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It’s a Process 01/30/2009

Posted by sportretort in Sports, Uncategorized.
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Iowa-Michigan State Basketball.  Upset Alert!  It was in the cards:  National TV. . . . decent home crowd. . . Top 10 opponent.  Only someone forgot to tell the Hawks.  How do you break down a 71-56 loss?  Round up the usual suspects.

Yes, Iowa is a young team (1 junior, 0 senior starters tonight).  True, Tate did not play, again leaving a big hole in the middle.  But this game looked the same as the first 20 this season, when Iowa shoots well, they look good.  When they have an off shooting night, they look  HORRIBLE.  All you need to know is 8-26  (30%) from the 3 point arc (42% overall).  MSU shot over 50% until garbage time.   No Miss America contestant tonight. 

This team will live and die with their ability to shoot, particularly from 3 point range.  It is the great equalizer.  When they hit (as against Ohio State) It not only puts points on the board, but allows them to get into their ‘fast break defense,’ as coach Lick calls it.  And made shots do not need to be rebounded.  But the biggest problem tonight was no Tate.  Clean and open three point looks are best found from moving the ball inside then back out.  Against a team like the Spartans; bigger, quicker and more physical, getting the ball inside is better accomplished by entry pass than by dribble penetration.  Tate is more physical, more experienced and a more  consistent scoring threat than either Palmer or Cole and his absence allowed MSU to cheat to the outside instead of packing the lane.  This stymied the offense which was more parameter oriented than inside out, allowing more shot pressure, resulting in poor shooting.  Poor shooting also results in slower defensive retreat and more transition opportunities by MSU.

The good news, Iowa fans, is that it is a process.  This team is young because coach Lick is going after players who fit into his style.  And Gatens, Fuller and company will be better quicker for this experience.  Tate WILL be back, and his leadership and experience will change opponents defensive approach.   The lessons learned now will pay off this season, and for the next 3 years as this team matures.

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