Nice win by the basketball team today, and so their tournament hopes remain on life support. The plug won't get pulled until Tuesday night at the earliest.
The Good: Jerret Smith played his best basketball today. He was determined to go to the rim, and made quality shots when he got there. If he didn't, he'd find a way to get fouled. He only had one truly maddening turnover, and that was on the first possession of the game. He, at least, took good care of the ball today.
Ekpe Udoh was all over the place, in a good way. Tough, dogged defense without picking up unnecessary fouls combined with some decent shooting on the other end of the floor. His four blocks vs. one foul is a nice statistic to have, and he poured in 14 points as well.
Dion Harris somehow managed to be our leading scorer, almost invisibly. He spent a lot of time without a field goal in the first half, but found his way to the line a few times. His three-point shot started heating up, and there it goes. He played good defense, making Lawrence McKenzie's life miserable. Minnesota's leading scorer didn't have a single point today. Lester Abram broke out his slump too, tying with Udoh as the second leading scorer on a 14-point effort.
The Bad: Well, we were playing Minnesota. Any positive lessons should be taken with a grain of salt.
DeShawn Sims is playing like a less-athletic Petway right now, missing shots he shouldn't and looking shaky at best on the line. He managed to pick up 4 fouls in 6 minutes of work, so...yeah. Michigan also used essentially a six-man rotation the entire game. The starters plus Courtney Sims played 177 minutes vs. 23 minutes for everyone else. Foul trouble could've killed us, since no one on the bench but D. Sims looked even remotely awake.
The Bottom Line: This game doesn't mean much when Michigan State and the Buckeyes come to town. It's reassuring to know that we can decisively beat a team that's worse than us, but that's a long way from winning out, and 1/2 won't really cut it.