One year after playing North Carolina in the inaugural Carrier Classic on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, the Spartans will open the 2012-13 season against Connecticut in the Armed Forces Classic..
Nov. 10, 2012
Highlights from Michigan State's matchup against UConn in the Armed Forces Classic.
Nov. 9, 2012
Game Photo Gallery
The Spartans opened Friday by attending a Wing Appreciation event in one of the hangars at Ramstein Air Base. Most servicemen and women at Ramstein were off work as part of a "resiliency day," allowing many of them and their families to attend the event. The Spartans signed autographs and interacted with the military families.
Late afternoon, Coach Izzo and UConn's Coach Kevin Ollie appeared on the ESPN SportsCenter set in Hangar 3. Izzo then rushed over to Hangar 5 for the Spartans' game-day shoot-around. Following the shoot-around, members of the Michigan Air National Guardsmen (Battle Creek's 217th Air Operations Group) met the team and took photos. Before returning to the team hotel, Izzo then made a brief appearance at the Officers Club for a special dinner with ESPN and base officers.
At 10:15 p.m., the Spartans left the team hotel for the short drive to Hangar 5. MSU fell behind by as many as 16 points in the first half. Although the Spartans took a brief lead in the second half, UConn hit big back-to-back 3-pointers late, and emerged with a 66-62 victory.
It certainly wasn't the outcome the Spartans had hoped for, but once again, they represented themselves, the program, and the University with pride, while showing tremendous appreciation and support for the best team in the world - the United States Armed Forces.
Nov. 8, 2012
Thursday Photo Gallery
After finishing up practice after midnight on Wednesday, the Spartans had a late night team dinner, with the intention of staying on East Coast time, allowing them to sleep in Thursday morning. The first thing on the day's agenda was a ride on a C130 - a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. During the nearly 20-25 minute flight, every member of the team got a chance to go up in the cockpit, while also getting a better understanding of how troops are transported around the world.
Following the flight, the Spartans returned to the hotel for a 1:30 p.m "breakfast". The Spartans watched film at 4:15 p.m., and then returned to the Ramstein Fitness Center for practice. With many military members and their families in attendance, the Spartans went through a sharp 90-minute workout. That was followed by a Kids Clinic for 100 children of military families. The Spartan coaching staff and players were joined by the UConn Huskies and put the kids through various stations of shooting, dribbling and passing, and concluding with autographs.
An 8 p.m. dinner and a midnight sack served to make sure the Spartans remained on East Coast time, in preparation for Friday night's season opener.
Nov. 7, 2012
Wednesday Photo Gallery
Michigan State flew out of Detroit at 5:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday afternoon, and touched down at Frankfurt Airport just before 7:30 a.m. Central European Time (CET) (1:30 a.m. ET) on Wednesday. After clearing customs and gathering luggage, the Spartan travel party of approximately 60 people made the drive of just over an hour to Ramstein Air Base, checking in at the on-base hotel around 10:15 a.m.
After a few hours of rest and a meal, the Spartans loaded a bus and headed to the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility at Ramstein. It's at this facility, the only one for American military in Europe, where most injured troops are sent after their initial treatment in the field. (Learn More about CASF) From here, troops either return to action or are transported to military hospitals, including Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a short drive from Ramstein. (Read Andy Katz's story on ESPN.com)
It was at Landstuhl that the Spartans had the chance to interact with many of the Wounded Warriors recovering from their injuries - both physical and emotional. It was amazing to watch as the Spartan players were mesmerized by the stories of the brave men and women of the US military - many of whom are their same age.
The first day in Germany will conclude with a 10 p.m. practice as the Spartans prepare for a midnight tip on Friday night.
Nov. 5, 2012
Spartan Basketball players talk about their upcoming departure to Germany to play in the Armed Forces Classic against the University of Connecticut on November 9, 2012.
Nov. 4, 2012
See the uniform Michigan State Basketball will wear to kick off the college basketball season at the Armed Forces Classic In Germany on November 9, 2012.