Boom Goes The Dynamite: Early Games – 12.11.2010Posted by nvr1983 on December 11th, 2010
We are back with our world famous BGTD. However, this year we are changing things a bit. Instead of our traditional format that utilized stream-of-consciousness analysis we are doing most thorough and hopefully thoughtful analysis of the day’s action. We will be posting intermittently throughout the day so check back often. Also, let us know what you think about the new format. Like it? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments along with your thoughts on our thoughts.
- Questions about Michigan State again? It seems to happen every year. Michigan State comes in ranked highly and struggles in the early season. Fans and analysts question the Spartans and point to holes in their game. Lack of a reliable scoring presence. Not enough depth. The inside play isn’t good enough. You name a potential reason as to what is wrong with Michigan State and it has been used in the past few years. That is every reason except for coaching. With Tom Izzo manning the sideline for the Spartans there is always a sense that things will be ok for the Spartans. That doesn’t mean that the Spartans don’t have some major issues to work out, but they are not as vulnerable as some people might say. Their losses thus far? To UConn, Duke, and Syracuse (a tough set of opponents by any measure). Even today’s game, a 1-point win over Oakland, isn’t as bad as some might make it out to be as the Golden Grizzlies gave Illinois a very good game earlier this week despite playing on the road. So before you write off the Spartans for their lackluster early season play just remember that the Spartans have been in this position many times before under Izzo and things tend to work out.
- Duke rolls, but all is not well in Durham. Don’t be fooled by Duke’s easy victory against St. Louis today. The Blue Devils aren’t even close to being the same team without Kyrie Irving in the line-up. Losing Irving means that they simply don’t have the player who can drive to the basket and create for others. This isn’t a knock on Smith, but players are built differently. Nolan Smith is a fantastic player who can get to the basket, but most of that results in offense for himself. Irving gets to the basket and creates for both himself and his teammates. Nobody on Duke’s roster has been affected by Irving’s absence as much as Mason Plumlee has as his production has dropped off significantly following after Irving left the Duke line-up. Duke can still repeat this year, but until they get Irving back they are just one of about five contenders instead the prohibitive favorites that they appeared to be before Irving’s injury.
- Louisville and Rick Pitino are back. It might be time to put those “15 seconds” jokes on hold because it looks like Rick Pitino has a very good team in Louisville again. Ok, we know you are still going to use those jokes in Lexington. After a sluggish start where UNLV looked like it might run away with this game in the first half despite being the “West Coast team playing the early game on the East Coast”. Early on it looked like Peyton Siva was the only player on the Louisville roster who decided to show up. The Cardinals regrouped and showed their depth and prevailed thanks to great games from Preston Knowles (all 20 of his points coming in the 2nd half before fouling out), Kyle Kuric (17 points equaling his total for the rest of the season), and Chris Smith (a career-high 17 points). If the Cardinals can continue to play like they did after an rough start, they could contend in the Big East.
- Having said that. . . Before we buy into Louisville we are going to need to see them do something on the road. Winning games at the YUM Center is nice, but unless they can play all their games in the YUM Center (they can’t due to NCAA rules) they will need to prove that they can win in a hostile environment. So far the Cardinals most impressive wins (all of which have been at home) are against a Butler team that is still struggling to find its identity and a UNLV team that was playing in a game that started at 9 AM on their West Coast clocks. Unfortunately we might not get our answer about how good Louisville is until January 12th when the Cardinals travel to Villanova in what could be a huge game if the Cardinals can knock off Kentucky on New Year’s Eve.