Outplayed and out-coached.
Lack of hustle. Lack of energy.
Not enough heart. Not enough grit.
Where was the swagger? Where was the intensity?
Where was…...Delvon Roe?
Michigan State knew it’d be a heavy loss when Delvon Roe decided last September that it would be best for him to retire from basketball because of constant, overwhelming knee injury. But after dropping their first two contests to North Carolina and Duke, MSU won 15 straight games. It had seemed like a lot of the Spartan faithful had forgotten about Roe’s early retirement- but it should have hit home last night.
[caption id="attachment_343" align="alignright" width="334" caption="Delvon Roe retired from MSU basketball this past September due to severe and frequent knee injuries. Photo courtesy of The Detroit News"][/caption]
The Spartans lost to the University of Michigan yesterday for the third consecutive time, 60-59. Michigan got out to a hot start, and despite an 11-2 run by MSU late in the second half that gave the Spartans a one-point lead, Michigan was always in control of the game. Trey Burke’s penetration to the hoop was one of the Spartans’ biggest defensive problems. Coincidentally, Delvon Roe ended his career as second in school history in blocks. Michigan State could have used that presence to slow down Burke (20 points) last night.
Michigan was always in control of this game because they wanted it more. One of their main goals was to limit Draymond Green on offense. Green scored just 7 points in 37 minutes while committing 5 turnovers. The Wolverines were aggressive and played like it was the last game of their lives. Their veterans played like veterans, talking and carrying out their plan. They played with a reckless abandon, something Delvon Roe always did for the Spartans in his 3 years. MSU missed him on the floor last night.
Delvon Roe’s experience and maturity would have helped the Spartans tremendously in this game (he played on two Final Four teams with the Spartans). Roe was a scrappy hustler who did the little things that made those couple of MSU tournament runs special. He could have made the difference last night.
#10 Delvon Roe helped lead the Spartans to the 2010 Final Four.
But, unfortunately, injuries are a part of sports, and Delvon Roe will not be back for the Spartans. This loss, however, was perhaps the first example of how important Roe was to the Spartans in the seasons prior. “We’ve built our program at Michigan State on toughness, and I’ve never had a player who played through more pain than Delvon," Izzo said in September.
All in all, Michigan State still played decent and only lost by a point to one of the other best teams in the Big Ten and nation. The rematch on February 5th should be another thriller.
The Spartans will move on from this loss; they still have a bright season ahead of them. But this loss also must have reminded the Spartan faithful of Delvon Roe’s impact on and sincerity to Michigan State basketball.
Michigan State plays their next game at home against Purdue on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 at 12:00pm.Back to the Michigan State Spartans Newsfeed