Tom Izzo Tries to Work is Magic: Recruiting 2013-2014 Season

Tom Izzo Tries to Work is Magic: Recruiting 2014

Tom Izzo‘s Michigan State Spartans are already considered a heavy weight team heading into next season, but why not add a little more fire power? Tom Izzo has a strong foothold when it comes to recruiting, and this year is no different. Michigan State has their eyes set on Jahlil Okafor the country’s number two player. Adding Okafor to MSU’s roster would not only make the Spartans title contenders next season (which they are anyway) but also may make them title contenders for many seasons to come. Although Okafor is not the only guy Izzo’s got his eye on. Also in Tom Izzo’s sights are Brad Bretching, Gavin Schillings, and Alvin Ellis, who are already set to join the Spartans this fall.

Michigan State Will Face North Carolina Dec 4th in Big Ten-ACC Challenge

Michigan State Will Face North Carolina Dec 4th in Big Ten-ACC Challenge

Michigan State will face the North Carolina Tar Heals, at the Breslin Center, Wednesday December 4th 2013. This match up is apart of the Big Ten-ACC Challenge, that takes place every year between all Big Ten and ACC teams. Despite the Big Ten taking the series from their Conference rivals, the ACC leads the all time series, with a 10-3-1 record.

College Basketball analysis Dick Vitale recently stated “This could be Tom Izzo‘s best team at State ever, and North Carolina will likely put that notion to the test.” In many preseason top 25 polls Michigan State has been ranked around the #3 spot. The Spartans are 6-7 all time in the challenge, but are 5-1 at the Breslin. The Tar Heals are ranked at number 8 in CBS sports “Way-to-early” preseason ranking. They are 7-7 all time in this challenge, but only 2-4 when they play away from home.
The Spartans over all record against UNC is not very good, with a 3-11 all time record. This is only the Third time ever the Tar Heals have made the trip to East Lansing, and the first since 2000, in which MSU defeated UNC 77-64.

Both Michigan State and North Carolina have many returning starters such as (MSU) Keith Appling, Brandon Dawson, Adreian Payne, and Gary Harris. North Carolina’s returning starters include PJ Hairston, James Micheal MacAdoo, and Marcus Paige.

This should be a close game, filled with excitement and game changing moments. Unfortunately given the two teams past record (even though State is home) I think the Spartans will fall to the Tar Heals, loosing by 5 points or less. Sorry to disappoint all you die hard State fans. :/

He’s Back!

What Payne's Return Means for the Spartans

Even without their star Forward Adreian Payne, Michigan State would most likely be a solid top-15 team going into 2013-2014 season. With Payne MSU will be in the top five, and more then likely be title contenders. Despite reports that Payne would likely be a late 1st round NBA draft pick, Sunday he decided that he would return to the Spartans for his final year of eligibility. “I’m [going to] stay my senior year and try to get us to a championship” Payne stated.
In the past few seasons Michigan State has been lacking a Senior leadership role (with the exception of Draymond Green 2012), and in order for them to be successful this year, I think that both Payne and Keith Appling have to take that role. There is no doubt that Payne has some big shoes to fill, with Derrick Nix out of the lineup, but last season Payne showed some major improvement on his jump shot and aggression down low. With that being said I think Adreian Payne will have no problem exceeding expectations during next years season.

The Big Decision Still Remains…

The Big Decision Still Remains...

The decision of Michigan State’s junior forward Adreian Payne, whether to go pro or remain with the Spartans, is still pending. NBC sports reporter, Rob Dauster puts Payne in his top 5 biggest early entry decisions still remaining. Dauster reports “if Payne were to return for his senior season at Michigan State, the Spartans are a true national title contender … ” After MSU finished 27-9 last year in the regular season, but fell flat in the Sweet 16 losing to Duke in the NCAA tourney. Sparty got a lift last week, when Big 10 freshman of the year announced his return to the team for his sophomore season. Players have until April 28th to make their final decisions. Payne’s decision to stay or leave for the NBA, could make or break the Spartans’ season next year

From Boy to Man

From Boy to Man

Former Detroit Pershing star, Derrick Nix entered the Michigan State basketball squad as a temper tantrum throwing boy. After having trouble with not only Coach Tom Izzo, but also the Lansing Police during his sophomore year, Nix was not aloud to join the team in the Maui Invitational. As the years went on, with the help of Izzo, Nix turned into a well rounded individual, and earned a team captain spot in his final year with the Spartans. Thanks to Izzo’s (along with the other coaches) commitment to turn this young mans life around, Nix who came to Michigan State as a “boy” will now leave a “man”!

Should Adreian Paine Go Pro?

Should Adreian Paine Go Pro?

In the Spartans 2012-2013 season, Adreian Paine improved immensely. Since his sophomore year Paine has become a much more consistent player and still has room for even more progression. Paine has the size to make it to the NBA, standing at 6″10 240lbs with a 7″ wingspan. What Paine excels most in is shot blocking and has an appetite for rebounds. Obviously Spartan fans would love to see him stay for his Senior year, but realistically I think it is best for him to leave Michigan State and enter the draft. My reasoning behind this is because Paine’s NBA stock may never be higher, and he will likely never stare down the kind of salary that the NBA would provide him. Adreian Paine needs to do whats best for him realistically and not just what the fans want.