Quote by ACC-Big Ten, Duke & Wisconsin on a roll

01/12/2016

The annual Acc/Big Ten Challenge features 14 games. The first two days and eight games left the two conferences at 4-4.

 

Duke – Michigan State 78-69

  • Michigan State stayed in the game for the first 30 minutes, on the road, against Duke. Then the Blue Devils took a small margin and never looked back. Was that a good performance or a bad one for Michigan State? Tom Izzo is probably wondering the same thing, but he might have to see the positives in here, since the bookmakers had Duke as a 13-point favorite.
  • Grayson Allen? Duke Kennard? None of them. Frank Jackson is the one who tipped the balance with a couple of penetrations that set the Cameron Indoor Stadium on fire, and the Spartans never recovered. Jackson has been Duke’s best player early on, and finished the game with 11 points, 4-4 from inside the arc, 1-2 from outside, 4 rebounds and 3 assists.
  • Everything is easy, at least on paper. But this game showed the difference between these two teams. Duke had a 6-men rotation for the first time this season. Izzo had a 10-men rotation and 8 players with at least 14 minutes and it feels like he should have got more out of his players. Of note, Kennard finished without a single foul.
  • Speaking of Kennard, Duke shot 26% on three-pointers, and Jones and Kennard went 1-of-13 combined from beyond the arc. That’s not likely to happen again.
  • The best highlight of the game was a put-back slam by Miles Bridges, whose athleticism is already worth a spot in the Nba. But MSU still spends too much time initiating the offense, and never really gave Bridges the touches he needed. And that delay in giving him the ball also allowed Duke to push him out of his comfort zone, taking him mentally out of the game.