Missed boxout dooms MSU
With 1:11 left in their battle with UConn, MSU foulded Kemba Walker sending him to the line for a 1 and 1. Walker missed the front end but MSU was unable to secure the rebound.
After getting the ball back, Walker sunk a jump shot that turned out to be the game winner. What happened on the box out?
What we saw was Korie Lucious with the responsibility to box out the shooter. This left Draymond Green to have sole responsibility of boxing out his man. This turns out poorly for the Spartans.
As you can see, Green puts get a body on the defender initially and looks to be able to secure the rebound.
However, he does not hold his position and UConn gets a piece of the rebound, deflecting it away from Green. Nobody is in the vicinity of Niels Griffey and he is in position to grab the ball as it bounces out to the three point line.
In the ensuing scramble, UConn secures the rebound and Walker hits the game winning shot on the same possession. What could MSU have done differently?
My main question is, what is Kalin Lucas doing out of the picture? You are up one, with a minute left. This could be the most important possession of the game and you are not in position for the rebound?
Here is what I would have liked to have seen MSU do differently.
I would have had Lucious pinch down to help Green with the box out. Then, I would have put Lucas on either the shooter or at the three point line for the deflections. Either way, he likely would have been in position to grab the loose ball.
Instead, the free UConn player was able to grab the offensive rebound without any pressure. With such an important rebound on the line, Izzo dropped the ball by not encouraging Lucas to be closer to the action and help get the rebound.