I hadn’t been to Midnight Madness for a few years and I was impressed with the program last night. They did a great job with the 70s theme (women’s players in 1970s outfits, men’s players in short shorts, VW bus for Izzo’s arrival, funny video about Izzo taking a trip across America to the 1979 Final Four in Salt Lake City). Greg Kelser was the MC; that man is class exemplified. We sat right above one end of the marching band; fun to hear the full band close up.
The fan turnout for the event was great. The entire arena was basically filled, except for the bleachers at the top of the second deck.
As far as the basketball went, here are my highly subjective observations:
- Durrell Summers can DUNK the ball. He had a variety of moves, all flawlessly executed. I was impressed by the whole team in the dunk contest, actually. Lucas and Lucious both performed toss-it-to-yourself dunks, and even walk-on guard Mike Kebler can dunk convincingly.
- Korie Lucious looked very quick, and very smooth. I don’t see how he doesn’t get significant PT this year. His outside shot wasn’t quite as smooth as I thought it would be, though.
- Chris Allen looked like a playmaker, not just a shooter.
- Idong Ibok looked remarkably confident in the low-post, scoring on 3-4 different moves.
- Isaiah Dahlman’s outside shot looked improved, knocking down a couple nice looking 3-pointers, but then he air-balled his last attempt.
- Draymond Green is a rebounder. Reminiscent of a (much) slimmer Charles Barkley.
- Delvon Roe looks healthy, but rusty. He doesn’t have the explosiveness to finish moves yet. It’s a great sign he’s healthy enough to be able to scrimmage at this point, though.
- The teams for the scrimmage were roughly split between veterans (Lucas/Walton/Morgan/Gray/Suton) and younger guys (Lucious, Allen, Summers, Roe, Ibok). The younger guys (Green team) won 37-28 with a 20-minute running clock. The veteran guys all looked fine–just not as comfortable in an open-court, free flowing game.
I took a bunch of photos, which I have posted at Flickr. Start with the last photo (on the second page) to get things in chronological order. Unfortunately, my camera is producing somewhat grainy images at the moment. You can access the photo gallery on the official MSU site here.
The LSJ reports the following regarding recruits at the event:
Numerous high-profile recruits were at Breslin Center to witness Midnight Madness. High school juniors Trey Zeigler of Mount Pleasant and Russell Byrd of Fort Wayne (Ind.) Blackhawk Christian joined sophomore recruit Paul Honigford of Garaway (Ohio) in attendance. Current Spartan commit Derrick Nix of Detroit Pershing was also on hand.
Also, I just listened to Izzo’s Media Day interview on the Huge Show last night. The big piece of new information was that Izzo plans to post up more this year: Roe, Morgan, Gray, and even Summers will all post up. That’s a good sign that he’s planning to open the offense a little bit to take advantage of MSU’s size/athleticism. He also said he thinks they could play 10-11 guys and will pressure the ball “up and down” the court.
Finally, the Detroit News reports that 1,000 tickets to today’s football game are dedicated to athletic recruits and their families. One more reason to beat the Buckeyes today.
Let’s hear it!
On the banks of the Red Cedar . . .