November 18, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports)
Champions Classic: Kansas vs. Michigan St Basketball Recap
The Champions Classic is back for yet another year. The Kansas Jayhawks came into the game ranked #4 in the nation, while the Michigan St. Spartans weren’t too far behind at #13. Last Friday night, the Jayhawks from Lawrence, Kansas cruised to a 109 to 72 victory at home against Northern Colorado. Junior guard Brannen Greene led the team early on, coming into the game after an 18 point outing in the first game and senior Forward Perry Ellis followed with 16 points. On the other hard, Sparty also came to battle with a 1-0 record; they defeated Florida Atlantic 82 to 55 behind 19 points from senior Matt Costello and 13 points and 11 rebounds from freshman Deyonta Davis. Needless to say, this game did not disappoint.
The first 20 minutes went back and forth, but ultimately ended with a 41 to 35 advantage in favor of the Jayhawks. Perry Ellis led KU with 14 points while Denzel Valentine was all over the stat sheet for Michigan St with 8 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds. However, the 10 turnovers killed the Spartans in the 1st half, while the Jayhawks only had 3 in the Second.
The second half started out with more of the same: Perry Ellis and Denzel Valentine trading buckets and displaying just how they good they both are. Michigan St came storming back and took the lead 65 to 64 with a little over 4 minutes to go. Ultimately, Denzel Valentine (29 Pts,11 Reb,12 Ast), led the Spartans to victory over the Jayhawks 79 TO 73. Perry Ellis had 21 points. Kansas shot 36.5% from the field (23-63 FG) (3-12 3PT); Mich St shot 46.7% (28-60 FG) (9-21 3PT)
What We Learned
We learned that both Perry Ellis and Denzel Valentine are two of the nation’s best players and that they know how to lead their teams. Freshmen Carlton Bragg Jr (KU) and Matt McQuaid (MSU) are both poised for promising seasons. When guard play improves to match that of the frontcourt, both of these teams will be dangerous. Kansas returns to action on Monday against Chaminade in Maui while Michigan St hosts Arkansas Pine-Bluff on Friday.