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Football and basketball and hockey, oh my

It’s that time of year where the winter sports are starting to get going.

Tuesday was a busy day with football interviews, men’s basketball media day, hockey announcing its captains and the Spartan football team receiving a commitment.

Here’s a look of some of the developments.

On the football front, there have been plenty of changes on the depth chart. Andre Sims Jr. or Le’Veon Bell are listed as the punt returners and Nick Hill fell off the two-deep at that spot but will remain returning kicks.

“I want to take the pressure off or the stress off of Nick a little bit. I guess the stress would be the deal. I want to take that off him a little bit,” Dantonio said when asked about that. “I do still have faith that he can go back there and catch a punt. But I think it’s decision making at times. A.J. (Andre Sims) has been consistent, but he’s a redshirt freshman, so we try not to put him in that situation. We just want to allow him to flourish there. He’s got punts already in games, so he’s been good. He’s a gamer. He’s got a great deal of confidence, and I think Le’Veon enters that situation as well.”

With starting tight end and leading receiver Dion Sims out for Saturday’s game against Iowa, Paul Lang, Andrew Gleichert and Derek Hoebing are listed as the starters at tight end. But Lawrence Thomas likely figures to play more of a role in the passing game.

“He does because he’s very much like a tight end,” Dantonio said. “So he’s a guy, and I don’t think I’m tipping, but he’s a guy that is similar to Dion in a lot of respects. So it could go beyond that. He’s been figuring in, and I think he’s a guy that can make plays for us.”

Taiwan Jones or Chris Norman are listed as starters at the STAR linebacker. Jones said after practice he took most of the reps with the first team on Tuesday and that Norman has handled the situation well. Here is more of the football news and notes.

Then there was the announcement of Delton Williams, the teammate of quarterback recruit Damion Terry, committing to MSU at a news conference at his school. He is regarded as an athlete but said he will likely start his career on defense for the Spartans.

With basketball, one of the main stories was Derrick Nix and Russell Byrd being named captains. Graham Couch writes that this duo makes sense as the team leaders for the Spartans this season.

Tom Izzo said he feels pretty good about this team and believes there are a lot of things going for this year’s version. Big men Adreian Payne and Nix will be playing together and true freshmen Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine or Byrd could be the starting 2 guard for the Spartans alongside point guard Keith Appling and wing Branden Dawson.

Speaking of Dawson, he is an X-factor for the Spartans this season.

Here is Izzo on this year’s freshmen:

On Denzel Valentine: “He’s probably impressed me the most because at 6’5″ he has incredible vision and great understanding of the game. He jumps eight to ten times better than his dad did, and that’s very critical to me, too. He’s shooting the ball a lot better than I thought. He has been a good leader, a good player. If he’s got to work on something, it would probably be his lateral quickness and guarding different people, but he’ll be a guy we’ll be able to move around and play at three positions.”

On Matt Costello: “Matt Costello is big and strong. He’ll battle Nix every day. He is a big, strong kid with a shooting touch, 17, learning how to run better. He struggled this summer with his first two steps. In high school a lot of loping up and down the floor, and struggled with that, and then all of a sudden started showing some ability to block shots and make shots, and so I’m excited about his future.”

On Gary Harris: “Gary Harris has been every bit and more the billing. He’s shot the ball better than I thought he could. He’s a phenomenal athlete that can do some great things, handles the ball pretty well, has a great understanding.”

On Kenny Kaminski: “Everybody knows he hurt the shoulder again, and he’s probably going to be out the year. But he is recovering a lot faster than he was, and I think he’ll be able to at least come back by the Big Ten season or shortly after the way it looks, so then there will be some decisions made.”

Also Izzo could get one of his first big chips in the 2013 class Thursday. James Young is expected to announce his college decision on ESPNU at 5 p.m., reports analyst Dave Telep. Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas are also in on Young.

On the ice, Greg Wolfe was named MSU’s captain this season. Wolfe roomed with last year’s captain – Torey Krug. Matt Grassi, Chris Forfar and Anthony Hayes are the assistant captains.

This entry was posted in Basketball, Football, Mark Dantonio, Men's Basketball, Michigan State, Players, Tom Izzo and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Football and basketball and hockey, oh my

  1. avatar The Tanner says:

    Tommy got options baby !!!

    Karchinski banged up baby !!!

    Hawkeye come to town baby !!!

    The Tanner bring the goods baby !!!

    • avatar mike says:

      In ten days Denard Robinson will beat us badly.

      • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

        well mike, considering you are scum, denard will beat you badly, with all his picks it will lead to the opposing team’s victory, thanks for playing

        dreadlocks = 0-4 vs MSU

    • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

      I know Jim Tanner and you’re no Jim Tanner. He does speak Pidgin, but only to the New Guinea tribesmen when he is out on the villages.

      • avatar behind the green curtain says:

        Ghost of Biggy,
        As you are driving to the stadium Saturday I would ask that you reflect upon these three questions.
        1. Does Coach Dantonio have the intellectual capacity to engage in a battle of wits
        with Coach Ferentz. Remember 2009, will the players play their butts off and the coaches screw things up?
        2. As an MSU fan are you better off now than you were six years ago?
        3. Is Coach Dantonio the kind of leader who gets your pi.. hot?

        I would ask that you reflect on these questions as you drive to the game. If the answer to #3 is yes than please pull over to a rest area and Smile when you think of me son.

        • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

          What you beat a mediocre AU team and now think you are an expert – what a joke that is, see the entire world is laughing AT you not with you, Smittie. Chased any PR ladies around the desk this week?

        • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

          Behind the curtain is the Wizard of Oz. A little man with nothing going for him. You’re hitting the yellow brick road in 6 weeks with no place to go. The court is going to nullify that deferred comp dodge. No more globe trotting for you. Can you say fries with that son. No self respecting football program is going to want you.

  2. avatar Lancelot_Spartan says:

    So is there a chance Young commits to MSU or he is a Kentucky lock?

  3. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    I don’t know Brian have you heard anything on our chances with Young? And is the Parker decision probable in the Nov 14-21 early period or is there a possibility he waits until the Spring to see how our season goes?

    • avatar Brian Calloway says:

      My guess would be Kentucky is the favorite for him. There was a lot of talk in spring/summer that he was favoring the Wildcats. I’m not sure exactly if Parker will make his decision in that early period or not. I do think there’s a strong chance Izzo lands him when in fact he does decide.

  4. avatar 79 Spartan says:

    Gotta give Coach D credit, he has instilled the concept of everyone pulling in the same direction regardless of where they are slotted on the depth chart from week to week.

    Izzo has reading glasses now – welcome to middle age Tom.
    Nixer and the Byrdman captaining the Spartans… whodathunk?

    Good luck to Wolfie. and the icemen. Go Green !!!

  5. avatar headeast says:

    Like the idea of moving Gholston to NT on passing downs…got to get some sacks…

  6. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Interesting the Cracker tried to post a link to the a dunk and got that wrong – nothing there that even resembles a video. Guy can’t even do that simple chore.

    Mikie, heard you got a raise, terrific! Glad I can help out those less fortunate. Remember your benefactor paid out $40k for his tussle with me, so that well is probably going to run dry soon.

    • avatar behind the green curtain says:

      I can think about 40 million reasons why Mark Dantonio should be concerned about Iowa son, now quit picking on that Graham Couch he might end up at BTN some day providing fair and balanced coverage of Spartan athletics.

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        CRACKER is a 3rd tier hack and I can understand why you would have an affinity for him, birds of a feather, etc, etc.

  7. avatar The Tanner says:

    LT get reps baby !!!

    Bird captain baby !!!

    Tommy play Costello baby !!!

    The Tanner bring the goods baby !!!

  8. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Did young choose Kentucky at the press conference?

  9. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Tigers up 1-0

  10. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Brian, read the post by Okafor in Chicago, no self confidence problem there.

  11. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    Papa Grande`, not so grande: gives up 3 straight hits to tie it up.

  12. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    if I were a betting man – which like Alex Karras, I’m not – I’d tell JV he should be prepared to go all 9 even if it’s 150 pitches. Valverde is the same guy, neither is Benoit.

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