By: Charles Ranspach
Welp, that happened.
What was supposed to be an easy restart to Big Ten play, turned into something a little bit different.
After suffering an absolute disaster of a loss to OSU (64-80) MSU barely pulled away with a win at home (AT HOME!!!) against Rutgers 76-72, in overtime.
It seemed that nothing could go right against Ohio State. Bridges and Langford were the bright stars with 17 points each in a game where not many other players could produce. Nick Ward had three points and looked like he forgot how to play basketball and the bench only scored four points. Follow up that game with one where laziness could be seen all around. Bridges had zero points at halftime and looked like all he wanted to do was pass the ball. I’ll give Rutgers some credit, they looked well prepared and gave it all they had.
Now onto what you came here for:
Trust the process:
Like any Tom Izzo team, there are growing pains in January. If I have learned anything in my years of fandom is: TRUST IZZO! His teams seem to peak in March, right when they are supposed to. There are such high expectations, rightfully so, that games like Rutgers look worse than they are. Any other year that would be a great win on a tough conference. This team isn’t perfect and that was shown this week. Remember, there are four sophomores and a freshman in the starting line up, they still have things to learn.
Stars vs. Role Players
Now I know this is going to sound crazy, but Nick Ward is a role player.
Before you bite my head off, let’s define what a role player is: a guy who plays great a home, but can be hit or miss on the road. Nick Ward has been great this season by improving in most places but, he has struggled in both road games so far in Big Ten play. He also lets bad calls and a poor attitude get in his way.
I believe players like Bridges, Langford, and Cash are our star players. Langford always seems to make shots when we need him to and in crunch time Cash is the only player I want running the offense. Bridges on the other hand is above the rest. Regardless of what the game script has been, Bridges seems to step up when needed. His 11 points in the second half last night were crucial. Let’s disregard not hitting the game winning free throws (let’s hope that is just a one off thing).
Now everyone take a breath.
Go ahead, I’ll wait……ok. Just keep telling yourself, it will all be ok. Trust the Izzo.
MSU takes on Michigan on Saturday at 12pm in East Lansing. Look for the team to come out with some extra fury against their rival. Bridges and Jackson are going to have career days and MSU will win 86-74.