Location: Breslin Center (16,280) East Lansing, MI
Game Time: 7:00, 12-2-2015
Line: Michigan State -5.5
Series History: Louisville leads 5-4 (1-2 in East Lansing)
Last Time: Michigan State 76 Louisville 70 (2015 East Regional Final, Syracuse)
Note: This will be Rick Pitino’s 500th Game as Head Coach at Louisville
Louisville & Michigan State share a lot of similarities statistically. Michigan State’s strength of schedule thus far is 169th, Louisville’s is 333rd so there is a considerable gap when considering any comparison statistically.
Both of these teams are #1 & #2 in Rebounding Rate, Michigan State is an excellent passing team, while Louisville is much better at getting steals.
This game matches up well to be a fantastic battle. Who wins the glass probably wins the game, but the Cards are also going to have to defend and contest not only the shooters but also the passing lanes. Because Michigan State passes so well to open shooters, Rick Pitino’s coveted deflections will be more precious than ever. Any Cardinal that finds himself lacking active hands will find himself on the bench in this one. No team can afford to allow Michigan State to pass the ball freely because so much of their offense depends on ball movement.
Limit the ball movement and limit Michigan State’s offense. Easier said than done.
My Prediction: Michigan State 78, Louisville 75
|Points Per Game||84.8 (29th)||85.0 (24th)|
|Avg Scoring Margin||+33.6 (1st)||+22.4 (13th)|
|Field Goal %||52.3% (9th)||51.0% (17th)|
|2-point FG%||57.5% (19th)||56.4% (28th)|
|3-point FG%||36.4% (110th)||41.1% (34th)|
|Free Throw %||64.9% (263rd)||72.3% (93rd)|
|Rebound Rate||65.2% (1st)||63.2% (2nd)|
|Blocks Per Game||5.2 (38th)||5.6 (28th)|
|Steals Per Game||7.8 (48th)||3.9 (329th)|
|Assists Per Game||15.2 (81st)||23.7 (1st)|
|Turnovers Per Game||9.8 (19th)||11.3 (70th)|
|Opponent Turnovers Per Game||15.0 (67th)||9.4 (338th)|
|Team Fouls Per Game||18.2 (61st)||18.7 (79th)|
|Opponent Shooting %||32.4% (3rd)||39.0% (56th)|
|Opponent 2-point FG%||32.7% (1st)||43.1 (63rd)|
|Opponent 3-point FG%||32.0% (122nd)||30.8% (89th)|
|Opponent Block Per Game||2.6 (91st)||1.7 (17th)|
|Opponent Steals Per Game||4.2 (27th)||4.3 (35th)|
|*351 teams Play Division 1|
Damion Lee vs. Denzel Valentine is a no joke big-time match-up. This would be a fantastic time to have Deng Adel in the lineup for defense, but as it sits this will be a huge test for Damion Lee. Valentine has been through the wars of the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament, Damion Lee hasn’t. Valentine scores, hits 3s, rebounds, and dishes out assists. He’s the key to making Michigan State go. It will be very interesting to see how well Damion can do defensively against him and if he can score at his usual rate vs. Valentine.
Trey Lewis vs. Bryn Forbes are former teammates at Cleveland State. Forbes burned Louisville for 4 of 6 three pointers in last year’s NCAA Regional Final. Forbes has continued to hit 3s at a high rate and it will be up to Trey Lewis to defend him. Also Trey Lewis will need to play excellent offensively.
Trey & Damion “The L&L Boys” have a lot at stake for this game. But Quentin Snider has the advantage over Lourawls Nairn at point guard and with Chinanu Onuaku over Matt Costello at Center. If Denzel Valentine & Bryn Forbes have their way the Cards will have to make up the difference with Q & Nanu.
|Quentin Snider||Lourawls Nairn, Jr|
|6-1, 180, Soph||5-10, 170, Soph|
|Field Goal %||42.5%||41.90%|
|Trey Lewis||Bryn Forbes|
|6-2, 190, Sr.||6-3, 175, Sr.|
|Field Goal %||35.00%||46.90%|
|Damion Lee||Denzel Valentine|
|6-6, 200, Sr.||6-5, 220, Sr.|
|Field Goal %||56.0%||46.90%|
|Jaylen Johnson||Javon Bess|
|6-9, 215, Soph||6-5, 205, Soph|
|Field Goal %||57.1%||54.50%|
|Chinanu Onuaku||Matt Costello|
|6-10, 230, Soph||6-9, 245, Sr.|
|Field Goal %||62.5%||45.20%|
The Cards have a size advantage over the Spartans, but Michigan State has never really relied on size to rebound or defend over the years. Ray Spalding has the potential to be the X-Factor for Louisville if he can continue his recent play of moving away from the ball and also on the defensive end.
For Michigan State Matt McQuaid is another big-time outside threat that Louisville will need to account for in addition to Forbes. Giving Denzel Valentine outlets like Forbes and McQuaid just make him more dangerous so defending the passing lanes is going to be extremely key.
|Donovan Mitchell||Eron Harris|
|6-3, 210, Fr.||6-3, 175, Jr.|
|Field Goal %||62.50%||42.90%|
|David Levitch||Matt McQuaid|
|6-3, 180, Jr.||6-5, 185, Fr.|
|Field Goal %||50.00%||52.20%|
|Mangok Mathiang||Kenny Goins|
|6-10, 220, Jr.||6-6, 215, Fr.|
|Field Goal %||50.00%||83.30%|
|Anas Mahmoud||Colby Wollenman|
|7-0, 200, Soph||6-7, 235, Sr.|
|Field Goal %||57.1%||46.20%|
|Ray Spalding||Deyonta Davis|
|6-10, 210, Fr.||6-10, 245, Fr.|
|Field Goal %||76.20%||66.70%|
|Marvin Clark, Jr.|
|6-6, 225, Soph|
|Field Goal %||61.5%|
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