East Lansing, MI
Come on, did you even doubt the outcome of this game before tip?No!The Spartans notched win number one (in a belt that can only considered successful with another national title) tonight when they plumbled the Eagles 96 to 66.
The game was never in doubt and never close as the Spartans came out of the locker room on fire and kept it going.Up the court and down the court.The Spartans made a decent MAC school look like the two division 2 teams they beat in the exhibition season.
The amazing thing is that this was the most complete Spartan game I have seen in a long time; I sit courtside at them allâ€¦home and away.The Spartans passed the ball well and defended well.The upper classmen looked good as did the under classmen.At one point when the Spartans had hit yet another amazing shot off of yet another amazing pass, Izzo looked down and laughed and that was with nearly 12 minutes left in the game.
Izzo said of his teamâ€™s effort, â€œHow did we score 96 points when we didnâ€™t play very well.I thought there was some bright spots.We really havenâ€™t played together.â€
I asked a colleague of mine who covers the Eagles if they were that bad or MSU that good and he emphatically insisted, â€œState is that great.â€
When one Eagle tried to bait Draymond Green into trash talking Green simply said, â€œScoreboard.â€Now that isnâ€™t to say Green didnâ€™t have a thing or two to say, but down 30 no Eagle should have engaged.Green told me, â€œIt was a lot of fun.We are having fun right now.That makes us a dangerous team.â€
Eagles coach Charles Ramsey said of the Spartans, â€œThe better team won.The number two team in the country and at times they looked like it.â€
So many players looked good, but one player could have given us a harbinger of things to come.Garrick Sherman got the start at center and scored eight points with eight boards and two steals.He was impressive.Spartan Nation Magazine in the September issue talked about his emergence and he certainly made us look good for it.
The Sherminator (as some in the Izzone behind me called him) said of his performance, â€œIt was a lot of fun.I think I went from thinking about playing to just playing and having fun.I learned a lot last year, but I am back to being comfortable on the court.â€
The Spartans had 10 blocks and nine steals.All good defensive numbers.They had 20 turnovers, which normally would concern me, but not tonight.Many of those were on the break with the Spartans running the Eagles off the court and are simply timing related.
Thirteen Spartans played.Six players scored in double digits and nine had rebounds.EMU never had a lead and the Spartans shot 53% from the field.
Fun fact that only I may care about?
*With just over eight minutes to go in the game, EMU took out #32 Jamell Harris.He was not having a good game and one of the Izzone told him, â€œHey 32, I have has many points as you.â€ He may not have liked it, but his teammates and team people on the bench got a chuckle out of it.As did almost everyone on press row.