News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 11/16/10 Edition

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News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 11/16/10 Edition

 

Last week Tom Izzo brought his guards in his office for a, “Talk from the heart.” They responded. You won’t hear about it. It wasn’t sexy like kicking someone out, but nonetheless, just as effective.

 

The Spartans did better against the Gophers with their turnovers. Look to that to be another point of emphasis against the Illini today.

 

Chris Allen continues to show us improvement. When he has games that his shot isn’t going, you see him making it happen on D.

 

The same, sadly, can’t be said for senior captain Raymar Morgan. When Morgan’s shot isn’t going or he gets frustrated, he simply disappears. I have written about this before, but as the Spartans come down the stretch of the Big Ten race and into the post season, they can’t have him go away. One of Izzo’s biggest tests as a coach is going to be finding a way to keep Raymar engaged in the game when things aren’t going perfect.

 

With the Gopher win, Kalin Lucas has now scored in the double digits for the last 28 games and for 67 times in his career.

 

Again with the Gopher win, Tom Izzo is 350-140 in career wins. I have said it many times, but if he scheduled like the folks at Syracuse or Duke he would have 450 wins and probably not the post-season success.

 

Against Minnesota, the Spartans shot an abysmal 36% from the field. They are averaging 50% for the season. Good teams find ways to win. What does that tell you about the Spartans?

 

The Spartans have played 17 games this season. Wednesday against Minnesota was just the third time in those 17 games the Spartans didn’t out rebound their opponent. They each had 37.

 

Five Spartans are averaging double figures. Lucas leads the way with 15.5ppg.

 

The Spartans and the Illini are tied at 53 wins apiece in this rivalry and as of now are the top two teams in the league. Credit goes to Izzo for calling this when he told Spartans Nation at the Big Ten media days before the season, “Don’t count out Illinois. Bruce (Weber) will have his guys much improved and I expect them to be very very good.”

 

The Spartans are 10-0 at home this season and four and zero in the Big Ten. I fully expect the Spartans to take the Illini out. The Spartans are the chameleon of college basketball. Izzo’s masterful work of the schedule has them ready by this time to play fast or slow to run or to bang. Illinois is much improved, but not a match for the Spartans.