EAST LANSING â€“ Magic Johnson expects tonightâ€™s matchup between No. 4-ranked Michigan State and No. 1 Indiana will be a dogfight.
And the Lansing native and former MSU star is excited to be part of the matchup as a commentator for ESPNâ€™s broadcast.
â€śItâ€™s just great to be a part of a game thatâ€™s representing the Big Ten Conference,â€ť said Johnson, who led the Spartans to the 1979 national title. â€śA game of this magnitude on ESPN is just great for me. I wouldâ€™ve been watching it at home anyways so itâ€™s nice to be here and to feel the atmosphere. Itâ€™s gonna be a crazy atmosphere.â€ť
Johnson said he follows the Big Ten closely and thought the first game between the Spartans and Hoosiers was outstanding. Heâ€™s impressed with the level of talent on both the MSU and Indiana rosters and believes at least 10 players on the court tonight will be playing at the next level.
Johnson also has been impressed by how MSU coach Tom Izzoâ€™s teams improve as the season progresses. He believes Adreian Payne, Derrick Nix, Branden Dawson and Gary Harris have played a key part in this yearâ€™s surge.
â€śHis teams always get better as the season goes along and I think that their inside play has really been the reason why,â€ť Johnson said. â€śPayne and Nix â€“ their game has really gone to another level. And then Gary Harris has just been an outstanding freshman and shooting the basketball well. I think that Dawson being healthy this season, you can see a difference in him. Heâ€™s much more aggressive now.â€ť
About this blogChris Solari
Chris Solari has been with LSJ Media since 2006 and has covered Spartan athletics since 1994 while attending MSU. He also was an award-winning writer while covering South Dakota State athletics from 2002-06.Brian Calloway
Brian is a native of Coloma, Mich., and a 2005 graduate of Eastern Michigan. He has worked at the Lansing State Journal since October 2010.
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