Paul Manwaring is a really nice guy. I truly enjoy chatting with him. 
But there isn't a person associated with CCSU athletics that Blue Devils fans want to see any less than Central's trainer. Unfortunately for those fans, and even more unfortunately for the players he was working on, Manwaring was the star of the game for Central Wednesday night at Michigan State. 
On the surface, it looks like a blowout victory for the Spartans. But Central actually played incredibly well for long stretches, and showed an exceptional amount of guile and toughness. 
Even Tom Izzo said after the game that he was more impressed with CCSU than he was with his own team's play. No one is saying CCSU is better than MSU, but the Blue Devils made their mark on East Lansing. 
The Blue Devils were up big early and managed to hang around when MSU took the lead, avoiding a blowout until the final few minutes. But in the end, the Blue Devils were done in by what is the big difference between a Big 10 school and an NEC school. Depth. 
While Central's injuries mounted and Manwaring made more and more trips onto the floor, Tom Izzo spent the night rotating one impressive athlete for another. The Spartans literally caused injuries with their picks (which were clean by the way), reached over CCSU players to get tip ins like the Blue Devils weren't even there, and used speed and athleticism that Central could only match before getting fatigued. 
5 on 5, Central could have run with the Spartans all night. But the Spartans seemed to have waves of players, and the Blue Devils found themselves in physical and foul trouble. 
Give Central a healthy Joe Efese, Shelton Mickell and David Simmons for 40 minutes, and this one might have been interesting. But staying healthy against a team that big and strong is a task in and of itself. 

Let's break down a gutty effort for Central that fell short when the Blue Devils ran out of steam by doing something CCSU didn't do as much of as normal, playing man to man. 

David Simmons: With Joe Efese out with a concussion, Simmons had to handle the vast majority of the interior work. And until he cramped up, he was doing a splendid job of it. He had nine rebounds in the first half, and when he came back in in the second half, he kept trying to draw charges. Tough effort. He has definitely earned more minutes. 

Ken Horton: We said this after the Niagara game. Ken Horton can't get in foul trouble. He just can't. He's in the top 20 in the country in scoring and is one of his team's best rebounders. He can't be on the bench. 
That said, the rest of his night was a mixed bag. When he was hot early, CCSU took off. When he struggled, MSU went on its first run. He had a couple of nice drives and a couple dunks, but also rushed a couple of quick threes. Where he did stand out was on defense, getting in lanes and grabbing 5 steals. A good game, Central just could have used about 5 more minutes out of him. The good news is that his ankle appeared ok after he left with an injury early. 

Kyle Vinales: Speaking of needing to stay out of foul trouble. He was probably too hyped up playing close to home and against a big name opponent. But he didn't commit a single turnover. That's a great sign of his growth. 

Malcolm McMillan: Nothing exciting, but a solid performance on offense. Couldn't do as much defensively has he has done in earlier games, however. By the way, I wanted to mention to the commenter from yesterday that when I compared his ability to avoid turnovers to Tim Tebow, it was intended as a compliment. Tebow is very good at taking contact without fumbling. That's what I was saying about McMillan. 

Robby Ptacek: I can't complain about too many of his shots. He rushed a couple, but had a bunch where he dribbled his way to a closer, more open, shot. He just couldn't make any. Great at the line at least. 

Adonis Burbage: Got some shots up without fear, tipped some balls, generally active. But if he's going to take extra shots, he has to make some. 

Shelton Mickell: He was starting to play well before he was introduced to Draymond Green's upper body. We'll have to see how bad his shoulder injury is. And before I even check my inbox, let me clear this up now. MSU plays very physically, but in a very clean way. Green's pick was totally legal, as were many of the hits the Spartans delivered. Sacred Heart took a lot more in the way of liberties. 

Terrell Allen: He has a knack for offensive rebounding. A strong showing, though he must, must, must be better at the foul line. 

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