Adreian Payne’s NBA career finally begins with Timberwolves

adreian-payne

The best thing that happened to Adreian Payne, NBA career wise, was getting traded away from the Atlanta Hawks and to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He wasn’t going to get much playing time with the Eastern Conference’s first place team; who have now pretty much solidified the #1 seed in the East.

Payne was drafted 15th overall by Atlanta, but never broke into their rotation; hence he was traded to the T’Wolves for a lottery-protected first round pick.

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Michigan State has many non-conference wins, but most with struggles

tom izzo michigan state

There’s no question that the teams of Tom Izzo are much better in March -when it counts- then November/December. But nothing has come easy for this Spartans team. It seems like every time they play inferior competition they struggle with them. They still win, but play way down to their level.

They did it again versus Texas, trailing in the second half. Yes, the Longhorns just knocked off a #23 ranked North Carolina team, but the Tar Heels are overrated. And UT has lost to Chaminade, USC, Georgetown and USC. State won of course, but the ‘Horns were down by just two down the stretch.

MSU’s struggles started with the upset to an inferior UConn team in Germany. They only beat Boise St. by four, not pulling away from Oakland until the closing minutes, beating Lousiana-Lafayette by just three, losing to unranked Miami team, they also trailed late in the second half to Loyola and Bowling Green. They’re just not dominating teams nor closing them out. By far, the highlight of the non-conference slate was the win over now #9 Kansas.

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#16 Michigan State Spartans: college basketball 111 in 111

izzo_msu
Welcome to the 111 in 111, guest posting edition. This year’s Michigan State Spartans are in a sort of re-loading mode, as they have to adjust to the loss of one of the greatest Spartans in history, Draymond Green. But there’s a lot of talent in East Lansing, as usual. The starting five will feature 2 McDonald’s All-Americans, and this unit will have more athleticism and perhaps more talent than last year’s group. But will they gel, and who will lead them?
They should be able to get along well; unlike the State team of two years ago. And of course, they’re coached by Tom Izzo, which means they’ll play really tough defense and rebound. But what kind of tempo will they play?

2012 Big Ten Tournament Preview & Predictions

michigan-state-girl

The Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off Thursday, March 8, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Heading into the tournament, the Big Ten continues to lead all conferences in the RPI and Sagarin ratings and is the only conference in the country with five top-15 teams.

So you could easily say it’s the toughest conference in college basketball. But it doesn’t mean the games will be the prettiest; in fact you might see a couple ugly ones.

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Big 10 Power Rankings 1-27-11

osu-hotty

Ohio State or Michigan State? Who’s number one? Welcome to the Big Ten power rankings.

Go here for our most recent Big East Power Rankings, which are probably more informative and accurate than the rankings below will turn out.

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Michigan State Needs to Fix Defensive Lapses to Become Elite

msu

This what #9 Michigan State has given up in scoring in their four losses: 67 to North Carolina, 74 to Duke, 81 to Northwestern, 6o to Michigan.

In their 16 wins, they’ve held everyone under 70 with the exception of Lehigh; a game they won 90-81. The losses to the Wolverines and Tar Heels were much more on the offense than the D, but the pattern is still obvious: when the Spartans play defense like a traditional Tom Izzo team is known to do, they are elite.

They look like an Elite Eight, Final Four team. But when they have those occasional defensive lapses, which have been few and far between, they look like an ordinary team.

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Mich St Fans Get Repulsive; Draymond Tips Ball into Purdue Goal

draymond green tom izzo

Michigan State may have absolutely slaughtered Purdue 83-58 yesterday, but the battle between the two traditional Big Ten powers still had some embarrassing, and down-right dark moments in the lop-sided win.

Spartans leader (in scoring, rebounding and emotion) Draymond Green accidentally stuffed the ball home for Purdue (watch video after the jump). But much worse, the Izzone, the MSU student cheering section went really low and class-less in heckling Boilermakers star Robbie Hummel.

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings 1-11-12

michigan-state-girl

I’ve always said that doing power rankings is only fun (and worth reading) when the hierarchy is rather grey and things are up in the air. PRs are kind of stupid and pointless when you get towards the end of regular season and close to conference tournament time- if you’re the sort who has rankings similar to the standings.

But doing them now is rather fun! Are things grey instead of black and white? Well, Iowa won at the Kohl Center. Is the hierarchy up in the air? Purdue lost by 20 at Penn State. Questions answered.

Go here for our most recent Big East Power Rankings, which are probably more informative and accurate than the rankings below will turn out.

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Big Ten Basketball Power Rankings: Many Happy Returns Edition

ohio-state-girl

Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, today is a day NO ONE is at work. There’s no Federal services, no trading on the stock market this Monday. It’s December 26th, so if you’re a mindless-zombie-worker bee-corporate drone-lemming, I know exactly where you are today- at the mall making your Christmas gift returns. (Remember to take the receipts!)

I’m guessing I know what you did on the day after Thanksgiving too, door busters! But for those of us who actually have a shred of individuality, let’s move on to the Big Ten basketball POWER rankings. The cupcake/puff scheduling is over. You ever wonder why the weak mid/low-majors get referred to as pastries? Baked goods are considered sugary and weak I guess. Now it’s time for the “meat and potatoes” of Big Ten conference play. Enjoy!

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Big 10 Hoops Media Day: Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue

tom crean

Thursday was Big Ten basketball media day, and with it came a set of special quotes and soundbites. Sure, this day is all about college basketball message control. The Universities and SIDs trying to manipulate the information they want you to have, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting and articulate statements out there.

When you get all the coaches and some of the top players in one conference room, you’ll have lots of gems. In fact, I’m going to do a separate post or two on the Michigan State Spartans Tom Izzo. but here’s some of the better non-Izzo soundbites.

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Big Ten Basketball Season to Take a Small Step Down This Year

Jared Sullinger

Since 2009, we all saw this coming. Back then Big Ten basketball was dominated by a large group of sophomores that would only raise the conference profile higher to it’s peak in 2011. And we knew that once that group was gone (Kalin Lucas, Talor Battle, JaJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Durrell Summers, Demetri McCamey etc.) the next year would see the conference take a small step backward.

Taking a look at the list of players who appeared at this year’s conference media day only verifies that fact. Preseason player of the year, and 2012 NBA Draft lottery pick Jared Sullinger was slated to appear, but did not come to Chicago due to a midterm, according to one Ohio State SID official. (So I guess those of you who believe in the sanctity of academics over athletics won this round?)

To me that was the scoop/story of the day right there, even though it was an afterthought exchange mentioned in passing. When the conference POY is supposed to be here, but isn’t, kind of overshadows the rest of the day’s events, eh?

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