Purdue thoughts, standings, & MSU predictions

Purdue thoughts, standings, & MSU predictions

Blog PhotoAh, the joys of going up against a seven footer with a hot hand.  I mentioned in the last blog that I was hoping for an off night from Hammons, and the basketball gods swatted down my wish.  Hammons’ play, too, seemed to be contagious, as the Johnson brothers drove with ease to the basket, especially in the first half.  With all that post play considered, I was mumbling to myself up in section C 27 tonight that this one might come down to free throws.  The deities weren’t benevolent to the home team there either.  It may sound obvious, but tonight makes me believe that wins for this team are going to be tough to come by if it’s (1) outsized or (2) not shooting well…or even (3) a combo of both.

John Groce had a similar opinion on Hammons' play...

One positive shoutout, though, goes to Malcom Hill, who was the most productive off the young Illini bench and was at times able to bust through the Purdue defense…earning some style points in the process.

Blog PhotoSo looking big picture…could an eight game losing streak really be in the cards for the O & B?  Of course, no one wants to see it happen, but given what we’ve seen lately and the opponents ahead, it’s a reality you have to consider.  Keep in mind that last year’s squad rebounded from a 2-7 start.  But that’ll be tougher to do this time.

Taking a look at the picks this game, only three of you hit the jackpot, and of those three, it benefitted walker the most...as he's now in the lead.

Time for a sparty party…

Blog PhotoIn an earlier blog, I picked Wisconsin as the top dog in the league this year.  But as long as Tom Izzo is at MSU, you can never count the Spartans out.  What’s remarkable is that they’ve had so much success this year while dealing with so many injuries.  One reporter at Izzo’s press conference this week referred to the squad as a M*A*S*H unit.  A big part of overcoming those injuries is having capable guys coming off the bench…"super subs" as Izzo puts them.  Case in point:  in Adreian Payne’s absence this past weekend, Denzel Valentine played around 10 minutes above his average and had a near double double.  (Yes, I'm aware he struggled tonight.  The point still stands.)  Elsewhere, Gary Harris has improved his three point shooting, and the Spartans are game to run n gun.

Back to that Izzo presser for a second.  This quote of getting his guys to think big picture stood out to me.

Izzo is also greatly respected among coaches.  When I was in Orange Krush, he was the only coach that we didn’t heckle.  And don’t forget how happy he made Spartan nation when he turned down the Cleveland job.  His sense of humor works in his favor too…

My prediction:  MSU 79, Illinois 61

Other notes…

  • Tonight was bad, but at least our scoreboard didn’t eat the ball.
  • The search for those Izzo Midnight Madness photos up there led me to this snapshot of a celebrity guest at the Hall in 2007.  Remember his not so nice words for the President at the time?

Blog Photo-Tim

Coming up Saturday:  MSU thoughts, standings, & OSU predictions

[Izzo audio via msuspartans.com & Funny or Die, Izzo photos via AP & zumapress.com, Piven photo via AP]


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Mike Goebel wrote on January 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm

Michigan State 85, Illinois 62

IlliniHimey wrote on January 15, 2014 at 11:01 pm

It will be a thrashing.  And there will be probably 15,000 Illini fans in attendance honestly thinking Illinois can win the game.  Is there truly nothing better to do in the central part of the state for these 2+ hours?

Bwp 5P wrote on January 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

Sparty 155

Illini 27

kman wrote on January 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm
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 Illinois set to go 16-15, 3-10 over last 13 games. Why does Groce never press or play zone, to take opponent out of their offensive game flo? He is Bruce Weber all over again. Live or DIE with nothing but man2manD. Groce's idea of changing defense is to Substitute Players! JG, comeOnMan,that just Aint workN right !

 JG is a terrible situational game coach.  Get's outcoached by Izzo, Ryan, McCaf, Matta, now even Collins = just No Excuse for that @ the money he's making ! Recruiting will never make up for lack of game coaching ! IMHO


illinibadger wrote on January 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

MSU 77, UIUC 59

ehsfan wrote on January 16, 2014 at 4:01 pm

MSU has struggled a bit more than expected. Facing the woeful Illini should get them on track.

MSU 70 Illini 54

mbelcher wrote on January 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Illinois 68
Mich St 67

Tim Ditman wrote on January 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm
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The blog has been updated with standings and some extra audio clips.  Thanks for being patient.

Green Shirt wrote on January 16, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Michigan State        75

Illinois                      60

walker wrote on January 16, 2014 at 9:01 pm

We play better than we've played in awhile and sort of make it competitive.

MICH ST.  73  ILL  64


buckhunter2 wrote on January 17, 2014 at 8:01 am


ILLINI      63

Railsplitter wrote on January 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

              Illini71  ..... MSU77 ..... Good grief I hope it's this close.

mvillini wrote on January 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

  I have submitted a prediction all five weeks, but have been credited with only four --what happened ??

   Well, back to the ol' drawing boards ! Seems as tho I  confused JG's fire and enthusiasm with the ability of his team to perform in a like manner. I was wrong --they're not quite there yet. They will be !

   The boys will take their lumps for the next couple of games , for sure. MSU will have their way with the Illini 73-60. GO ILLINI !!

Tim Ditman wrote on January 17, 2014 at 10:01 pm
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I don't see a pick for you on the Purdue blog.  You can always e-mail me your pick if you don't trust the comment system.

IndianaBill wrote on January 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm


MSU 62

IlliniwekMerica wrote on January 17, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Michigan State 74

Illinois 66

touchdown_illinois wrote on January 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm

Wow what a difference a week makes. This is going to be ugly...

MSU 82

Illini 62

jruss62 wrote on January 17, 2014 at 4:01 pm



Ray Rice hip holds up for a half just like the last two games then he cant get to the basket and the Illini scoring punch is gone. Spartans has there way with the boys and the house of pain turns into the the house of silence. Better start playing the young guys a little more each game we need there help and now the time for them to step up.



BleedOandB wrote on January 17, 2014 at 5:01 pm

When will the bleeding stop ? They could pull it off but just not happening

Ill 64

Msu 74


twiggy354 wrote on January 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm

illini 72

msu 85

illiniearl wrote on January 18, 2014 at 12:01 am

Oh dear, the sky is falling!
Hang in there Illin!!

Spartans:  75

Illini:  58

Bob Patterson wrote on January 18, 2014 at 1:01 am
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Michigan State 82

Illinois 69

teachdacc wrote on January 18, 2014 at 7:01 am

Sparty 75 ILLINI 61. 

conner34 wrote on January 18, 2014 at 11:01 am

Illini 67

Sparty 75

krervin2 wrote on January 18, 2014 at 2:01 pm

Illinois 66

MSU 65