How good is BC? Unlike the Izzo, Skinner likes to ease his teams into January. BC survived a few scares already this season. Tonight’s game will be their first matchup against a ranked opponent.
Keys to the game for BC:
Defending Paul Davis. The Spartan big man is coming into his own. This is a game where the loss of Sean Williams really impacts BC’s strategy. My guess is that they will put Oates on him early and see how he handles the pressure. If he is ineffective, then look for Craig to get the call. That would still be a mismatch, but Craig has the strength to keep him off the boards. Another key to stopping Davis -- pressure the passers. BC has been good with clogging passing lanes. They will need even more of that tonight.
Slow the pace. Like BC, Michigan State can play fast or slow. I think a slower game helps BC. The Spartans have been very efficient on offense this year. Given them extra chances is probably a losing proposition.
Win the turnover battle. Simple enough, but I really think ball handling will be the key to the game. Arizona nearly stole their game against MSU (on a night where they were cold) with ball hawking.
This will be my first time to see the team this year. Check in tomorrow for my first impressions.