Spent some time at women’s basketball media day this afternoon, and now here at Munn Arena getting ready for faceoff between MSU and Windsor in exhibition hockey. Game starts at 7 p.m. – follow me on Twitter (@chrissolari) or watch the game on Comcast 900.
First, on the women’s side. Coach Suzy Merchant stripped sophomore Kiana Johnson of her captaincy. Johnson and redshirt freshman Akyah Taylor were suspended nine games by the NCAA for receiving extra benefits. Merchant said she could not go into the specifics of that case. Brian Calloway will have more later on this in tomorrow’s LSJ and later on greenandwhite.com.
The sixth-year coach did say she opened the captain voting to the team after that. Junior Klarissa Bell and senior Jasmine Thomas will join returning senior captain Courtney Schiffauer as the Spartans’ tri-captains this season following some team-building exercises and a vote. Thomas will start at point guard, with Bell playing shooting guard and backing her up at the point. They’ll be charged with guiding one of Merchant’s younger and more inexperienced squads.
MSU also is banged up injury-wise heading closer to Friday’s Midnight Madness and the Nov. 1 exhibition opener against Saginaw Valley State. Madison Williams, coming off her second ACL tear in two years, still is not 100 percent but is back practicing and will be limited early. Top recruit Branndais Agee has a fracture in her pinkie toe (fifth metatarsal) and will miss six weeks. Others coming off injuries and surgeries are sophomore Becca Mills (knee surgery in May), junior Annalise Pickrel (shoulder) and sophomore Jasmine Hines (hamstring).
On the football front, coach Mark Dantonio told WJR radio that he doesn’t think tight end Dion Sims will play Saturday against Iowa.
On to hockey, here are the Spartans’ lines for tonight’s game with Windsor:
Keep up with my game updates on Twitter, and I’ll also have more at greenandwhite.com later.