Spartan Speculations – Notes from Michigan State vs. Duke Champions Classic

By: Charles Ranspach

The Duke Blue Devils and Michigan State Spartans took the court Tuesday in a match up of the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the country.

In a game that had a potential of five NBA lottery picks, it did not disappoint. Duke ended up winning 88-81. Senior Grayson Allen led all scorers with 37 while Sophomores Nick Ward, Miles Bridges and freshman Jaron Jackson JR. tied for a MSU team high 19 points. From here on you will be getting 3-4 “hot takes” from each game, like it or not, here they are:


This is a phrase that is probably burnt into your brain at this point.

Tom Izzo preaches not to let this happen and if you listened to the broadcast, Jay Bilas wouldn’t let you forget that. The Spartans had 17 turnovers.

This is coming after a game where they had 21 turnovers and won by 30. If this team wants to succeed this year this is the clear place where wins and losses will be made. Nothing derails talented teams more than the turnover bug. MSU shot 10% better than Duke! 10%!!! In a game where Grayson Allen has 37 points. For an “old” team this has been disappointing. Slow down and make smarter plays.

Miles Bridges needs to be more assertive.

I am not the only person who can be thinking this, hell even his coach has said the same thing, openly.

On an off night Bridges put up 19 points. He dribbled into bad positions which resulted in bad passing which resulted in multiple bad turnovers. He also was consistently taking shots that left me staring at my TV wondering “why?” The zone seemed to scare him. Instead of attacking it, he settled for shots and never seemed to get comfortable.

Bridges has said he wants to win a championship, well I’m sorry to tell you this, MILES, but you guys are going nowhere if you just sit on top of the arch. Lead these Spartans into battle and ATTACK!

Joshua Langford and Matt Mcquaid are very important.

There were multiples times in this game where Mcquaid and Langford had a wide open three and either missed or, as the game went on, they pulled down and looked for the pass or a sloppy drive (Mcquaid tried to make up for it with a “more than I thought possible athletic AND 1” during the second half).

These two are the team’s “best shooters” and it is sad when your center/power forward and Miles Bridges is leading your team in threes. I remember watching Travis Trice, Gary Harris, and Bryn Forbes (just to name some recent few) hit threes that decided games, changed the momentum, or buried that early second half dagger! This team doesn’t seem to have that yet but, just like winter, it is coming.

Tom Izzo has too much forward depth

This is coming after a year where we basically had two starting forwards and a guy wearing the fricken number 0 playing the 4. Izzo couldn’t seem to find the right rotation against Duke and it may have cost him. Ward and Jackson were sitting on the bench too late in the game.

I know it’s early and I know he is trying to figure out what the rotation will be, but when you have a 1-11 record against Coach K, put your best fricken players out on the court and let them win you the game!

MSU tips off against Stony Brook on 11/19 to kick off the PK80 tournament, where if we are lucky enough we may get another shot at a team from the state of North Carolina team; this time being the Tar Heels. 

Our fan writer block is growing. Charles now has Michigan State covered. How about other Big Ten teams? Can we get a Michigan? Purdue? Maybe a rogue Rutgers fan? Email me, and we’ll claim your turf. 

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