Before the game I was talking to an ISU fan (maybe someone on the boards as he was knowledgeable and TALL) and commented on which ISU player would guard Weems. He felt it would be Richard because of Weems' size and I thought it would be Carter because Weems spends so much time on the perimeter and I thought we would need Richard on another big from MSU. The game opened with Richard on him but when Richard was not in the game, he was Carter's so I guess we were both right to a degree. Weems got at least 1/2 his early points on scramble plays so both defenders did an excellent job against any set offense.
To me, the big key of the second half defense was Kelly's play on Leonard. He was so quick, tall and long that Leonard was really frustrated trying to find a shot (something he shared with all of the Bears, I guess).
I like Golden's article this morning about the 5 big plays/periods in the three games. I guess the one I had not processed was the defensive sequence against WSU that he laid out where the entry passes were denied and long late 3's were missed.
The plays indelibly etched in my mind as the absolute critical and effort plays of the MSU game were Richard's spectacular block and the 6-7-8 player rugby scrum on the risky half court pass to Carter with 20+ seconds remaining.
That play got me to thinking about how even the MVC is and how many things went right for ISU at the end of games over the weekend.
What were the odds of UE making a back court violation after that rebound? If the pass is 5 inches more on line, he catches it and the last 10 seconds is in Evansville's control.
On the rugby scrum, it could have been a steal or kicked OB by Carter. The possession arrow could have pointed MSU's way.
MSU had two open shots when down one before ISU finally got the defensive rebound leading to Odum's 1 for 2 at the line. How many times have the Bears missed both of those open looks at a key point in the final seconds??
Golden's article seemed to imply that Kelly was not touched on the final play and was falling OB from his own momentum. What if no foul were called and he held the ball? (he might have tossed it in the air w/o a whistle, I think Jake would have done that but no one will ever know). Lots of options with 1.4 seconds to play an possession under the offensive bucket for MSU.