Michigan State basketball: A tale of two Spartan teams at Nebraska
It was the worst of halves; it was the best of halves. Michigan State basketball played out both scenarios I laid out in the last post. They came out flat and had a hard time putting the ball in the basket which is, I don’t know, one of the top five objectives you have in basketball.
Open looks, contested shots, bunnies, long twos, short threes. Nothing. I had to watch back-to-back logo threes from Sam Griesel and Keisei Tominaga. The second Tom Izzo called that timeout, my thought was “oh, it’s going to be one of those games,” and everyone knows what I’m talking about judging by the tweets that flooded my timeline.
I’ll be honest here. I only watched the first half.
I was in a hotel room in Romulus because my wife and I were flying out to Fort Myers, Fla., on a plane leaving at 5:45 a.m. which called for a 3:05 a.m. alarm. That was my lasting impression of the Spartans. The 12-point deficit at the half was enough to disrupt what little sleep I was allowed. I had to apologize to my wife (whose birthday is today) for being such a grump about this Jekyll and Hyde team.
Lucky for me, my wife’s annoyance towards me was redirected at the fact that all of Spirit’s self-luggage check-in machines were all down causing an hour long wait to get bags checked manually, but I digress.
Michigan State basketball was a different team in half No. 2
All my annoyance came from a long line separating me from watching second-half highlights. I must have looked like a buffoon holding a phone, fist-pumping in an airport at 5:15 in the morning. But how could I contain my fervor as I watched poetry in motion in the form of ball movement and *checks notes* rebounding? You heard me correctly. The Spartans out-rebounded the other team with whom they shared the court (ignore the two offensive rebounds that resulted in three missed three-point shots in one possession).
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are wearing Joey Hauser and Jaden Akins pajamas. My inside sources told me Luka Doncic marched into Nico Harrison’s office this morning and said, and I quote, “If you draft Tyson Walker, I will leave this franchise. He will take all my minutes. He will break all my records. He is haunting my dreams.”
And AJ Hoggard? Well, AJ stuck his hand out for a down low-five for his haters to slap, only to take it away and whisper, “Too. Slow.”
I think when all is said and done, this team and season will be looked at as a puppy who hasn’t grown into his huge feet yet. You can catch these brilliant glimpses of grace and speed, but he’s not a fully grown dawg.
We’ll see this team as the album Warning by Green Day. You can see glimpses of the masterpiece that is American Idiot, but haven’t fully developed as mature artists yet. To quote the prophet Britney Jean Spears, “Not a Wednesday Big Ten Tournament team, not yet a double bye title contender.”