DOSSIER ON THE OAKLAND (MI) GRIZZLIES
- Kenpom Rank: 149
- W-L Record: 8-6
- Conference Record (Summit League): 1-1
- Best Wins: @Oregon, @Wisconsin-Green Bay
- Noteworthy Losses: @Syracuse (by 20), @ Iowa (by 9), Michigan @ the Palace (by 13)
- The Grizzlies are above average offensive rebounders. Anyone watching the Texas game knows that one of the main barriers to Michigan State blowing the game wide open was that they allowed Texas to get position inside and collect their missed shots at a high clip. I'm not saying that Oakland will show the same propensity to grab their misfires, but it is something to be aware of, as they rebound 36.4% of their missed shots, good enough to put them in the top quarter of Division I. This has helped them score more than a point per possession (Offensive efficiency of 107.2, which puts them in the upper tier of Division I teams).
- They can block shots, if given the chance. Oakland blocks 11.2% of opponents' shots, and that is good enough to put them 79th in Division I in that category. However, as we'll soon see, that's about the only aspect of their defensive game that is above average.
- They almost beat MSU last year. At the Breslin. The Grizzlies played Michigan State close last year when they lost 75-71 in East Lansing. These bears won't be intimidated by the Green and White.
- The Grizzlies are a terrible, TURRIBLE defensive team. They give up 1.055 points per possession, which puts them on top...of the worst 25% teams in the NCAA. Their big Achilles' Heel is interior defense, where they allow 50.9% of twos to be made. Michigan State takes a great many more twos than threes (only 24% of MSU's shots are threes, that is extremely low), so look for this point to be heavily exploited.
- Goran Suton is back. No one should be better able to exploit the shoddy interior defense of Oakland than the Bosnian Bomber, who missed only one shot in the victory against Texas. Expect surprisingly graceful drives to the basket and 12-14 footers to drop from the big man.
- Did I mention the Grizzlies give up a lot of offensive rebounds. For as good as Oakland is in collecting rebounds, they're just as bad in giving them up, as they allow their opponents to rebound their misses about 39% of the time. I wouldn't worry about it if I were the Grizzlies, it's not like Izzo stresses offensive rebounds or anything like that.
- Do not allow second chances. Oakland's been good at collecting offensive rebounds, and they have a couple of 6-10/6-11 players who can put those rebounds back in if need be. Take away those chances and see if Oakland can make the shots.
- Go inside, and keep going inside. Despite that height on the interior, Oakland still has weak two point defense. Suton, Morgan and Roe need to go inside and keep going inside.
- Make free throws. Going inside is going to translate to many trips to the foul line. Here's where Delvon can't have a repeat of the Texas game, when he made none of his foul shots in six attempts.
Suton and Morgan get inside repeatedly, but Oakland gets enough offensive rebounds to make it a game in the first half. In the second half, Michigan State starts to own the boards and pulls away.
FINAL SCORE: MSU 82, OAKLAND 65