Sunday, March 16, 2014

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:



Notes

  • 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.
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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.]

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