floor for all 40 minutes and still managed to pull out the victory.

This is at odds with conventional basketball wisdom, of course. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a team win big games without a bench — until now.

After the game, Coach Izzo referenced poor shot selection down the stretch and I’m quite sure he had a particular shot in mind: Kalin Lucas’ fall-away 18-footer that never had a chance. I’m amazed, to be honest, that against a team with one legitimate post player (who was in foul trouble, mind you) it was Kalin Lucas who took the most shots for the Spartans — 13.

At the end of the day, the Spartans would have had to win on the road against Purdue regardless of Sunday’s outcome. That being said, they NEVER win on the road against Purdue.

Eight losses (I’ve added Purdue)? I think that makes them a borderline #4 seed if the NCAA tournament started today.

  1. SBell says:

    UNC made the Final 4 in ’95 with a walk-on, Pearce Landry, as its sixth man. Of course, when your starting five is Rasheed, Stack, Jeff McInnis, Dante Calabria and Donald Williams, you don’t need a bench.

    • muthguy1 says:

      Does anyone know why Jeremie Simmons is not playing for Ohio State?

    • Jared Field says:

      Dickie V used to be infatuated with Dante Calabria.

      • SBell says:

        Envious of his hair. Wots was, pre cell phone, Dante’s girlfriend had to watch the first half of Carolina home games on tv, then run and tell him how the lettuce looked under the big lights. That was the season Dante won a game against (Maryland?) making a buzzer beat off his back. Also the season Stack had under and over dunk on Duke.

  2. mace says:

    osu has best starting 5 in B10 (including a top 5 nba pick and a future 1st rounder in Buford, msu nba players= 0)……maybe izzo needs to settle on 5-6 players who want to play hard 40 minutes — it’s not like he uses his “depth” to his advantage anyways. it’s not a coincidence that osu is rolling since letting their “depth” — hill and simmons — ride the pine. tell me one starter for msu that could start for osu?

    • Jared Field says:

      Kalin Lucas would start for them. Turner is not a natural PG.

      • mace says:

        Even Lucas is debate-able — while he has been clutch in many games — i’ve also seen him get shut down in big games ie Texas, Osu etc…….i have yet to see anyone come close to shutting down Turner this year — you don’t win in w.lafayette, champaign and e.lansing w/o having a pretty good team (osu also lead @ wvu by about 15 @ 1/2 time). Point is Turner w/o the ball has gotta be easier to guard than with it so i would still keep him at pg

      • Jared Field says:

        Well, it’s hard to argue with results.

        I agree with you on Lucas. He has been a no-show in too many big games.

  3. Why does no one seem to blame any of it on coaching? We are normally so quick to jump on a coach, but not so with Coach Izzo…

    • I’ve seen a bunch of articles on MSU this year with players talking about having no one like Suton, Gray, Walton, etc. (probably dating all the way back to Bell/Cleaves/Peterson/Smith) to lead. Not to lead on the court, but to help players recover mentally from the patented berating Izzo is known for.

      MSU doesn’t have that guy right now — my guess is it will be Dray Green — who is tough-minded enough and been around long enough to be able to ignore the mental beatdowns and help other players do the same. They have a bunch of quiet, talented yet mistake-prone guys who seem to react really sensitively to criticism from Izzo.

      To me, that’s the biggest criticism I have of Izzo this year — he hasn’t adjusted his personality to match that of his team.

      • PJR says:

        Can’t see Lucas as pro PG, just can’t. He’s a small SG that doesn’t shoot well, but puts up a lot of shots. Not good! Lucas does little creation for his teammate’s benefit. And Lucas is horrid at defense! Even the games that are touted, like PSU, PG Lucas scores 24 and yet PG Battle scores 30. IF you say Lucas didn’t cover Battle as excuse it’s even worse, as what will an NBA coach do when Lucas has to cover a Parker or even a Stuckey?? I’d take Neitzel as PG in the NBA over Lucas any day, because Neitzel’s defense as bad as it was is better than Lucas’, but Neitzel just washed out of obscure Euroball for not being able to cover any opponent PG! That’s called “foreshadowing”!!

      • That’s pretty much my point. Many of us, including those on this site, conveniently find a way to blame the players for certain coaches, and the coaches for certain players. Most of it is based on how we feel about them as individuals; whether we “like” them or not. Someone mentioned previously that Summers is looked at as a pro prospect, at least by one scouting service, so whose to blame that he is not displaying it now? Now remember in college the coaches get to “shop for the groceries” and “cook the meal”. We have to not allow personal feelings to make us biased. I’m not saying Izzo is a bad coach by any stretch of the imagination. Truth is, he just knows how to coach one way, one system, and one type of system player.

  4. G Mill says:

    MSU is overrated!! Izzo does not know how to coach athletes.. Could give a long list… He has a great system that works with the right players thus all his NCAA success… The athletes he has had always seem to leave early or dwindle away

  5. Kevin Jackson says:

    It boils down to coaching Izzo is too high on his system yeah that championship team was good but u did not have 7 guys that do the same thing on it…he had a team components Mateen a leader, Bell a shooter, peterson a slasher richardson a freak …. All Dogz only dawg on the team is Draymond Green…Durrell is a talent but he played Class d or c a tough game every now…that’s y he looks good every now and then… And all those boys from ohio are soft the pad stat playin against those sorry team in ohio they not dogz raymar morgan soft… chris hill 1 dimensional soft delvon roe over weight and totally different player than he was in high school soft…hopefully izzo don’t try to play Appling like Brandon Cotton cause Appling is a Dawg I wish izzo would pay me to scout for him….

  6. Kevin Jackson says:

    And the wonder y Michigan was blackball in the Mcdonalds game for 3 yrs I’m glad they let the dogz in this yr…Every dog izzo has had went to not these poodles with all this hype … Don’t get me wrong Izzo is the man system won’t work with poodles and 1 dog in Draymond Green….how the heck u gonna have a beware of dawg sign with a miniature doberman in the yard c’mon son

  7. Sloc says:

    Kalin Lucas is the most overrated player in the country. You mentioned the one bad shot he took. He CONSTANTLY takes bad shots. Sure he’s had some nice games… Against Minnesota Penn State and Michigan.

    Outside of a huge shot against Kansas in the tourney, what has this guy ever done against a big time opponent? Nothing…

    He was 3-13 against Ohio State. Typical for him in a big game. And on top of that he’s not the leader this team needs. I had a guy tell me he’s the next Chris Paul.. Really? Anyone who thinks this guy has a shot in the NBA is crazy, let alone the next CP3.

    • He’ll get a shot in the NBA because he’s quick and the point guard crop outside of John Wall is weak. I don’t know whether or not he’ll be good, but he’s going to get taken in the late first or early second round if he comes out this year. The NBA is a guards league now, so he’ll get a shot.

      To compare him to Chris Paul is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard though.

      • mace says:

        nba covets big pg’s so lucas is probably the 3rd or eve 4th nba pg prospect in the B10 alone after E.Moore, McCamey and maybe even Battle. As far as Summers in the nba — that’s a joke — guys like him are a dime a dozen in major college b-ball — he has a low bball iq and when is the last dime he took someone off the dribble and got to the rack in a 1/2 court set? he doesn’t have confidence off the bounce — reminds me of Torbert. Unless the light bulb goes off (maybe he should find out what Allen did over the summer cause he’s much improved this year) soon i just don’t see it.

      • http://www.nbadraft.net/ranking/positional

        Summers to nba may not be as far-fetched as you may think

      • Jared Field says:

        This is one issue that I will always have with the NBA. In the point guard rankings, they have Lucas listed at #9. That’s fair, but I just can’t get my mind around this idea that he is an upgrade at PG over Cleaves. I know Mateen could never shoot the ball that well, but it’s not like Lucas is really stroking it. I just don’t think Cleaves would have let MSU lose yesterday.

      • Trust me….I’m not putting him ahead of Cleaves at all.

    • Jared Field says:

      Yeah man. I often think of the meetings Lucas had with Ty Lawson. He got destroyed. I really loved this kid’s game in high school, but I’m going to have to agree with you. He’s a little overrated.

      Evan Turner though…he’s serious. And yesterday was pretty mediocre by his standards.

  8. Sloc says:

    If Kalin comes out this year he’s nuts. Can you say Marcus Taylor?

    He’s too small, can’t shoot at all, and takes the dumbest shots I’ve ever seen. How many times have you see kalin fly through the lane out of control then just throw the ball at the hoop? That doesn’t work in the Big 10 let alone the NBA.

    If his NBA career matchs Dee Brown from Illinois it will be considered a success.

  9. Kevin Jackson says:

    I got it!
    It boils down to recruiting! U can’t turn a poodle into a killer in 4 years…Mike Garland, Tom Crean, Brian Gregory, Stan Heath never recruited these kinda kids wait except for Allen anderson…I don’t know what going on now but u got a 5’10 version (Kalin) 6’3 version (Chris Hill) 6’8 version (Raymar Morgan, 6′ 4 version Durrel Summers all versions of Allen Anderson… correct me if I’m wrong but was the Isiah Dahlman kid supposed to be a major player when he was brought in 4 years ago he is David Hart all over again…

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