It’s now been 30 hours since MSU punched its ticket to the Final Four. And the buzz still hasn’t worn off.
Just over 115 hours remain until the team takes the floor in Detroit against the Huskies. So we’ve got plenty of time to break down that match-up.
For now, let’s step back and savor the four-game run our Spartans have made to get to this point. For some context, here are the per-game stats for the eight players averaging double-digit minutes in NCAA Tournament play:
The amazing thing is the balance in statistical contributions. Goran Suton has obviously stepped up his play–14.3 points and 11.5 rebounds per game are well above his season averages–but beyond that it’s been a team effort. Kalin Lucas’ scoring average is actually below his season average, although he’s scored efficiently and posted a respectable 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Three guys shooting 40%+ from 3-point range.
- The free throw shooting has been very good.
- Six guys averaging at least one offensive rebound per game.
- Seven guys averaging at least one assist per game.
- Only one of the eight players (Raymar Morgan) has more turnovers than assists. (This is true of only 3 of the 8 players for the full season: Kalin Lucas, Travis Walton, and–you guessed it–Draymond Green. Speaking of Green, did you know that, going into the weekend’s games, he led the team in charges drawn on the season with six? No other MSU player has recorded more than three.)
- That’s not enough, even more on Green: Fifth in minutes, third in scoring, second in rebounding, tied for third in steals. I can’t come up with a good historical comparison for an MSU player who’s stepped up more from his regular season level performance to become such a major contributor in postseason play. He’s basically offset Raymar Morgan’s lack of offensive production.
- What a great time for Durrell Summers to find his shooting stroke: 80.0 eFG% on 19 FG attempts.
- Look for Delvon Roe to be a factor on Sunday. He’s played limited minutes, largely due to some bad match-ups in terms of smaller and more athletic opposing lineups. But the numbers don’t indicate he’s playing poorly.
OK, with all that, let’s talk about what individual plays you’ve enjoyed the most over the past four games. The Kalin Lucas and-one basket to break the tie against Kansas in the final minute has to be at the top of the list. What other plays go on the highlight reel so far?