Saturday, August 13, 2022

Sports | Basketball

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Exorcising the Demons

If a breakout season is what those outside East Lansing are expecting from junior guard Kelvin Torbert, they'll have to be satisfied with a breakout tournament instead. Torbert and No.

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Spartans take all in Coca-Cola tourney

After beating Penn 77-52 in the first round of the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic, junior guard Chris Hill knew MSU was on the right track toward achieving the goals MSU set for itself at the beginning of the season.

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Izzo calls team 'soft' after game, demands toughness

Tom Izzo slammed his right fist into the palm of his left hand. The veins were clearly visible in his forehead and neck as he screamed across the court to any Spartan who would listen. It was a reoccurring scene Friday night in the Spartans' sloppy, 64-52 victory over Bucknell at Breslin Center. Rebounding, a staple in MSU's program during Izzo's tenure, evaporated against the Bison (0-1). The Spartans (1-0) weren't crashing the boards, and when the final buzzer sounded, MSU was slimly the victor in the rebounding category, 42-39. The poor display and representation of Spartan basketball caused Izzo to call this squad the softest team he's had in his nine-year reign as head coach. "This team needs a toughness transfusion," Izzo said.

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Point guard position poses questions for Izzo's squad

It'll be the question of the season for the Spartans.Well, maybe second to "Can they win a national championship?"Will the point-guard-by-committee approach suffice for the men's basketball team's postseason powerhouse dreams?Juniors Alan Anderson and Chris Hill, senior Rashi Johnson and freshman Brandon Cotton are members of the quarterback committee."We really have three or four guys that can run the point," sophomore center Paul Davis said.

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3 recruits sign letters of intent to join Izzo, team next season

As the MSU basketball team embarks on its self-proclaimed "Magical Journey," three high school seniors took the first step in theirs.Wyoming Park point guard Drew Neitzel and forwards Marquise Gray of Flint Beecher and Goran Suton of Lansing Everett kept their promises to MSU head coach Tom Izzo by signing national letters of intent Wednesday to play for the Spartans next season.Wednesday was the first time Izzo could speak about his incoming class, which included two players - Neitzel and Gray - who have been verbal commits to the Spartans since their sophomore years.With so many high school players entering the NBA and the recent rash of decommittments in college basketball, recruiting has become a jungle, Izzo said.

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Spartans impress 'Magic'

When Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird met at center court Saturday, it was a meeting of the minds, 25 years after the two played in the 1979 national championship game.But this time, the two met as elder statesmen of the game, discussing everything from LeBron James to MSU's potential NBA prospects and the state of the NBA.While Bird didn't play in the game, he served as the Globetrotters honorary coach, watching the game from the end of the bench next to Johnson."We came in and changed the league," Johnson said.

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Stars, stripes sting 'U'

While Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird smiled from the start to finish of the Harlem Globetrotters 97-83 win over MSU, Tom Izzo wasn't amused. The Globetrotters, featuring Johnson along with Bird as the honorary head coach, didn't goof around with the Spartans.

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'Magic' statue erected at Breslin

The "Magic" is back in East Lansing - this time, forever. Earvin "Magic" Johnson, former MSU standout and 1979 national champion, unveiled a 12-foot, bronze-cast statue of his likeness Saturday morning in front of hundreds of fans gathered outside the Breslin Center. His trademark smile flashed for cameras outside, but a ceremony preceding the unveiling revealed the life-long Spartan shaking with emotion. "My whole life I wanted to be a Spartan," Johnson said.

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Ager could steal 'U' spotlight

This guy can flat out score. He's a guard with the greatest combination of shooting and athleticism MSU basketball head coach Tom Izzo has recruited during his tenure in East Lansing.

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Izzo eager for Magic statue dedication

While the focus of life around MSU's campus this weekend will be focused on the Spartans' football game against Michigan, the MSU basketball team will open its exhibition season against the Harlem Globetrotters.The game will take place at 2:30 p.m.

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Defense starts slowly for hoops team in scrimmage

Just because the depth issues that hampered the MSU women's basketball team are relatively healed, the defense still appeared to be hurting. At the women's annual Green and White game on Saturday, the Spartans showed off a jelled offense and transition game but gave their scrimmage team opponents sufficient room to shoot from outside. The Spartans wore out their scrimmage team - made mostly of MSU basketball managers - 77-64, but head coach Joanne P.

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Richardson might start NBA season suspended

Former MSU basketball player Jason Richardson is facing a possible suspension for the beginning of the NBA regular season, league officials announced Monday. Richardson, a forward for the Golden State Warriors entering his third professional season, was convicted on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge Aug.