With disaster of the Spartan football team this year, attention now goes to the basketball team and the upcoming season. This will be an interesting team with the losses of Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes and Matt Costello to graduation, but will have the services of four highly touted freshmen on the roster.
The Spartans victory over Kansas in the Champions Classic on Tuesday night could the precursor of the good things to come for the university this week as the Spartan football prepares to play the first-place Ohio State Buckeyes in the game in the Big 10. This is the marquee game both teams have pointed to all year. It’s all there for the Spartans who control their own destiny. In the immortal words of Al Davis, “just win, baby”.
Start of something good The Spartans were fired up about their victory, but they were also hoping it would be the beginning of a special week.“It’s kind of a start of a big week for Michigan State,” Izzo said. “If you’re a Spartan fan you know our football team is going down to Ohio State and hopefully we are leading the way for a phenomenal week for the Spartans.”No. 9 Michigan State plays No. 2 Ohio State in football on Saturday, a game that likely will send the winner to the Big Ten championship game.That matchup was on the minds of some of the basketball players, including Costello, who is roommates with junior tight end Josiah Price.“This is a little momentum and we got Ohio State this week, so Michigan State is gonna be happy. It’s gonna be hopping on campus.”
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The Spartans win big in the opening game of the 2015-16 season missing one of their key contributors from last years’ team, Gavin Schilling. However, senior Matt Costello and freshman Deyonta Davis were more than enough up front to handle the visitors from Florida. MSU was very good defensively and showed plenty of firepower offensively. One holdover problem from last year was the free throw shooting. The Spartans went 17 for 28 (61%) from the foul line. That is inexcusable for the entire team. That statistic will definitely have to improve as the season goes along.
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There has been some talk of re-aligning the Big 10’s conference divisions for football for better balance. Consider this, the East division is top loaded with Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State, while the West division’s top teams are Iowa and Wisconsin. This is clearly an imbalance. It was presumed that Nebraska would add balance when they were admitted in the Big 10, but that hasn’t happened. Looking at the map, geographically, the switch would be to move Purdue to the East and Michigan State to the West. This probably wouldn’t happen because it makes too much sense. This season, Iowa looks like it will run the table in the West without any opposition unless they do a major choke job. In the East, it could be a dog fight not only this year, but in years to come with the four teams previously mentioned.