Thursday, March 1, 2012

Defensive Score Sheet: Michigan State vs. Nebraska

It was that kind of day for Nebraska's offense (AP).
In what might have been the best defensive performance in the country this season, Michigan State crippled whatever semblance of an offense Nebraska had.

The 58 possession game helped keep the score low, but MSU's 62-34 victory was still breathtaking for basketball purists who love defense.

Digest these facts from MSU's rich history:

  • Nebraska's 34 points were the fewest allowed by MSU since it defeated Brown 45-34 to open the 2006-07 season.
  • It was the fewest points MSU has allowed in a Big Ten game since a 59-29 win over Northwestern in the 1999-2000 title season.

Nebraska's biggest problem was a 2-for-17 performance from 3-point range -- a far cry from the 11-for-26 performance in a high-scoring loss at Northwestern in early February. MSU's close-out defense was pretty good, but the Huskers still missed some decent shots.

Below is MSU's Defensive Score Sheet from the game. In-depth explanations are in this post, but here is a cliff notes version:
  • Min - Minutes played
  • DREB - Defensive Rebounds
  • FM - Forced field goal miss (includes blocks)
  • FTO - Forced Turnover (steals, charges taken)
  • FFTA - Forced missed Free Throw Attempt
  • DFGM - Allowed Defensive Field Goal Made
  • DFTM - Allowed Free Throw Made
  • DRtg - Defensive Rating (Gives players credit for stops and scoring possessions)
*The DRtg is most important part of a defensive score sheet as it is the analog of an offensive rating. If a player was on the floor for 100 of his team's defensive possessions, the DRtg calculates the number of points the opposition would score.

Because Michigan State was so great as a team, everyone's DRtg looks off the charts (in a good way). Draymond Green, who's 10th rebound made him the third member in Michigan State history to amass 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career, didn't allow a made shot. The Huskers went 0-for-7 on shots he defended and Green also forced 2.5 turnovers. His 41.3 defensive rating is the lowest in any game I've tracked this season. MSU's 59.0 DRtg, which plays a big role in individual ratings as well, was also a season low.

It would be interesting to see if any other player had a game with the numbers Green posted. I would guess a few Kentucky games, namely its 86-52 whipping of South Carolina, might have produced very low numbers. It remains to be seen if they were low enough to match MSU's against Nebraska.

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