Not many teams have had as bad luck against any opponent as Purdue has had against Michigan State this season. Before the teams' previous meeting, Purdue had a "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" reenactment, arriving via bus to East Lansing a mere two hours before tip off. The result was a 25-point blowout. Saturday morning, about 36 hours before the teams were set to play the rematch, D.J. Byrd was arrested for public intoxication. Later, Byrd - a 3-point assassin who had been playing his best ball of the season - was suspended for the game and Kelsey Barlow, who had been given a "next strike and you're out" warning, was booted from the team.
Purdue fought valiantly for a half, leading the Spartans by three at the break. MSU turned up the defense in the second half, forcing Purdue to miss 20 of its first 21 shots in the second half in what turned out to be a fairly comfortable victory.
Below is the Defensive Score Sheet for the game. (For clarification on the numbers, what they mean, and how they're calculated, read this post). The most important number is each player's defensive rating (DRtg). Its calculations project if "Player X" was on the floor for 100 of his team's defensive possessions, the number of points the opposition would score. Keep in mind the team's overall defensive numbers play a huge factor, but even small variances from the team's DRtg are significant.
1. Draymond Green was sensational, as usual. Green forced 9.5 misses, forced more than a third of Purdue's turnovers and was a pest defensively all night. Green spent a lot of the afternoon guarding Ryan Smith, no doubt playing a major role in Smith's 3-for-11 shooting game.
2. As @KJonthebanks coined, and says is mandatory for MSU victories, "Derrick Payne" had a monster game. The combination of Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne creates a 40-minute college superstar with a variety of talents. Nix's big body, especially defensively, allows him to force a post-feed catch off the block. He's then perfected the wraparound poke, creating key turnovers. Payne, on the other hand, doesn't have the girth to push his man off the block, but his length and shot-blocking and shot-altering tendancies make it difficult to get good looks at the rim. The duo combined for a nice game defensively. Obviously, Purdue lost JaJuan Johnson to the NBA draft and with seemingly no Big Ten talents in the low post, the Derrick Payne duo did what it should have done to the Boilermakers: dominate defensively.
3. Keith Appling can't handle quick guards 1-on-1. Lewis Jackson is quick and seems even faster due to his diminutive and generously listed 5-foot-9 height. Jackson had five blow-by layups in the game and four came against Appling (The other was against Brandan Kearney). This isn't to say Appling isnt' a great defender, but his weakness was exposed against the Boilermakers. Quick guard like Kentucky's Marquis Teague and Syracuse's Scoop Jardine might run Appling off the floor