Defensive Score Sheet: Michigan State 83, Wisconsin 75

Are the Spartans finally healthy? If Saturday's game against Wisconsin was any indication the answer is a scary, "Yes!" for all other NCAA Tournament teams.

There's a lot of pre-NCAA Tournament work on the docket so here's the defensive score sheet from the game that sets up the first-ever Michigan State-Michigan matchup in Big Ten Tournament history:


  • It would appear MSU's biggest problem in this game - other than seemingly fighting with the officials as the ticky-tack fouls piled up early in the second half to make the game much closer than it should have been - is complacency. The Spartans could have run the Badgers out of the gym but took the foot off the glass and had to withstand some late-game pressure. The dominance started on the defensive end as the Spartans' D was air tight as a five-man squad.
  • Denzel Valentine will continue to be a big X-Factor for the Spartans. When he's on defensively it sparks his teammates and allows the Spartans to get out in transition easier. He'll always be a mismatch as a 6-7 wing and opponents should struggle against him daily. It's up to Valentine to make that a reality like he did against Wisconsin.
  • One of the nation's more underrated players, Traevon Jackson, is a terrific "glue guy" for Wisconsin. He's not flashy but he gets the job done and does a lot of dirty work. If his D continues at this level in the NCAA Tournament it would be more likely than not that Bo Ryan reaches his first Final Four.
The Defensive Score Sheet Project's initial explanation is here. More concise explanations are in this post, but here is a short rundown:
  • 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.

[NOTE: Deuce2Sports' defensive charting has been noted on Sports Illustrated's Web site twice this season by college basketball writer Luke Winn.]