Breakdownability: OSU-MSU II

Written February 23rd, 2013 by Ken

School: Michigan State University

Location: East Lansing, MI

Founded: 1855

Student Population: 47,954 total, 36,675 undergrad

School Type: Public

Stadium: Breslin Center

Seating: 16,000

Opened: 1989

Head Coach: Tom Izzo

Experience: 18th year

Before We Get Started

Michigan State comes into this game, despite the tough loss to Indiana on Tuesday, on a bit of an Izzo Roll. In 2013, the Spartans are 11-2, with both losses coming against a higher ranked Indiana team; no shame there.


I had an email exchange with my MSU friend this week; he mentioned that he was on a bit disappointed in the Indiana outcome, but the game watch hard for him to watch. [Ed. Note: Please, don't tell me about games that are 'hard to watch']. His point is taken. He was annoyed by what he felt was MSU’s lapses in focus, particularly on inbound plays. So, we can probably expect a tightly focused Spartan team to show up at VCA on Sunday. Fun times.


I’ll pull together a few stats, with commentary, and then on to Breslin. Information will be pulled from the excellent site at Statsheet. You’re familiar with the drill by now.


Michigan State

The 4th ranked Spartans (22-5, 11-3) are a very good team. propelled by a nicely balanced effort offensively and defensively. All the stuff-you-need-to-know is above.Their starting lineup goes; Keith Appling (G, 6’1”), Brandon Dawson (G, 6’6”), Gary Harris (G, 6’4”), Derrick Nix (F/C, 6’9”) and Adreian Payne (F/C, 6’10”). Starter stats, below.


#11 K. Appling 27 33.6 13.8 41.0 74.8 32.3 3.6 3.9 2.4
#25 D. Nix 27 27.3 9.4 52.3 74.7 0.0 6.4 1.4 1.4
#22 B. Dawson 27 27.2 10.5 55.7 54.4 0.0 6.1 1.3 2.2
#14 G. Harris 25 28.8 13.2 47.4 74.7 43.2 2.5 1.2 1.3
#5 A. Payne 27 23.7 9.8 58.8 80.3 55.6 7.0 0.7 1.4




Ohio State

The Buckeyes (18-7, 8-5) are coming off a challenging stretch. The Spartans are hardly the tonic for the Buckeyes. For your reviewing pleasure, your OSU starters; Aaron Craft (G, 6’2”), Lenzelle Smith, Jr. (G, 6’4”), DeShaun Thomas (F, 6’7”), Sam Thompson (F,6’7”) and Amir Williams (C, 6’11”). Seeing significant playing time will be Shannon Scott (G, 6’1”), Evan Ravenal (C/F, 6’8”) and LaQuinton Ross (F, 6’8”). Key stats for starters below:



#1 D. Thomas 26 34.9 20.1 45.3 84.0 37.7 6.0 1.4 1.4
#4 A. Craft 26 33.3 9.2 39.0 80.3 30.9 3.7 4.3 1.8
#32 L. Smith Jr. 26 27.4 9.9 45.3 67.9 38.7 5.0 1.7 1.4
#12 S. Thompson 26 23.8 7.0 47.6 71.1 31.4 3.3 1.1 1.0
#23 A. Williams 26 17.0 4.4 61.0 54.5 0.0 4.1 0.1 0.8



The below table has the comparative Four Factors as well as possessions per game (PPP), points per possession – offense (PPP-O) and points allowed per possession (PPP-D).



    eFG%      TO%    Off Reb   FT Rate     PPG   PPP (O)    PPP (D)
Mich State 51.6% 20.5% 35.2% 38.7% 66 1.06 0.91
Ohio State 51.0% 17.0% 33.2% 34.0% 65 1.09 0.91



Ohio State needs to come out with their hair on fire and play a full 40 minutes of upbeat, high energy team ball; much like they did against UM. Michigan State will keep their efforts in high gear coming down the home stretch. The Spartans are one game behind Indiana in the Conference race and get almost a week off after Sunday to prepare for their game against Michigan. 


Yep, just like that on Sunday.

Since MSU is a tough, physical team, I expect to see a good bit of front line time from Evan Ravenal, Trey McDonald and possibly even LaQuinton Ross in support of Amir Williams. The Buckeyes cannot get lost on perimeter defense Sunday; MSU this season typically shoots 35% from beyond the arc; against IU they shot 27%. We need to create results similar to that. The more ‘empty’ possessions, the better. Not profound, but true.




The plus of the Four Factors is OSU’s ability to take take of the ball batter than MSU. The turnover differential may only be two possessions, but since the previous meeting ended as a one possession game, this edge may be what the Buckeyes need to get the win to split the season with the Spartans.


Tip-off is Sunday, February 24th at 4:00PM in Value City Arena. Please join us for the live blog at 3:45PM. The game is televised on CBS. 


  1. GaryNo Gravatar
    February 23rd, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Go Bucks! Beat Sparty!


    KenNo Gravatar
    February 24th, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Yeah, ANOTHER big game for the good guys.


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