Carrier Classic: ’09 National Championship Rematch Reaches New Heights

For the Michigan State basketball team, the tests that the players take in the classroom are probably a breeze compared to the tests Tom Izzo gives them.

How’s this for a multiple-choice question? To open your season you will:

a)  Face a  #1 ranked UNC squad

b)  Face a top-ten Duke team at Madison Square Garden

c)   Face a Gonzaga team in a game that has packed much more meaning in the past few years on the ‘Zags’ home court.

d)   Face a Florida State team that did maximum damage in the ACC last season

e)   All of the above

If you guessed E, you’re correct and you probably already know that a heavy-hitting schedule for Tom Izzo’s team isn’t even a surprise anymore. It’s expected. The words “cupcake schedule” don’t fly in East Lansing.

But opening on this tough tear may be just the swift kick-start that puts a little hair on the chests of this young remodeled team of Spartans players.

But this year, even Tom Izzo has outdone himself. [Read more…]

Michigan State’s Expectationless 2011-12 Team May Surprise You

Drew Neitzel

When Tom Izzo looks at this current Michigan State Spartans crew, he sees similarities to the 2007- 2008 Drew Neitzel led squad. The coach referenced this at the school’s media day and said that this year’s team is young, gritty but close-knit.

Neitzel’s team, and it was his team no doubt, is like the mold of this year’s squad.

That final four team had lost its trio of superstars—stellar seniors Maurice Ager and Paul Davis and junior Shannon Brown, who now has a few rings with the L.A. Lakers. This year’s team has lost experienced Final Four veterans, and quite frankly, expectations are barely existent.

[Read more…]

Michigan State adds Valpo’s Brandon Wood to their Backcourt

izzo_broadway

Combo guard Brandon Wood will join the Michigan State Spartans for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Wood played college basketball for Valparaiso the last two seasons, and will receive his bachelor’s degree this month. He’ll have one season of collegiate eligibility remaining for the Spartans.

NCAA rules allow an institution to apply for a waiver to allow a student-athlete to transfer without sitting out a season, provided the student-athlete has earned a bachelor’s degree, has eligibility remaining and is enrolling in a graduate-level program.

[Read more…]