Michigan Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State — Preview — All Things Green Considered

Posted at 6:40am — 2/12/2013

Michigan Basketball: Michigan at Michigan State — Preview — All Things Green Considered

The Grinch is green. The Wicked Witch of the West is green (really nice on blu ray). Bad beer is green, a really out of control Hulk is green. People with envy are green. Dead people in Soylent Green were turned into green biscuits. Some aliens are green, but the really smart ones are supposedly grey (what a choice, green or grey).

So, what is it about green? Is green really nasty? Do not blame the messenger green fanatics; blame the ancient Greeks who associated green with nasty.

Feb. 6, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during 2nd half at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. MSU won 61-50. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Now that little creative festival brings all us back to basketball and hopefully a great game on Tuesday night.

It will be nasty in East Lansing, maybe more in the stands than on the floor. But make no mistake; it will be plenty tough on the floor. Michigan State will throw its bulk and strength at Michigan, a team that is not as beefy or as physically tough. The winner is firmly in the race and the loser is behind the eight ball, although each of the last two weeks has shown how that dishwater gets thrown out the window. Michigan State is 14-0 at home.

Michigan State will enjoy a big advantage inside, weight-wise and experience wise. The Big Ten has made no bones about supporting local bully ball. Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix are a very formidable duo down low, each averaging about 10 points a game, shooting over 50 percent from the field and gathering rebounds a plenty. Branden Dawson also can hit the boards with a bulky 230 pounds and averages over 10 points a game. The Spartans are outrebounding opponents by nearly 7 per game.

Harris and Appling have been improving as a combo and provide Michigan State with a vey athletic backcourt. Both are averaging around 13 and 14 points per game and shooting reasonably well. Michigan State as a team has recorded a large number of steals and the guards certainly help trigger steals into points.

Jan. 31, 2013; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans center Adreian Payne (5) fights for loose ball against the Illinois Fighting Illini during 1st half at Jack Breslin Students Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State is a better than average big-time shooting team, making around 47% of shots. This is helped by the high percentages of the inside players. But parts are parts, and points are points. Michigan State shoots 36% from three-point range. If Michigan allows this opponent to shoot at a season high clip, say 50%, the result could be ugly for the Wolverines.

So, Michigan is in a hostile environment and fighting for its league life, what is the team to do? First of all, as in the last three games, toughness, defense, and rebounding will count. Coach Beilein is coming around to that philosophy, but words have yet to be translated into action. Michigan has no choice but to get into the tough mode across the board against the Spartans. This stretch has shown an increase in toughness, but the inside advantages of the strong Big Ten opponents are still considerable.

Feb 9, 2013; Madison, WI, USA; Michigan Wolverines head coach John Beilein directs his team as they play the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Michigan 65-62 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Poise had better be a quality that Michigan exhibits Tuesday. Things could get a little ugly. Compete, compete, and compete: then at the end of the game see what the board says and shake hands. Michigan knows what to expect and must not be intimidated. But as the gorillas said in Planet of the Apes- all that counts is naked, merciless power. This philosophy worked pretty well for the 8th Air Force of the Army Air Corp in World War II.

Both teams can have careless turnovers on offense and both teams can make easy points off of such turnovers. Maybe the team that can protect the ball best and lower the turnover count wins. But is Michigan lets the Jolly Green Giants have their way on the boards, it will be a rough night in a rough league.

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Written by GBMWolverine Staff

Go Blue — Wear Maize!

Topics: #GoBlue, Basketball, Big Ten Conference, Coach John Beilein, Football, Go Blue, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Recruiting

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