I'd like to thank the Purdue basketball team for their contribution to the East Lansing community today. Whether it was a bad day, the travel conditions, MSU's defense, or (probably) a perfect storm of all three, we threw up so many bricks today that they were able to harvest them and build a new orphanage for the city of East Lansing. Really, we did a lot of things right. I felt we defended Draymond Green very well. We started off strong on the glass, especially with Sandi Marcius giving us a solid boost. We were aggressive at getting tot he basket and we had good looks from outside.
Unfortunately, it comes down to putting the ball in the basket. Michigan State was extremely efficient at doing so, while we were not. I am sure the travel conditions had something to do with it, but as Dan Dakich said, you can't do anything about it but come off the bus and play. You can either piss and moan about it or get off the bus and play. Dakich made a good point about Robbie Hummel complaining on camera to start. It's not something you want to see, but still, we at least looked like it would be a game with our early aggressiveness.
When you can't hit anything, it doesn't matter how well you play defense. When the other team is hitting everything, especially when the Spartans asserted their will in the second half, it doesn't matter how well you shoot. When both things occur, blowouts happen.
As usual, I credit Michigan State for simply doing what it needed to do. I think this was better than the Penn State game because the effort was there. We tried everything. We tried driving, but the Spartans cut off lanes and switched on screens. We got good looks (Ryne Smith in particular) but we couldn't hit them. But it was the number. At the under 8 timeout of the second half Michigan State was shooting 65% and we were shooting 25%. That, my friends, is brutal.
That shooting allowed things to get out of hand once the lead was pushed to 14. We still had a chance coming into the second half, but the 7-0 run by MSU to start effectively ended it. Unless we started shooting well we had no chance at that point, and we didn't shoot well.
All you can really do is shake it off and move on. As we have seen, this team goes in cycles, so we just have to come back home and defend our home court against a damn good Michigan team. The only positive we can take away from it is that we really can't shoot worse than this.Robbie Hummel is not going to have this poor of a game again. Ryne Smith is not going to go 0 for 5 with five wide open looks from three. At least we hit our free throws to prevent things from being worse.
There are better days ahead. All we need is six more wins and we will make the tournament. Let's focus on getting those and see what else happens.