What to watch for: Michigan State

  • 02/02/2018 1:43 pm in

With Indiana facing Michigan State for the second time in 15 days, we’re taking a look at three things to watch for in lieu of our traditional game preview.

Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN at 8:15 p.m. ET with Dave Flemming, Dan Dakich and Jeff Goodman on the call:

· Which Indiana team will show up? Indiana was beaten soundly in the first meeting between the two teams back on Jan. 19 and the Hoosiers are coming off a shaky performance on Tuesday at Ohio State.

Indiana has proven it can play with the nation’s elite, but coming off three straight losses, will the Hoosiers be ready for the challenges Michigan State presents?

On his Thursday radio show, Archie Miller acknowledged that Indiana will need to be much better this time against the Spartans to compete.

“The first time we played Michigan State, they made it difficult on us in a lot of areas,” Miller explained. “Our players remember that. They know what it’s gonna take to compete. We’re gonna have to have a tough mindset.”

The key for Indiana will be getting off to a solid start and getting the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall crowd engaged. The Hoosiers started out very well against Duke and Purdue and kept the crowd in the game. If IU can’t make the home court advantage a significant factor, it faces an uphill battle against the Big Ten’s most talented team.

· Can Juwan Morgan make an impact? One of the major takeaways from the first meeting between the two teams was the lack of production from Juwan Morgan.

Indiana’s junior forward played most of the first half in East Lansing before leaving the game with an ankle injury. In 16 minutes, Morgan scored just two points on 1-of-4 shooting from the field and was 0-of-2 from the free throw line.

Over the four games since IU’s loss to the Spartans, Morgan has averaged 23 points per game.

And against a Michigan State frontline that is among the nation’s best, the Hoosiers won’t be able to afford another less than stellar performance from its best player.

· Can Michigan State avoid a letdown in the midst of distractions around the program? There’s no questioning what Tom Izzo has been able to accomplish at Michigan State.

He’s one of the best to ever roam the sidelines in the Big Ten, but Izzo is now in the crosshairs of ESPN after a recent Outside the Lines story. The World Wild Leader has been following the Michigan State program and asking Izzo questions that he continues to sidestep.

So far, the distractions haven’t made a major impact on the Spartans, who have won five straight. But as the calendar turns to February, it’s clear that Izzo and Michigan State will be one of the biggest storylines in the country over the season’s final two months.

“It’s been crazy,” sophomore Cassius Winston said following Michigan State’s win at Maryland. “Anytime something happens where there’s a lot happening around us, we just keep it tight. This is just really a family. We’ve got Coach Izzo’s back, and he has ours. Out there, that was just us proving it. We’ve had a little adversity. We were in their place. A lot of things could have happened, but we found a way to stick together and fight through this.”

Filed to:

  • Gordon Waller

    Dakich? Hope there’s a good radio feed.

  • Ivan Renko

    Dakich again?!?!!? come on man!!!

  • Colt

    It’s alive!!!!!!

  • Ms hoosier

    What to watch for: Mich. St. watch for Nick Wards flying elbows to the face!! NW is the dirtiest player in College basketball and Izzo seems to not care!! IU better have wear football helmets tomorrow!!

  • mharv2631

    If he does (which he will) I will be watching if Coach Miller gets T’d up. IU will have to give as good or better than they get.

  • Ari Zagnit

    I use TuneIn. They have the Don Fischer local radio broadcast. I just pause the tv and sync it up with the radio feed (usually about a minute delay)

  • Sandra Wilson

    Once again, we have an opportunity to stay close and maybe win one at the end. MSU played horribly against Penn State the other night and were probably bailed out by shooting a ton of free throws. Had PSU started their press a little earlier, who knows what might have happened. They had a tough fight and we have an extra day of rest. Coming in, after our previous encounter, they must be thinking that all they need to offer is a minimal amount of effort. If JM has a strong game and stays on the floor, we may actually take this one. Of all the teams I’ve seen this year, MSU may be the most over rated.

  • Colt

    Paging Tim Priller……..

  • StudentHoosier

    Thank goodness I have tickets to this game so I can avoid Dakich and ESPN sucking Trae Young’s **** for 2 hours.

  • Ms hoosier

    I have never heard IU fans boo an ex player but Dakich could be the first!!

  • IdahoHoosier

    Yes. The sign of a great coach is the ability to lose their cool and give the opponent free points and possession of the ball. A true lost art.

  • vicbert caladipo

    If you haven’t done so, listen to the Deron Davis interview. Love this kids honesty. We may not have the better basketball players against MSU, but without a shadow of a doubt, we have the better young men

  • vicbert caladipo

    I’ve grown on you Ms. I’ve been saying it since day one last year! I would like to see Zach in his face the whole game. Of course Zach won’t be guarding him , but he is the perfect guy to frustrate Ward and send him over the deep end. If I was Coach Miller I’d talk to the refs pre game and say….watch this guy…you’ve already seen what he did against PS. We are going to guard him tough and tight and wait to see if he reacts. I’d bait him into doing something stupid and he’s just the type of player to be stupid. Of course it’s not stupid if the refs overlook it. I predict Ward gets in foul trouble and plays less than 20 mins

  • IdahoHoosier

    Sorry to nitpick, but we have no idea the hearts and character (if that is how we are judging who are better young men) of MSU’s players, or IU’s for that matter. I liked what DD said and think most guys on the team are good kids. But we aren’t in any position to say who is a better person than whom.

  • vicbert caladipo

    When it comes to nitpicking…you are the KING!!! How ya doing Idaho? Just trust me on this one pretty please? We have better kids. I will put a Hoosier hotwing up against your finest sack of potatos in 10 years from now IU will have less kids in trouble than MSU.

  • Ms hoosier

    I would be willing to bet that Ward loses his temper and gets a technical foul tomorrow because like you stated in your post I’ll bet that IU will harass him all night and play him tough

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    Vicbert!!!! That is really nice of you to post that.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    I watched a game the other day and Tom Crean was analyzing . I thought he did a really nice job.

  • Koko

    I have watched him analyzing a couple of times and heard him call a game. He does do a good job. In fact he is much easier to understand than his after game pressers.

  • Gary bumb

    Think dakich is one of the best “color” guys in the business. Brutally honest and knowledgeable. Iu is undermanned still can win but Will have to make free throws and make winning plays in the last 5 minutes of the game. Go Hoosiers!!

  • Sandra Wilson

    Idaho, well put. If you’ve ever coached, you know that outward appearances (good or bad) on the floor don’t always equate to the same character or behavior off the court.

  • Lynn

    What to watch for: how the officials call the game. This is a college basketball game and not a WWE event. Call the game evenly and IU should have a chance to win. The sad thing is the officials think RMK is still around and haven’t forgotten how he used to make them cry.

  • vicbert caladipo

    I think it’s more an Izzo thing than a past Knight thing. Izzo may be the best at working officials. Coach K is darn good too. All the good coaches are good at working the refs. That was the one thing about Crean. He had no clue how to work refs and I’m not talking about getting T’s. The other issue is some players(Nick Ward) are sneaky when fouling….do it in a pack of guys so it’s hard to see, although the shove in the back on Juwan that resulted in his missing the 2nd half with the ankle was blatant and went un called. Ms Hoosier also stated Ward elbowed a PS player in the face. Refs need to keep an eye on that. We can’t afford another injury

  • vicbert caladipo

    You know I support my guys #34 even though folks like to tear me down. Sure I don’t know players outside the game characters but I have been blessed with tremendous intuition. My crystal ball helps : )

  • vicbert caladipo

    I have met and talked to a lot of college and professional athletes from boxers, UFC fighters, basketball, baseball players, to wrestlers and football players. Drank beers with Mark Clayton, Nat Moore, and Mark Duper. Ate pizza with Dan Marino. Sold a newspaper subscription to Mike Thomas and Billy Kilmer and sat in the bleachers of Chesterton HS talking to Calbert. Interviewed the Undertaker and Ric Flair Those I mentioned and many others are class acts. Down to earth people. I knew Calbert was going to be a class act his whole life his freshman year…long before I met him the first time. I would like to say I’m a good judge of character and doubt anyone can think of a bad thing to say about Calbert. I have also met and interviewed some people that I knew were bad seeds and those ended up showing fans the light from drug or alcohol abuse including Dan Hampton…multiple DUIs, Chris Benoit, Bam Bam Bigelow, Michael Johnson(boxer who went to prison) Curt Hennig. I’ve trained with the Miz, John Cena, Koko B. and The Truth….all good people. I’m telling you. Nick Ward is not a good person. Time will tell.

  • Lynn

    The RMK comment was more sarcasm, I think. However IU doesn’t get any calls when playing at home. Izzo should look at the players as they do represent the university. A couple of years ago in one of those Armed Forces games at the start of the year, playing on an aircraft carrier, a MSU player did a knee drop to a player that was already on the floor. Tried to act like he lost he balance and fell down.

  • IU Hoosiers # 34, 1979-83

    You behave tomorrow. I love your posts!!!

  • mharv2631

    It may help later. I’ll give up two points to get calls later.

  • coachv

    who are you? i gotta know

  • IdahoHoosier

    No need to bet. Betting on the misfortune of others doesn’t sit well anyway. No need to tear down (or predict destruction of) others to prove IU has good kids. Looking forward to a good game tonight!

  • IdahoHoosier

    Arguing without getting a tech helps more. Refs don’t love it when you disrespect them so much they T you up. Getting a tech does nothing. Give me proof otherwise and I’ll be happy to change my mind, but logically it makes zero sense.

  • coachv

    what to watch fro. msu beating the hell out of us in our own house. iu shooting 5 for 23 from deep. how in the hell can we not have even one reliable shooter on the team? not one!