Spartans Open Exhibition Play Tuesday
Nov. 1, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
November 2, 2010
Radio - Spartan Sports Network - Will Tieman (Play by Play),
Gus Ganakas & Matt Steigenga (Color). Limited Network Stations - Lansing (WMMQ 94.9 FM), Grand Haven (WGHN 92.1 FM), Midland (WLUN 100.9 FM), Flint (WWCK 1570 AM), Iron Mountain (WMIQ 1450 AM), Traverse City (WLDR 101.9 FM)
Tickets - Tickets are available for sale at MSUSpartans.com or by calling the Spartan Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-STATE.
Scouting The Spartans - Michigan State returns nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's Big Ten Championship and Final Four squad. The Spartans return three of their top four scorers and seven of their top nine, led by senior All-Big Ten performer Kalin Lucas at 14.8 ppg. Durrell Summers averaged 11.3 ppg in 2009-10, including a team-best 18.8 points in the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans return 71.7 percent of their scoring, 72.9 percent of their rebounding and 76.9 percent of their assists.
Scouting The Cardinals - Saginaw Valley State returns 10 letterwinners and three starters from a squad that posted a 16-12 record, including 13-9 in the GLIAC, finishing second in the North Division. SVSU's leading returning scorer is junior guard Greg Foster, who averaged 13.0 ppg last season. Sophomore guard Chris Webb averaged 10.4 points last season, earning GLIAC Freshman of the Year honors.
In The Rankings - Michigan State is currently ranked No. 2 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25. Nine different Spartan opponents are ranked in at least one of the two polls, including Duke (1 AP/1 USA Today), Ohio State (4/5), Syracuse (10/13), Kentucky (11/10), Illinois (13/16), Purdue (14/8), Washington (18/17), Wisconsin (-/24) and Texas (-/25).
Big Ten Favorites - Michigan State was selected as the preseason conference favorite for the 2010-11 season, as voted on by a panel of media. Ohio State and Purdue were picked to finish second and third, respectively. 2009 Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas was tabbed as Preseason Player of the Year.
Dealing With Injury - One of the early storylines for the 2010-11 Spartans will be how they deal with injuries and how different players battle back from injury. Many different players missed significant time in the offseason due to injury. Most notably, Kalin Lucas is attempting to come back from an Achilles injury suffered in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament against Maryland. Shortly after the season concluded in April, Delvon Roe had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Garrick Sherman had screws removed from his foot, left over from a high school injury. Freshman center Adreian Payne separated his shoulder late in his high school senior season and missed several months. Fellow freshman Russell Byrd suffered a broken foot in May, and when the foot never fully healed, he underwent a second surgery in early October. Austin Thornton suffered a back injury that kept him out of action for several weeks. Even Durrell Summers suffered a mild knee sprain and missed an opportunity to work with the USA Basketball Select Team.
Individual Accolades - Seniors Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers have been named preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden and Naismith Awards. In addition, Lucas earned a spot on Dick Vitale's Preseason All-Rolls Royce Second Team and was named the nation's No. 1 floor leader by Athlon Sports College Basketball. He was also named preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Lindy's and Athlon Sports College Basketball. Summers was named a Second-Team Preseason All-American by Sporting News.
Another Strong Non-Conference Schedule - Michigan State will be tested early and often during its 2010-11 non-conference schedule. Three opponents (Duke, Syracuse, Texas) and two additional potential opponents (Kentucky and Washington) appeared in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. All five of those squads also appear in the various preseason Top 25 polls, including four of them in at least one expert's Top 10.
Big Ten Even Stronger - While MSU's non-conference slate is rough, the Big Ten schedule is even tougher, as the conference will feature its strongest lineup in decades. Five different league schools (Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin) are ranked among the various preseason Top 25 polls, while Northwestern and Minnesota are usually just outside the Top 25. Michigan State and Purdue (prior to Robbie Hummel's injury) are in virtually everyone's top three and Ohio State is a regular in the top five, and in everyone's top seven. Illinois even appeared in Lindy's College Basketball's and Blue Ribbon Yearbook's Top 10s.
Spartan Newcomers - Michigan State's roster features four freshmen: Keith Appling, Russell Byrd, Alex Gauna and Adreian Payne. Appling was a high school teammate of Derrick Nix at Pershing High School, capturing the Class A state title in 2009. Individually, he was a 2010 McDonald's All-American and winner of the 2010 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award. Byrd is an outstanding perimeter shooter from Fort Wayne, Ind., who averaged 23.2 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior. However, he broke his foot in May, and when it did not heal fully, he underwent a second surgery in October. Gauna is a skilled big man from Eaton Rapids, Mich. Gauna was a 2010 Class B All-State honoree after averaging 21.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks as a senior. Payne led Jefferson Township High School to the 2010 Ohio Division IV state championship, averaging 15.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots as a senior. An extremely talented and athletic forward, Payne was one of the top 25 players in America as a senior.
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