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Posts tagged Michigan State Spartans

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Michigan State's Travis Trice chooses the pain of now over the distraction of next year

The devastation of senior Keith Appling was hard to miss following Michigan State’s loss in the Elite Eight.

But 10 feet away — on the face of a guy coming back next season — was a similar anguish.

Travis Trice is next in line to be the Spartans’ starting point guard. His future at the position began with a lesson in the present.

Filed under MSU Michigan State Michigan State Spartans College Basketball Basketball Travis Trice Keith Appling Spartans NCAA Tournament March Madness Elite Eight elite 8 Adreian Payne Gary Harris

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My thoughts on some of the MSU Basketball Players after the tournament loss to UConn

I didn’t really agree with the author’s grades in my previous post, but what he had to say about each person or category was very valid. I think I would have been a lot harder on certain people (I’m looking at you Keith and Denzel) but I’m always hard on my teams.

I’m still absolutely heart broken by how we played throughout the tournament and how it ended too quickly. 

I think Keith Appling underachieved throughout his entire career at Michigan State and ESPECIALLY in this year’s tournament. Honestly, I am glad he is graduating and no longer apart of the team. He never stepped up when we needed him too, and multiple times he fouled out with a pathetic lack of points to leave the game with. 

Denzel Valentine still has a lot of growing up to do. He stepped out of bounds FAR too many times, causing the ball to be turned over. But more than anything, his ridiculous passes gave me a heart attack every time. Now, there were plenty of times where they worked and I loved him for them, but there were TOO many times where they didn’t work and I wanted to punch him. He just needs to be more “careful” and smarter about these risky assists. 

Adreian Payne… lordy, I am going to miss him. I can’t even imagine what our team is going to be like with out him next year. He is an absolutely amazing player (when healthy) and person. He truly did grow up right in front of any Spartan fan’s eyes. He is going to do BIG things in the NBA and I can not wait to watch it happen.

Branden Dawson is just too hot and cold for my liking. I wish he would come out, every game, and give it 100%. Because when he gives 100%, woooooo, look out! But, that just isn’t him, for whatever reason. I highly doubt he is going to leave early, so I can’t wait to see how he will perform next year for us. 

Gary Harris was also too hot and cold for me, especially in this tournament. He is a phenomenal player and I would love for him to stay another year, but I don’t see that happening. So good luck in the NBA Gary. Us Spartans will miss you.

Travis Trice was a nice surprise this tournament. I always thought there was something more to him than what we have seen in the past. However, his performance in the loss against UConn was… awful. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles being the starting PG for MSU now that Appling is gone.

Filed under MSU Michigan State Michigan State Spartans Spartans College Basketball Basketball NCAA Tournament March Madness Keith Appling Adreian Payne Branden Dawson Gary Harris Travis Trice Denzel Valentine

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Final Grades for Spartans' 2013-14 Season - Bleacher Report

In an almost symbolic twist, seven points kept Michigan State coach Tom Izzo from reaching his seventh Final Four. 

Ultimately, Sunday’s 60-54 loss to UConn, the No. 7-seeded team in the East, was the undoing for the No. 4-seeded Spartans, who were the popular pick to conquer March Madness. 

Major TV analysts, radio hosts and even the Leader of the Free World assumed that Izzo was bound for destiny at Cowboys Stadium. Instead, it will be Florida, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Kevin Ollie’s Huskies. 

By virtue of pedigree and history, anything less than a Final Four, technically speaking, is grounds for disappointment. Calling this season a failure would be harsh. However, it certainly wasn’t a successnot by Izzo’s golden standard. 

The 19-year coach had a loaded and finally healthy team that appeared to be on the brink of pushing it to the next gear and “doing something special,” as Izzo stated during a postgame interview with CBS. 

There’s a fine line between being “like” and actually “being” a classic team. The 2013-14 Spartans finished on the wrong side of that line.


Keith Appling didn’t fully satisfy - C+

Adreian Payne grew up before Izzo’s (and our) eyes - B+

Branden Dawson showed up before Izzo’s eyes - C

Travis Trice was nice - B+

Denzel Valentine was a heartbreaker - B-

Gary Harris had a good run - B

The Rest - C-

Coaching - C-

Filed under MSU Michigan State Michigan State Spartans Spartans College Basketball Basketball NCAA Tournament March Madness Keith Appling Adreian Payne Branden Dawson Travis Trice Gary Harris Tom Izzo Denzel Valentine

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On ESPN’s NCAA Tournament special, aired just after the official 68-team bracket was announced on CBS, all five ESPN college basketball analysts picked the Spartans to win. No, not their first round matchup with Delaware, we’re talking the entire thing. 

Seth Greenberg, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Jay Williams and Dick Vitale all picked Michigan State to cut down the nets in early April. For reference, the Spartans were given a 4-seed in the East region.

There is certainly nothing wrong with picking MSU to win it all. They’re hot, they won the Big Ten Tournament title and when healthy, they’re one of the elite teams in the nation. It’s just a little surprising to see all five of ESPN’s brass picking the same squad.


Filed under ESPN NCAA Tournament CBS College Basketball Basketball March Madness Michigan State Michigan State Spartans Spartans MSU Seth Greenberg Jay Bilas Digger Phelps Jay Williams Dick Vitale