Sunday, April 21, 2024

Cagers kick off preseason basketball Ross resigns

November 7, 2000
Sophomore forward Aloysius Anagonye goes up for the rebound during the second half of a game against Northwestern last year at the Breslin Student Events Center. The Spartans won 69-45. —

Men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo and his squad will open up preseason play against Izzo’s alma mater, Northern Michigan, at 7:30 tonight at the Breslin Student Events Center. MSU is ranked fifth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Top 25 Poll.

Going into the game with a 28 home game winning streak, the Spartans face a few nagging injuries that may cause a shake-up in the starting lineup.

Sophomore forward Aloysius Anagonye has been suffering from a bruised chest in practice, team doctors have said.

“We are a little beat up right now, Al hasn’t practiced but only once or twice in the past week,” Izzo said.

Although Anagonye is a little bruised, he won’t be sitting on the bench.

“He seems to be doing a lot better. He’ll definitely play, but how much, I don’t know,” Izzo said.

Last season Anagonye averaged 2.9 points and three rebounds a game. He also had a season total of 20 blocks and 16 steals.

“He was the key guy (last season) because he’s kinda been a staple, especially defensively,” Izzo said.

Anagonye’s amount of playing time isn’t the only thing that is questionable for tonight’s game. Northern Michigan’s team is also a question mark in the minds of the MSU coaching staff.

“One big problem for me is that I don’t know many of the players, mostly because they have a different team than they did last year,” Izzo said.

Northern Michigan lost seven players to graduation last year, including Cory Brathol, who was the school’s second all-time scorer with 2,220 points and was the 13th all-time rebounder with 627.

Izzo plans on trying new things by using different combinations of players.

“We are going to use this game to try to improve and try to get a better understanding of our own team,” Izzo said.

Izzo plans on using combinations to create new lines, finding out which ones click for the team and which ones don’t.

“We will probably play a lot of different players and use a lot of different combinations with different amounts of playing time,” Izzo said.

The first 1,000 fans through the door tonight will receive a free commemorative national championship poster.

Student season basketball tickets are still available for $112 in the Athletic Ticket Office in Jenison Field House. Call 355-1610 for more information.

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