MSU hosts B1G/ACC Challenge

MSU has announced they will be facing the North Carolina Tar heels in the 2013 B1G/ACC challenge on December 8th.  This will mark MSU’s fifth time playing UNC in the annual competition, making them states most played opponent in the challenges history.

the last time MSU played against UNC was the in 2011, when they played on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, the same boat that the body of Osama bin Laden was disposed of out on sea.  President Obama was in attendance of the game, that was in honor of all military men and women who were in attendance and around the world.

“We are very excited to be hosting North Carolina in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge,” MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo said. “The atmosphere at the Breslin Center was great last year, and I know the fans love to watch the marquee non-conference games at home. To have the opportunity to host a potential Top-10 match-up in December is something special, and we look forward to continuing to bring these top programs into Breslin.”

With MSU projected with a 2-3 ranking and North Carolina projected with a 8-11 ranking, the Spartans could be looking at another top ten match up in Breslin this year.  With four of our starters and 6 of our top scorers returning, including  Keith ApplingGary Harris, and the one and only Adreian Payne, a spartan victory is looking very plausible.

Source:  MSU Athletic department’s website – http://www.msuspartans.com/

Cromie Named B1G Freshman of the Year

Katie Cromie, MSU freshmen rower from Northern Ireland, has been named the B1G Freshman of the Year, as voted on by Conference coaches.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Katie – In a short time, she’s done a lot for our program,” said head coach Matt Weise. “In my opinion, she really helped develop our varsity eight – she kept them focused, and helped them key in on improving their speed and ability to work when they are tired. She was a catalyst for the improvement we saw in that boat. I am confident that she will continue to be a leader in our program and push our team forward.”

Cromie was dubbed the teams MVP by her teammates, the first time ever in school history that honors been given to a freshmen rower.  Cromie is also only MSU’s fifth rower to receive the freshmen of the year award, all being within the last 12 years.

Source:  MSU Athletic department’s website – http://www.msuspartans.com/

Nix Graduates

Congratulations to Derrick Nix for graduating from MSU with a sociology degree.  Coach Tom Izzo called in the Miracle on Birch Street, not to say that he didn’t believe Nix could do it,  but rather meaning it was a miracle given his background that he made it this far.

It’s an incredible accomplishment for a kid with his background to come this far,” Izzo said. “To only have one this year, and for it to be Derrick, is special. He’s a guy that, with maybe a couple others in the past, a lot of people would have bet wasn’t going to graduate from college.  When guys like this do make it, both on the court and off the court, you kind of appreciate why you don’t give up on people.”  Not only has every one of Izzo’s 4 season athletes made it to a final four, 38 Izzo’s players have graduated since 2000.

“In the beginning, I didn’t ever see this day coming,” Nix said after graduation, “but as time went on, I just knew I could do it and I pushed to the finish. A lot of athletes go to school and don’t get a degree, or decide not to go back to school after they’re done playing.  I just hung in there and decided to stick around the guys, stick around the team, be a positive influence and get it done. It was tough, but like Coach says, when you get a degree no one can ever take it away from you, and that means a lot.”

Source:  MSU Athletic department’s website – http://www.msuspartans.com/

Renovation at Spartan Stadium

A $20 million renovation project is to begin this June in Spartan Stadium.  Along with the renovation of the 60’s interior of the stadium is a 2 story building on the north side of the to hold brand new locker rooms for both the home and visiting teams, coaches rooms, an officials room, an equipment room, and a post game media room.

Currently, the Spartans still have the same locker rooms constructed in the 60’s for teams that had 60 players on a team that averaged weight in the mid 100s.  Today’s teams have 100 plus players, and average weight above 200.  officials  have had to meet in trailers at half time because there is no office for them to go to in the stadium, and the post game press conferences are held in the same trailers.

“You’re bringing in world-class media events to those trailers, when they’re either hot and steamy or freezing cold,” athletic director Hollis said. “It’s just such a bad tone for the work the media has to do and the presentation our coaches and players are trying to make on behalf of our university.”

Renovation will begin as soon as the project is finalized by the MSU Board of Trustees at a retreat and meeting on June 19-21.  the project should be finished by May of next year.

Source: mlive.com

2014 Basketball Reciting Prospects

Tom Izzo is looking at a wide variety of players to add to his roster for the 2014-2015 season, including Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Cliff Alexander and Tyler Ulis.

Jahlil Okafor is the top ranked center from Chicago Whitney Young measuring in at 6’10” and weighing 280 lbs.  Jahili has been looking at a lot of other schools, including Baylor, Kansas, Duke, North Carolina, and B1G team Ohio State.  He continues to say that he wishes to play college ball with number 2 ranked Tyus Jones.

“I talk to him every day, he’s one of my best friends. We definitely want to go to the same school. Even without basketball, I’d want to go to college with him. He’s a point guard, pass-first. He makes the game a lot easier for me.”

Tyus Jones, 6’1″ point guard from Apple Valley Minnesota, has been looking into pretty much the same schools as Jahlil, except he’s also been looking at University of Minnesota as well.

Cliff Alexander has a wide variety of offers as well, including 4 other B1G teams besides MSU.  Measuring 6’8″ and 240 lbs., this center from Curie High School in Chicago would look nice on an MSU roster.

Tyler Ulis has also been offered a scholarship by Tom Izzo.  Being cousins with former player and team captain Travis Walton, the chances of Tyler coming to MSU are looking very good.

Source: lansingstatejournal.com

Percy Snow Inducted into College Football Hall of Fame

Former MSU linebacker Percy Snow is one of 14 members joining the College Football Hall of Fame this December in New York City.  Snow played at Michigan State from 86-89, collecting 473 tackles during that time. He is one of only four players in college football history to win both the Butkus Award and Lombardi Award.  Snow is the 11th MSU inductee to the hall of fame, and the 7th player.

Snow’s coach at MSU and a former Steelers assistant George Perles said “Of the linebackers I’ve been around, he’s right there with (Pittsburgh Steelers greats) Jack Lambert, Jack Ham, Andy Russell.  He was a great linebacker and he played the game the right way. Never talked much, let his play do the talking.  For whatever reason, he put on that helmet and he always had that edge. He just had the ability to unload on people.”

Snow was on the last MSU team that made it to a Rose Bowl back in 1988.  When asked about that victory, snow said “When we stepped off that plane and I was holding that Rose Bowl MVP trophy up in the air, that was the fondest moment for me”

Snow is returning to MSU on November 2nd to be inducted in the MSU “Ring of Fame” during the UofM-MSU game.

Source: Lansingstatejournal.com

Spartans Lose in Crosstown Showdown

Spartans fell to the Lansing Lugnuts in the 7th annual Crosstown Showdown Wednesday night in Cooley Law School Stadium.

“The result tonight isn’t as important as the experience,” head coach Jake Boss said. “It’s something they look forward to every year. Another great crowd and the Lugnuts are a first-class organization. It’s something they will remember for a long time.”

Blaise Salter led the Spartans  hitting 2-for-3 at home base with a 2 RBI double in the fourth inning.

Source:  MSU Athletic department’s website – http://www.msuspartans.com/