Why One Statistic Has the Spartans Looking at a 2nd National Title for Tom Izzo & 3rd for Michigan State!

Denzel Valentine fights for a rebound vs. Iowa 2015.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.
Denzel Valentine fights for a rebound vs. Iowa 2015. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

The #2 Michigan State Spartans 24-5 (11-5) are taking on Rutgers 6-23 (0-16) tonight. While so many people are aware of the Spartans terrific ability to score, over looked is their amazing success on the boards.

The Spartans are the third ranked team in the nation cleaning the boards, and #1 of the power five schools. That puts them squarely in the hunt for a national title. Izzo has said previously, “Rebounding is the only statistic that is based solely on effort.” He has also said, “Little things like rebounding, effort things are what brings you a championship.”

So what does he think of the Spartans success on the boards? “I think there are some bad rebounding teams in the country. I say that because in those years you’re talking about we were plus-15, plus-15, 8. You know, the last four games we’re plus-4 up until yesterday or three games. I don’t think we dominate. We don’t have a dominating wing guy that rebounds. I think we’ve done it by committee. We’ve done it by group and that’s kinda good. But we don’t seem like that team that’s dominating anybody. But I’m saying that about everything we do, which means I’m probably not giving us enough credit. I really felt that if we were dominating somebody I could say it. I’m really excited about our assists because we’re dominating in that respect. I’m excited about our 3-point shooting because we have proven over and over again … our rebounding, here again it’s like our rankings. We’re first in the country and second in the Big Ten in rebounding. Purdue has done a better job than we have and yet I’m amazed by that stat. I really am. It’s not where it was when we were dominating so that means we’re better than in I think and the country’s worse than we think.”

The MSU Rutgers game tips off at 7PM tonight and you can see it on BTN.