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November 20, 2011

MSU 69, UALR 47

This is the kind of game that deserves as few words written about it as possible. It was pretty hard on the eyes, so why make it hard on the keyboard?

    To review, Tom Izzo had some unkind things to say about his team's effort after 40 minutes of slog in front of maybe 11,000 people at Breslin. He called it a "major step backward" and had a reference to the Jim Collins book "Good to Great" that I enjoyed.

    "I'm gonna write a book called 'Good to Bad,'" he said in a classic Izzo-angry-after-20-point-nonleague-win moment. "That’s what we did tonight, we went from good to bad.”

    Izzo wasn't even impressed with Austin Thornton's career-high (and game-high) 13 points, saying "stats can be misleading." He gave a slight nod to Draymond Green (playing through a sprained ankle) and Derrick Nix for their effort, acknowledged the defense was good at times and that Keith Appling started to push it well in the second half, but that was it.

    Anyone watching that game would come to the same conclusion as Izzo. But I don't think effort is going to be this team's problem. It will be there when needed. What I'm wondering is if the outside shooting and free-throw shooting will be there when this team needs them, and if the turnovers will go away.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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