Big Ten Wonk
Friday, November 17, 2006
A tribute to Ken Pomeroy
I wrapped up the 11 team previews yesterday (and random acts of injurious happenstance have already left the Illinois walk-around woefully, if temporarily, moot) and so today I thought I'd ditch the profusion of prose and instead go for Pomeroy-style wryly omniscient brevity. It's a considered stylistic evolution! Plus I'm lazy.

And while some might fancy that I "undoubtedly spent much of September and October putting together [the] alphabetically-sensitive preseason walk-arounds," the truth is somewhat less leisurely and a good deal more manic, I assure you. So today I've got my feet propped up.

Back to my old ways Monday.

In today's less Wonk-ish venues....
Drew Neitzel drove to the hoop for the winning score with 2.4 seconds left and Michigan State beat Texas 63-61 in Madison Square Garden last night in the semifinals of the loquaciously titled "2K Sports College Hoops Classic benefiting Coaches Vs. Cancer." In a matchup between two precociously young teams, one squad looked the part. And that would be the 'Horns, launching 26 threes and hitting just seven. That included a 1-of-8 from outside the arc from one Kevin Durant, who will indeed be shaking David Stern's hand on a rostrum in this same city next summer but who on this night looked like someone trying to prove he had an outside shot that he didn't have. Freshman Raymar Morgan led the Spartans in shots and points (18), as the men in green displayed Izzo depth (seven players between 16 and 33 minutes) against a quality opponent. State hit 9-of-17 threes, led by Neitzel who went 3-of-6. The Spartans will play Maryland tonight in the championship game. (Box score.)

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Don't fear the turtle! (More cowbell!)
In advance of his team's game tonight against Maryland, alert reader Shawn M. returns for his third season of astute Michigan State analysis....

Hi, Wonk,

Excellent win for State tonight. I know it was difficult for most Spartan fans, myself included, to concentrate on basketball with the MSU vs. Penn State gridiron "game of the century" set to kickoff this Saturday, but Izzo's group put together a performance worth remembering in this otherwise oppressively, unacceptably awful autumn for Spartan sports.

Now I'm not sure where we'll end up in February, and I know there will be some cringe-worthy moments along the way, but watching this young team play, goofy turnovers and all, is some kind of fun. I'm quite impressed with Drew Neitzel so far, who's being asked to play a very different role this year. He's now slowing the tempo down, looking for his shot first, and playing something that at least approaches lockdown D. Good stuff.

And goodness, Raymar Morgan has shown up ready to play, hasn't he?

Shawn M.

Thanks, Shawn.

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