Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Instant Analysis: Michigan 36, MSU 29 H
By Michael Rothstein
Turning point: Michigan scored on back-to-back layups -- first with a Trey Burke drive and dish to Stu Douglass, who one-touched it to Jordan Morgan for a layup. Then Burke stole the ball in the Michigan State backcourt and drove in for another layup to give Michigan a 30-20 lead.
Best player in the half: Burke has been sensational. The freshman, who has improved steadily throughout the course of the season, controlled the pace of the game. He finished with nine points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal -- but more impressive was how he drove to the lane, beating Michigan State guard Keith Appling and whomever else the Spartans had guarding him.
What Michigan needs to do, What Michigan State needs to do: Michigan -- Get Tim Hardaway Jr. more involved. The star sophomore has continued in his slump, shooting 0 of 3 from the field, 0 of 2 from the 3-point line and picked up all four of his points from the free-throw line. If Hardaway Jr. finds his game, Michigan could be in line to win its third straight against Michigan State. Michigan State -- Go inside more. One of Michigan's big weaknesses is interior defense and the Spartans have three guys who can really hurt Michigan there in Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne and Draymond Green. Combined, they have 15 points and 11 rebounds, but seven of those boards are from Green. Meanwhile Morgan, who is perpetually in foul trouble, hasn't picked up any.