Quick turnaround today so we’ll condense the scouting report and post the picks below.
Scouting report: Michigan State
Game info: 2 p.m. p.m. today at Lahaina Civic Center
TV/Radio: ESPN2/KJR-950 AM
Record: 3-1. RPI rank: 54.
Previous game: Lost 70-67 to Connecticut.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Prediction: Picked to win the 11-team Big Ten by conference coaches.
Coach: Tom Izzo is 349-147 in his 16th season with the Spartans.
Series: Washington trails 2-3.
Last meeting: The Huskies lost 64-50 on March 13, 1996 in the first round of the NIT.
F – Delvon Roe, 6-8, 235, Jr., 8.3 ppg., 6.3 rpg.
C – Garrick Sherman, 6-10, 240, So., 6.0, 4.3
G – Austin Thornton, 6-5, 210, Jr., 5.8, 2.0
G – Durrell Summers, 6-5, 205, Sr., 14.5, 4.8
G – Kalin Lucas, 6-1, 195, Sr., 15.3, 4.0 apg.
— Lucas was an all-Big Ten selection season and is regarded as one of the top point guards in the country. He can beat you in a lot of ways. He scores off the dribble and on the perimeter. MSU sets a lot of screens for him to get off a jumper and that’s been moderately effective the past two days. He’s also a tough defender with long arms.
— Draymond Green has been the Spartans’ best player this season, but he comes off the bench. The 6-foot-7 junior forward leads the team in scoring (15.5 points), rebounding (10.5), assists (4.5), steals (2.8) and blocks (2.5).
— Haven’t heard or seen any update on reserve guard Korie Lucious who didn’t finish Tuesday’s game and walked off the court with what appeared to be a right ankle injury. His status for today is questionable.
Let’s recap Tuesday’s Guess the UW Score contest and I must say, boy we’re a bunch of homers. There’s no mistaking this is a Husky blog because we had a lot of predictions – believe me I read them all – and only four posters picked Kentucky to win.
We were seduced by Monday’s game. But not musca, who guessed Kentucky would pull off the upset – yes upset – and defeat the Dawgs 78-73. Good job. Contact me privately and we can arrange for you to pick up your prize.
Today in Maui (times PST)
Chaminade vs. Oklahoma, 11:30 a.m.
Michigan State vs. Washington, 2 p.m.
Wichita State vs. Virginia, 4:30 p.m.
Connecticut vs. Kentucky, 7 p.m.
My picks: Oklahoma, Wichita State and Kentucky
Today’s Pac-10 games (times are local to site)
UNC Charlotte at Oregon State, 7 p.m. (FSN NW)
UCLA vs. Villanova (in New York), 9 p.m. (ESPN)
Cal State Fullerton at USC, 7:30 p.m.
My picks: Oregon State, Villanova and USC
Correction: Yesterday’s post included the UCLA game.
THE UW-MSU WINNER IS …
The Spartans 72-70.
I predicted this score last week when I thought these teams would play in the Maui title game and nothing that’s happened over the past two days has caused me to change my mind.
Despite the short recovery time, this is a winnable game for Washington because the Spartans haven’t played like the No. 2 team in the country. They trailed in the second half of Monday’s game against Chaminade and they had no answer for Connecticut point guard Kemba Walker, who sliced their defense with dribble drives and acrobatic layups.
Still, this is a tough, gritty team. They play outstanding defense at time. They’re long and they rebound. This is the type of team that has traditionally given UW fits.
It’s going to be a test of wills for Washington. Can the Huskies force the tempo, create steals and make it a transition game? If so, they’ll win. But if Michigan State makes it a half-court oriented game, gets into its set offenses and plays solid defense, then the Spartans take this one.
Not sure how much zone we’ll see out out MSU. It would be smart to play UW man-to-man, double team Matthew Bryan-Amaning in the post and force the Huskies to find the open man, which was something they didn’t do in the second half on Tuesday.
Washington is balanced, however, the Huskies could use a big performance from one of its stars. One likely candidate is Isaiah Thomas, who struggled last night shooting. He should be paired against Lucas, which is one of the game’s more intriguing matchups.
Not sure who UW uses to stop Green. Most likely Bryan-Amaning. Maybe Justin Holiday.
A win today for Washington would absolve Tuesday’s setback to Kentucky and it would be an outstanding rebound after a heartbreaking defeat.
Losing to a No.2-ranked team isn’t the end of the world, but a defeat would force everyone to second guess whether the Huskies have what it takes to compete with the elite teams.