Smorgasbord: MSU hockey, women’s basketball, Dion Sims updates

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:








J. Chelios/Draeger





Yanakeff (starting)



Keep up with my game updates on Twitter, and I’ll also have more at greenandwhite.com later.

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44 Responses to Smorgasbord: MSU hockey, women’s basketball, Dion Sims updates

  1. avatar Chris Solari says:

    As for options if Dion Sims does miss Saturday’s game, one thing to look for was the jumbo package MSU used on a few goal-line situations. Without fullback Niko Palazeti for the second week, the staff in a few instances used Lawrence Thomas at fullback and redshirt freshman Trevon Pendleton – normally a fullback – in more of an H-back role. One play in particular was the Le’Veon Bell first down run just before his TD in the second half, with Pendleton moving in motion to the left and Bell running behind both him and Thomas.
    Personally, and with zero input from anyone of substance, I speculated about the coaching staff potentially giving Thomas some reps at tight end. For a guy whose spent so little time on offense, they may not want to overwhelm him with another move and more responsibilities. But Thomas certainly has shown the hands to catch passes out of the backfield and possesses the size to block along the line. However, giving him a running start out of the fullback position makes him a very difficult assignment for smaller defenders.
    We’ll see tomorrow what Dantonio has to say about that and if it’s even an option.

    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      Chris, can you ask him if he would consider Thomas as a tight end tomorrow? He answered the question about Adams as a WR last week

      • avatar GreenGuy says:

        I’d rather see more of LT at FB…lead blocking has looked outstanding (Bell TD 2nd half v. IU) and he has shown good hands as outlet receiver…maybe give him the rock on a couple FB dives into A gaps…Iowa’s LB’s are smaller this year than usual. Palazeti carrying would be OK with me too – watched him destroy Holt in HS playoffs. Keep the MLB honest and not flowing so hard to the edge will open things up for Leveon. How about this – Palazeti at FB and LT at TB in short yardage…you wanna be the LB that fills on that?

  2. avatar The Tanner says:

    Coach Marchant got captains baby !!!

    Dion got boot baby !!!

    Pucksters get going baby !!!

    The Tanner blogmaster baby !!!

  3. avatar Chris Solari says:

    MSU hockey wins 6-1 over Windsor. Goals from Walrod, Keller, Berry, Darnell, Hayes and Walsh. Spartans outshot the Lancers 48-14. MSU opens the regular season Friday at Minnesota, ranked No. 1/2 in the two major college hockey polls.

  4. avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

    One benefit of Shadows is there are TWO (2) of you posting threads – JUST GREAT, Guys.

    Chris, nice twitter reporting of the game.

    Bigger sheet @Minnie, speed will help.

    Triple last Winter: Mens/Womens Basketball and Hockey in the NCAA – nobody else has ever done that I think is what we said.

    • avatar SpartanGeoff71 says:

      The other benefit is that this blog doesn’t have an offensive name.

      • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

        Just encourage all Spartans to boycott that blog, leave it to the paid trolls like the one GoldGirl has from BTN (a Janitor in the building get ten bucks a week)

      • avatar vas says:

        Agreed wholeheartedly!

        I did express my displeasure to the editors at the LSJ (not sure if it will influence them) about the title. I would hope that they force the change.

        WRT the content like Mayo (formerly at MLive) and Drew Sharp I just stopped reading them. It was a waste of my time as they was no real insight and original thought and it isn’t entertaining or thought provoking. It the case of Mayo I think enough people stopped clicking and he was eventually canned.

        Unfortunately Drew Sharp still gets too many clicks (even though most MSU and uOFm fans all seem to agree that he is awful). I guess when a dispicable person like Joe Falls can last as long as he did its hard to expect a Detriot paper to take action.

        Go State

  5. avatar GoSt8Go says:

    The era of Yanakeff starts. Go Green!

  6. avatar LeeBee says:

    And Madison Williams era … Go White!

  7. avatar mike says:

    Graham is so mean!! Idont like hearing the truth about the Spartans!! Why cant he be like the rest of us and pretend that everything is okay?

    • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

      Just like Beckman and Branstatter:

      IT’S CRIMINAL !!!


    • avatar Spartan 81 says:

      How about if the Marine and I give you $11 a week to go to the Maize and Brew site?

    • avatar USMCretired says:

      I see your point now Mike we have been fooling ourselves we had a good run but it is Michigans turn now to shine Go Blue and Semper FI

    • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

      Clean up on aisle 6, Mikie boy. Oh, they don’t have aisles in the btn building? or id you have to get help with aisle? I know, I know $10 a week doesn’t pay much towards getting that GED. But, then, you do have that job description of paid troll to add to excellent mopping and window washing skills and trash emptier extra-ordinaire. Don’t be surprised though if you find either your car with an impound lock on it or some Michigan State and USMC stickers all over the place. (bet ole’ Silverman didn’t tell you there’s a down side to trolling for dough) Don’t get all upset that your dirty little secret is out, the only thing you will see when you post in the future is the phrase “Goose poop”. Earn your money, sonny boy, but how lame is it and how comical that somebody forbidden from blogging anymore because of his own stupidity hires somebody else. Doesn’t it make you feel cheap that it’s just $10, he bet me thousands and has paid over $40K because he was silly enough to waste our time. That’s your benefactor Silverman I’m referring to, incidentally. Have a good day, bunkie. Clean up the last stall more often Jones runs a roach infested bar in Mt Adams, Oh. and I think they follow him like rats and the Pied piper.

  8. avatar The Tanner says:

    Nixer and Bird wear the “C” baby !!!

    Nixer throw down veggies baby !!!

    The Tanner bring the goods baby !!!

  9. avatar Spartan 81 says:

    Glad to read Joes piece that Nix is a co captain and Izzo is optimistic regarding replacing Greens leadership. Dawson appears fully recovered.

    • avatar GoSt8Go says:

      Izzo’s comments: “…players voted unanimously for Nix to be captain, which he said is a rarity in his tenure at MSU.” Surprised by the latter. That speaks to this team starting off with unity. Here’s to them finishing there.

      • avatar mike says:

        Its amazing what a 3 day suspension in the off seasom can do for a young man. lmao

        • avatar GoSt8Go says:

          mike, were you ever in an opportunity where others close to you looked to you for leadership?

          • avatar USMCSpartan(Ret.) says:

            interesting question GSt8Go, but it is rhetorical.

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            Man thats funny, for $11 a week we could have a hired gun like that of our own you know.

          • avatar Spartan 81 says:

            Are you implying that the btn studio looks to its custodial staff for leadership?

          • avatar GoSt8Go says:

            It is not necessarily beyond the capability of a janitor to show leadership traits. What mike is missing points more toward a lack self-awareness and independent thinking. Putting mike, with his faults, in the same category of janitors is an offense to same.

          • avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

            Mike is hooked on the yellow urinal mints. Since he has access to an unlimited supply he has become an addict.

          • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

            yep no need to insult janitors, even though mike eats the urinal mints, doesn’t mean he’s as good as a janitor

        • avatar MSU Owns Denard says:

          yeah it’s something that doesn’t happen at scUM, brady (c) hoke just sweeps it under the table ! nothing like letting a man with felony charges play !

      • avatar Spartan in Los Angeles says:

        BJ is all the way back except for letting Byrd dunk on him in practice the other day. Looking forward to Midnight Madness when Poncho unveils his wardrobe and this years team. Garry Harris has a wicked dunk move by the way one where he kind of rises stops in mid air above the rim , than floats down. That was in full display on Costello yesterday. Nix has the respect of his teammates and has become the guy who called others for pick up games in August.

  10. avatar Ghost of Biggie says:

    Alex Karas the first Detroit Lion I ever became aware of back in the late fiftys in SE Pennsylvania

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