Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Good Knight and Good Luck

We're not going to see Brandon Knight in spartan green, but this kid really impresses me. He DRAINS every jump shot in this video clip. It's amazing to see a young kid with game this developed. Oh yeah, he's only a junior and he just got named Gatorade National POY.

Phew...We're Safe!

John Calipari has accepted the head man job at Kentucky, so it looks like all the media's rumor-mongering about UK pursuing Izzo will be on hold for a while. Until the next job opens up, at least (I am looking at you, Kevin McHale.)

U-M coaches' tips for MSU to beat UConn

People of Michigan: UNITE!

Haha...It looks like State playing in Detroit during the Final Four is really a galvanizing force. Beilein is offering advice on how to beat UConn...Don't let them dunk or run and marginalize Thabeet.

Thanks for that great insight, Johny.

Read the full article on the Freep.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The Lady Spartans got robbed today. Did you see all of that contact? Great run ladies...

Gillespie Out; Izzo In?

Billy Gillespie has been canned by the University of Kentucky and Pat Forde from ESPN is reporting that these are the top five candidates:

1. Rick Pitino
2. Tom Izzo
3. Thad Matta
4. Travis Ford
5. John Pelfrey

It's really hard for me to imagine Izzo leaving State to go down to UK, but it's not as unbelievable as it once was. Izzo may have reached his peak at State and being the head man at UK is definitely a more prestigious job. It definitely doesn't seem like a big enough upgrade to make the switch, unless he just wants a new challenge. Izzo is MSU basketball, so the slightest thought of him leaving makes me sweat....I'll keep you updated.

Friday, March 27, 2009

What Does "BJ" Stand For?

Well, well, well, it looks like it's one and done for BJ Mullens.  I can' t say I'm really surprised because if he stayed another year he would probably be exposed for the fraud that he is.  Right now he looks like a "7 foot project," but in another he would look like "7 foot joke."

Happy trails, Beej, enjoy North Dakota.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Well, that sucks...

Purdue just went down 60-72 to UConn and Pitt isn't looking that hot...There goes my bracket.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Curry With a Side of Roe?

Looks like Steph's little bro is leaving Liberty for the Big Time. I know he's from NC with no connections to Michigan, but how nice would he look in Spartan Green along with Mr. Roe et al in the 2010 season? Here's the article from ESPN:

LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Seth Curry, the high-scoring younger brother of Davidson star Stephen Curry, says he is transferring out of Liberty to seek a higher level of competition.

Curry, 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, led the nation's freshman with a 20.2 scoring average.

Liberty went 23-12 this season, finishing with an 88-65 loss to James Madison on Monday night in the CollegeInsider.com tournament. Curry scored eight points in the loss.

"This is a difficult decision that I have reached after close consultation with my family and others close to me," he said in a statement released through the school.

He said the decision "is based on my desire to develop as an athlete to the fullest of my potential and take advantage of new opportunities that may be available to me in a higher-rated conference."

There was no indication in the release whether Curry has already decided where to transfer, and the school said Curry would not have any additional comment Tuesday.

Coaches at other schools are not permitted to comment on potential transfers.

Liberty coach Ritchie McKay said he's disappointed with Curry's decision but understands and does not fault him for seeking to play against a higher level of competition.

Like his brother, who is one of the best-known players in college basketball, the younger Curry splashed onto the scene as a scorer.

He scored 23 and 18 points in his first two college games and then had 26 as the Flames won 86-82 at Virginia, just their second victory in eight games in the series.

His season high of 35 points also came on the road, leading the Flames to a 91-80 victory at Virginia Military Institute before the largest crowd in VMI's history.

Through Their Eyes: DOWN AND FOULED OUT

Here's an article from the Daily Trojan about MSU's Sunday evening victory:

For a USC men’s basketball team that looked as though it had started anew in the postseason, it was an old problem that ultimately served as the Trojans’ undoing.

Saddled with fouls, USC junior Taj Gibson was held to three points before fouling out of Sunday’s game against Michigan State with 5:38 remaining.

Although the Trojans kept it close without their top post player, the Spartans held on in the final two minutes for a 74-69 win in Minneapolis and a berth to the Sweet 16.

Two years ago, it was Gibson’s foul trouble that allowed North Carolina to break away from the Trojans and advance to the Elite 8. His fouls last year against Kansas State were also one of USC’s many problems in the team’s opening-round loss to the Wildcats.

On Sunday, the Trojans once again watched their season end as their man in the middle sat on the bench.
After posting a perfect 10-for-10 performance from the field in the opening round against Boston College, the junior forward from Brooklyn missed both field goal attempts and went 3-of-4 from the free throw line.

Gibson maintained his presence on the defensive end by recording five blocks, but the Trojans’ offense was forced to adapt to a physical Spartan defense.

“They did a fine job on him in the minutes that he had,” USC coach Tim Floyd said in the postgame press conference. “I thought that was a real key to the game.”

USC shot 40 percent from the field but went 1-of-10 from three-point range. The Trojans were also outrebounded, 34-24, by the Spartans, who lead the country in rebounding margin. 

Junior guard Dwight Lewis led USC in scoring with 19 points while freshman forward DeMar DeRozan added 18 points.

Michigan State’s Travis Walton surprised many by finishing with a career-high 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting. As the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year, Walton had not been known as one of Michigan State’s top offensive threats. Sophomore guard Kalin Lucas was the early focus for USC’s defense, which came out in a box-and-one scheme designed to bottle up the Spartans’ leading scorer. 
But Walton found himself open for much of the night and repeatedly drained mid-range jumpers on USC.

“Walton played exceptionally well for them,” Floyd said. “He surprised us with his ability to make 17-foot jump shots.”

Never trailing by more than six points, USC had its chances to top the favored Spartans. With 1:56 left in the game, junior guard Daniel Hackett stole the ball and had a chance to tie the game but lost the ball on his way to the basket. 

“The ball just slipped out of my hands. It was unfortunate, that’s all I can tell you,” Hackett said.

Lucas secured the ball, and Michigan State’s Goran Suton was fouled by freshman Nikola Vucevic on a disputed call to send the senior center to the line with 1:13 remaining.
Suton hit both free throws to give Michigan State a four-point lead.

Despite the errors, Floyd said his team did not give the game away.

“The foul trouble did not beat us,” he said. “We got beat by a very good Michigan State team.”

Praise starting to come the Spartans way

Here's a quick to hit by Mike Trogan @ MLive to pick up your day: 

Adding to the abrupt 180 by Jason Whitlock that Phil wrote about earlier, a few experts from ESPN heaped praises on the Green and White today.

The following is from Andy Katz's Sweet 16 preview:

ESPN, March 23: Izzo continues to prove that Michigan State is one of the top five programs in the country under his leadership. MSU has a legitimate chance to get to Detroit and play essentially at home, something that hasn't been done since Duke played in the 1994 title game against Arkansas in Charlotte.

Nice to see State referred to as a top five program in the country. It is also interesting to hear MSU finally being recognized as a legit Final Four contender.

Pat Forde went a step further and recognized Michigan State as one of the top ten programs of all time.

ESPN, March 23: Seventy percent of the programs I'd rank in the all-time top 10 are in the Sweet 16. In no particular order, that's North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan State, Connecticut and either Syracuse or Arizona. The only ones missing: UCLA, Kentucky and Indiana.

Going into the tournament it was en vogue to trash the Big Ten and Michigan State. Now after winning two games that a two seed should be expected to win, Tom Izzo is a master at coaching in March again.

I think that some of these pundits actually talked themselves into believing that MSU was bound to lose on the first weekend.

Good thing is that most have come to their senses, with the exception of Digger who was already picking Kansas about two minutes after the MSU-USC game ended.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Unis...Pretty Cool

There's a thread over at SpartanTailgate about the new unis that State will wear during the tourney.  They look pretty cool to me, but I can't really see design too well.  Here, check it out:

You can make out the Spartan head surround by the Greek shield if you look closely enough.  Here's the description from the Freep article:

Spartan battle armour inspired the dynamic pattern running throughout this jersey while the Michigan State logo forms the foundation. An ancient Greek shield design surrounds the Michigan State logo.

 It looks pretty cool, but I can't help but compare it to the ill-fated silver unis from the '03 season and how State got blasted by Duke the night of the premiere.  I can't even find any pictures of the jersey online.  That's how big of a hit they were...haha.


That's what Greg Kelser had to say in a recent chat in response to a question from "Mitch."

11:32 Comment From Mitch: You have been around a lot of college basketball programs. What is special about the program at Michigan State?

11:32 Gregory Kelser: Consistency. And the fact that there has been little turnover at the top. Three coaches in 40 years says it all.

I couldn't agree more.  Check out the rest of the chat.  It focuses mostly on the Pistons (Greg's current day job is as a Pistons' commentator,) but it's worth a read.  He sheds some pretty good insight into the Pistons season; particularly the Iverson situation.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

All-Geek Team

Here is an interesting excerpt from what is becoming one of my favorite sites: Big Ten Geeks:
Kalin Lucas:
ORtg: 110.2
Shot%: 28.6

Conference player of the year. What's interesting about Lucas is how he adapted his role over the course of the season. Early on in non-conference play, Lucas was a grade-A distributor, with an assist rate around 40.0. But when conference play came around, and Raymar Morgan got sick, and Chris Allen went cold, Lucas became Michigan State's primary scorer. His conference-only numbers make him look like a "shoot first" point guard. The other interesting thing about Lucas is how high his efficiency was despite his lackluster shooting. Lucas posted an effective field goal percentage of 46.1, thanks to a pretty lousy 42% mark from 2 point range. But he made up for it by consuming possessions without turnovers, and by getting to the line at a very healthy rate (where he is deadly). But our modest proposal for Lucas continues - Tom Izzo has a 6-0 player who hits nearly 40% of his three pointers - why is he shooting over 3 times as many 2s? Just imagine if Lucas' shot selection went all Dee Brown. Scary.
It's good to know that what I saw happen is actually backed up by numbers.  Lucas went from big time dime dropper to The Man on this Spartans team when Morgan went down.  It was great to see the transformation and it's really interesting to look at his con/non-con splits.
Just imagine if Lucas' shot selection went all Dee Brown. Scary.
Scary, indeed.

All-B10 Teams Announced

It looks like my hunches were a little more accurate than the UM Hoops blog:

MSU got some props, with Lucas (1st Team, POY,) Suton (2nd Team,) Walton (Defensive POY,) Morgan (Honorable Mention,) Roe (All-Frosh) and Izzo (Coach of the Year) all receiving accolades.

I thought that there was a chance that Morgan would be 3rd team, but I knew it was lofty thinking.  Hopefully this will help his decision to come back next year.

Monday, March 9, 2009

There's Something Fishy....

Notice anything strange about UM Hoops blog's All B10 First Team?

Perhaps two UM players on the first team?  Come on, what about Johnson or Landry?

Cleaves Continues to Impact MSU

MLive reports that the new family center at the Brez was dedicated to Frances Cleaves, Mateen's excentric mother who passed on back on 07.  Seems like quite an honor.  Izzo is actually fronting the money.  Seems like a good thing for everyone involved.  

Plus, I used to work at the Bres and the hallway to the locker room would be absolute pandamonium while everyone was waiting for their kids to come out.  This should alleviate some of this traffic.

EAST LANSING -- Michigan State will celebrate another aspect of its basketball tradition when it dedicates the Frances Cleaves Family Center on Sunday afternoon.
Great to see the Spartans pulled off a victory on such a special day.

Could Mateen Back Up Chauncey???

Multiple sources around the NBA are saying that the Nuggets could bring in Mateen after he played for them in the summer league.  It would be great to see "The General" at least suited up for an NBA team.  

Hat tip: Hoopsworld

Weeeeeee Are the Champions, My Friends....

Great to see this pic of the Spartans cutting down the nets after their big victory over Purdue.  Wait, is that Ibok up on the ladder?  Of all the members of the team, the Freep puts the pick of Ibok front and center on its sports section?  Hahaha...awesome.  I guess it goes with the Izzo team unity theme.  Notice that he is only on the second rung?  The man is a giant.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Check out Suton on the cover of the new SI!

100 Most Influential Student-Athletes

The NCAA has put out a list of the 100 most influential student-athletes and the good news is that Magic Johnson made the list, clocking in at 74.  Here is the criteria used: 

The NCAA defines the 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes as those who have made a significant impact or major contributions to society.
I would say that Magic has made a significant impact and major contributions, so he definitely deserves to be on the list.  But wait, what's that?  Who's right above him on the list???

Bird?  Are you kidding me?  I get the "significant impact" part, but it only applies to "Bird the Athlete."  Magic Johnson is still a major sports personality and his charitable work has been hugely beneficial to everyone involved.  The fact that they were even paired together is a farce.  The guys on the selection committee probably thought it was funny....

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Big Ten Champs....BOOM!

Well, it didn't end that pretty, but MSU looked great offensively for much of the game.  They were pretty much scoring at will.  Unfortunately, so was an Indiana team with one returning player from last year.....

Anyways, here's  link to the ESPN coverage of the game in case you missed it: ESPN