In Michigan State’s blowout win against the Hoosiers on Sunday afternoon, Denzel Valentine scored 30 points and dished out 13 assists in a dominant performance.
“We let their best players get comfortable,” Tom Crean said after the game.
Valentine was particularly deadly against Indiana’s ball screen defense as he continually beat the Hoosiers on it no matter how they defended him. Valentine also scored on identical sets at the start of each half.
We’ll take a look at four scores and two assists from Valentine in the latest edition of Film Session:
On the Spartans’ first half court possession of the game, Valentine sets up on the right block. Over on the left wing, Eron Harris rubs Yogi Ferrell as he heads out to the left wing to get a pass from Deyonta Davis. Ferrell’s man, Bryn Forbes, heads to the right block for a back screen on Robert Johnson:
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Indiana played well for about 16 minutes on Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center, but the success was short lived as Michigan State blitzed the Hoosiers for an 88-69 win. The loss dropped Indiana to 20-6 overall and 10-3 in the Big Ten.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from the blowout loss to the Spartans:
· Indiana’s defense is regressing to the mean with better competition: The Hoosiers allowed just one of their first 10 Big Ten opponents to score more than a point per possession, but the defense has been on a slide the last three games.
It started in State College when Indiana allowed Penn State, which was averaging just .95 points per possession at the time, to score 1.04 per trip. That lackluster defensive performance resulted in a loss that severely hurt IU’s chances at the Big Ten title. On Thursday against Iowa, IU beat Iowa because of a ridiculous offensive performance, but not much was written about the fact that the Hoosiers allowed Iowa to score 1.21 points per possession.
Out of the gate, Indiana went toe-to-toe with the Spartans as both offenses fired on all cylinders. The Max Bielfeldt (15 points, 10 rebounds) insertion into the starting lineup for matchup purposes looked like a stroke of genius. He hit in the paint and from distance and kept MSU off the glass as the Hoosiers got hot early.
OG Anunoby came in and did OG things. A drive and rim rattling dunk through the paint. A steal and score in transition. The 3-ball was falling for a number of Hoosiers (7-of-16) in the first half and it helped them jump out to a 10-point lead at the 7:58 mark. While they trailed by one at the break (41-40) after the Spartans closed the half on a run, there was no reason to think Indiana wasn’t going to be competitive in the second half and make the Spartans work for the W.
Or maybe even steal a victory in East Lansing if it got some breaks.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Quick thoughts on Indiana’s 88-69 loss to Michigan on Sunday afternoon at the Breslin Center:
How it happened: This Valentine’s Day afternoon started out with hope for Indiana. The Hoosiers built a 10-point lead in the first half as shots were falling from the perimeter (7-of-16 on 3s) and the shots that weren’t falling were offensive rebounds (nine). At the 3:46 mark of the first half, Indiana had a 40-32 lead and was scoring 1.29 points per possession.
But the comfortable lead would be short lived as Michigan State closed the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 41-40 lead. From there, it was all Spartans. Indiana scored just nine points in the first 10+ minutes of the second half and had no answer defensively for Michigan State’s potent attack. Denzel Valentine was essentially unstoppable in scoring a game-high 30 points and dishing out 13 assists. Matt Costello wasn’t far behind in finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Spartans finished the afternoon with 1.28 points per possession, marking the second straight game where Indiana has allowed more than 1.2 points per trip.
Indiana will seek its fifth Big Ten road win on Sunday afternoon as the Hoosiers travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State at the Breslin Center. The Spartans, ranked No. 8 in the latest Associated Press top 25 poll, are 20-5 overall and 7-5 in Big Ten play.
The game will be broadcast at 1 p.m. ET on CBS with Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery on the call:
Michigan State probably lost its chance to win the Big Ten regular season crown when it fell in overtime to Purdue earlier in the week at Mackey Arena, but the Spartans are clearly one of the league’s best teams.
The best coach in the league and future Hall of Famer Tom Izzo still roams the sidelines for the Spartans and here’s what is certain for Izzo coached teams: They typically peak just in time for March.
This Michigan State team has had its share of ups (a win over Kansas and a No. 1 national ranking) and downs (Denzel Valentine’s injury, a loss at home to Nebraska). But the respect remains for this team nationally because of its long term potential. This is a group with a legitimate chance to cut down the nets in Houston.
With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next month. Today, we continue our look at the Big Ten with the Michigan State Spartans.
After an uninspiring regular season, Michigan State did what they’re best known for in March – win. A 7-seed in the NCAA tournament, the Spartans reached their 9th Final Four last year, Tom Izzo’s 7th with the team in his 20-year career as head coach. MSU has made the tournament 18 straight years, and will have the talent to make that 19 this year.
The Spartans graduated guard Travis Trice (signed free agent deal with the New York Knicks) and forward Branden Dawson, who was selected 56th overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in the NBA draft, from a team that finished 27-12 a season ago.
The Big Ten is sending half of its teams to the 2015 NCAA tournament, as seven of the league’s 14 teams were selected into the field of 68. Each of those teams also avoided the play-in games in Dayton, setting up match-ups on Thursday and Friday across the United States.
Wisconsin holds the highest seed out of any Big Ten team as the league’s regular season and tournament champion. At 31-3, the Badgers earned a No. 1 seed in the West region and get to play in Omaha, Neb., to open the tournament. Michigan State has become a trendy Final Four pick after its Big Ten tournament run and faces Georgia in the second round with a chance at playing Virginia in the round of 32. And Purdue, with a win over Cincinnati, could face undefeated Kentucky. Those are some of the storylines the Big Ten faces in the round of 64.
Below is a look at each Big Ten team’s opening matchup in the NCAA tournament:
With their Big Ten tournament title, the Badgers earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and the right to play Coastal Carolina, a team that finished third in the Big South Conference, in the second round in Omaha. And the Badgers are big favorites for this one. The Chanticleers come into this game with a defense not particularly known for having great success — it ranks No. 162 in the nation in defensive efficiency at 1.02 points per possession allowed per game, and it will be going against the country’s No. 1 offense in Wisconsin.