Monday, October 25, 2021

Sports | Basketball

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Mens Basketball: Taylor, Illinois Williams give mutual praise

Chicago - In the race for the Big Ten Championship, conference superstars emerge to lead their team to rise above the competition. Illinois point guard Frank Williams looks to be the big dog of the conference again, as the media and coaches tabbed him as the 2001 Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year.

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New big guns hyped at Media Day

Chicago - Things were slightly different for MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo at Big Ten Conference Basketball Media Day this year. For the past four years, the Spartans have been the team opposing coaches have commended.

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Mens basketball tickets still on sale

The deadline for student basketball season tickets will be extended, MSU Assistant Athletics Director John Lewandowski said Monday. Student season ticket packages cost $152 for 16 games. The change of deadline, which was originally set for Monday, is a result of a low number of ticket requests this season.

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Vincent continues legacy

When MSU freshman walk-on guard Jayson Vincent enters practice at Breslin Center each day and looks to the rafters, he’s reminded of his father. Vincent, who came to MSU from Mason High School, is the son of Lansing legend Jay Vincent, a member of the 1979 MSU basketball national champion team and the fifth-leading scorer in MSU history with 1,914 career points. The family ties don’t end there - he’s also the nephew of MSU’s sixth leading all-time scorer, Sam Vincent, who played in the early 1980s and scored 1,861 points. Coming from a strong MSU lineage is a lot of pressure, Vincent said.

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Izzo has high hopes

As MSU men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo enters his seventh season at the helm, he said he plans on taking the same course he used to win four straight Big Ten titles.“What I think what we’ve done, we have a blueprint of what it takes,” Izzo said at media day Wednesday.

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First practice is Motown LoDown

The first step toward another winning basketball season begins tonight and the Spartans aren’t too proud to ask for some support.The MSU men’s and women’s basketball teams officially begin their seasons with the Motown Lo’Down at 10:30 p.m today in Breslin Center.Players will be available to sign autographs, and prizes will be given away before the teams are officially introduced with Motown tunes blasting in the background.At midnight, the first official practice for both teams will begin, giving fans a sneak look at the Spartan teams.For the men, that team will be drastically different than last year’s.The team lost five seniors after they graduated (including starters Charlie Bell, Andre Hutson and David Thomas) and said adios to guard Jason Richardson and forward Zach Randolph, who left early for the NBA.That mass exodus has put a tad bit of pressure on the remaining players and new freshmen to follow four years of Big Ten Championships, three straight Final Four appearances and the 2000 National Championship.“The (freshmen) have to step up, they don’t really have a choice,” junior forward Adam Ballinger said.

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Cleaves waves bye to Pistons, traded for Barry , draft pick

One of East Lansing’s most beloved sports heroes will no longer be just a stone’s throw away from the MSU campus. The Detroit Pistons traded point guard Mateen Cleaves, who guided MSU to a NCAA men’s basketball national championship in 2000, to the Sacramento Kings on Friday. For Cleaves, Detroit acquired swingman Jon Barry, 32, and a first-round draft pick that cannot come before 2004. Ironically, the deal consummated on Cleaves’ 24th birthday, a year and a day after he signed a 3-year, $4.1 million contract with Detroit. Cleaves, a Flint native, played only one season for his childhood favorite Pistons, but his reputation as a local kid with a big heart and an incredible work ethic instantly made him one of the Pistons’ most popular players. That’s why many in the area were shocked to hear the news that Cleaves was being shipped to the West Coast after only one year in Motown. “It’s an obstacle for him,” said former Spartan cager and 11-year NBA veteran Steve Smith, who was traded to the San Antonio Spurs this summer.

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Flint star no longer consider Spartans

A day after saying the Spartans were tied with Ohio State at the top of his consideration list, jettisoned Michigan basketball recruit JaQuan Hart said MSU is now out of the running for his services.“It’s down to Ohio State and Cincinnati,” Hart told The State News on Wednesday night.

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Izzo lands Detroit guard for 2002

Three days after Indianapolis forward Delco Rowley verbally committed to MSU head basketball coach Tom Izzo, Detroit Crockett High School shooting guard Maurice Ager decided to become the third member of Spartans’ 2002 recruiting class.“It came down to a family choice,” the senior-to-be and Mr. Basketball candidate said.

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Graduation rates could impact postseason

A new suggestion from an athletics commission may force schools to emphasize education as much as sports. In an announcement made Tuesday, the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said colleges with low athlete graduation rates should be banned from postseason play. “We’re not in the entertainment business, nor are we a minor league for professional sports,” the Rev.

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Richardson blossoms after freshmen season

College basketball is filled with McDonald’s All-Americans and blue chippers that should have been great.But when one blossoms, it’s truly something special.As a freshman, many demand to start, demand the ball and demand the spotlight.

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Freshmen shine during weekend

Anytime a coach throws freshmen into the madness of March, it’s a gamble. But the Spartans left Memphis, Tenn., holding all the chips. MSU head coach Tom Izzo said he never thought twice about playing freshmen guard Marcus Taylor and center Zach Randolph their normal minutes in their first NCAA Tournament. And why should he?