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Pistons Profile: D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler

After a few weeks of inactivity, the Detroit Pistons made headlines again after signing two key players in one night.

On July 15, Stan Van Gundy decided to sign veteran players D.J. Augustin (two-years, $6 million) and Caron Butler (one-year, $4.5 million with a team option).

Augustin, 26-years-old, is a traveled point guard who has spent plenty of time in the NBA dealing with adversity. In his six seasons in the league, Augustin has played for four teams, including division rivals Chicago and Indiana.

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Tigers Gain Momentum in Tampa, Look to Get Hot

On Tuesday morning of August 19, the Detroit Tigers were the hottest topic in baseball for all the wrong reasons.

The team that had just acquired the best pitcher available at the trade deadline, David Price. Before the move,the Tigers were already pegged as one of the favorites to win it all, but were reeling worse than almost any team in baseball.

Losers of nine of their previous 14 games, Detroit looked to stop the bleeding and attempt to start gaining ground on the division-leading Kansas City Royals, who at the time, were winners of 12 of their last 14 games during the same span.

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What Braxton Miller’s Injury Means for the Spartans

Shocking college football news came earlier this week as reports surfaced that Ohio State quarterback and Heisman contender Braxton Miller would miss the entire 2014 season after reinjuring his shoulder in a Monday practice.

The Buckeyes were supposed to be Big Ten favorites this season, but losing their signal caller and leader certainly changes things.

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Top MSU Hockey Player of All Time

The Spartans have had a great history in men’s college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our top five greatest Spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

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A Look at Michigan’s Open Scrimmage

Despite coach Dantonio’s consistent remarks on the importance of each and every game this season, Spartan fans are always interested in the status of their rivals from Ann Arbor.

On Saturday night, the Wolverines opened up the gates of the Big House for the fans to watch an 8 p.m. open scrimmage.

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Opinion: Frontcourt Follies

Spartan basketball took a hit when it was announced that sharp-shooting sophomore Kenny Kaminski was being dismissed from the team on August 4. Kaminski tweeted on August 2 that he was transferring from MSU and was unsure of where he was headed.

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Pistons Profile: Jodie Meeks

Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh might have hogged the headlines during the start of the NBA free agency period, but Stan Van Gundy and the Detroit Pistons have signed a few players that will make sure to make some headlines of their own.

Detroit’s biggest signing and first free agent acquisition this summer was guard Jodie Meeks, who bolted from the bright lights of Los Angeles and signed a three-year, $19 million deal with the Pistons.

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With Replacements Looming, Veterans Step Up

While comfort and job security have always been the norm to Joe Nathan and Justin Verlander, the 2014 trade deadline opened the veterans’ eyes to the possibility of being replaced.

Between Verlander and Nathan, the two have combined for eight All-Star games and nine postseason appearances. Verlander has held the ace role in Detroit for over half a decade, and Nathan has been the perennial closer for his team — whether that be Minnesota, Texas or Detroit. While their personal accomplishments are impressive, one looming statistic has evaded them throughout both their careers: zero World Series rings.

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Why Detroit Can Celebrate

After seven years of Rodney Stuckey, Detroit fans can say “goodbye” to another Joe Dumars draftee that failed to reach his full potential and “hello” to a Stan Van Gundy-approved line up.

Dumars drafted Stuckey No. 15 overall in the 2007 NBA draft to play as a point guard. The Pistons spent the next seven years gradually transitioning him to a shooting guard with mixed results.

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Top MSU Hockey Players of All Time

The MSU hockey team has had a great history in college hockey. With their fair share of conference, regular season and tournament titles, three NCAA National Championships, and two Hobey Baker award winners, the Spartans have some great accomplishments under their belt. None of those accomplishments would have been possible if it were not for the hard work and dedication put in by countless MSU hockey players over the years.

Over the next five weeks, Behind the Mask will be releasing each of our  top five greatest spartan hockey players of all time. Starting with No. 5 and working all the way up to No. 1. Each of us giving our own reasons on why each player deserves to be there.

Who will claim the top spot on the countdown?

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Way-Too-Early Predictions: Nebraska (Oct. 4)

The Spartans will open Big Ten play with a night game at home against Nebraska. In 2013, MSU went on an unprecedented 9-0 in conference play. The 2014 season will prove difficult, if not impossible for Michigan State to remain undefeated in the Big Ten — having to open up against Nebraska, play Michigan and Ohio State in back-to-back games, and traveling to Maryland and Penn State.

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The Impact of Joakim: Tigers Acquire Soria, Look to Patch Reeling Bullpen

The Detroit Tigers bullpen currently holds the worst batting average against at .272 and the least strikeouts of any bullpen with just 243 strikeouts. Match that with the collective 4.41 ERA, and one could argue that the Tigers own the worst bullpen of all contending teams; a huge point of contention over the past three season.

However, Dave “Clark Kent, Superman, X-factor” Dombrowski came to the rescue once more. He and the Detroit Tigers received closer Joakim Soria in their second big deal of the season with the Texas Rangers for two pitching prospects, relievers Corey Knebel and Jason Thompson, and a draft pick.

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D.J. Augustin and Caron Butler Added to the Roster

Twenty-six year-old guard D.J. Augustin has signed a two-year,$6 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. The former No. 10 overall pick has had anything but a spotless career, but could be on the verge of a comeback after a successful season with the Chicago Bulls. Joining Augustin will be veteran forward Caron Butler, 34, who is set to make $4.5 million next season with the Pistons.

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Why Austin Jackson Will Be the Key to Detroit’s Success in Second Half

When the Detroit Tigers acquired Austin Jackson from the New York Yankees in a three-way trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks (who received Edwin Jackson and traded pitcher Max Scherzer to the Tigers) they saw their center fielder of the future.

Anyone who is touted as one of the top prospects for the Yankees has a lot of promise, and Dave Dombrowski wasted no time in his efforts to attain him.

Following his 2010 rookie season, it appeared as if Detroit had struck gold. Jackson was one of the top rookies in the league, hitting .293 in 151 games played, with 27 steals and 48 extra base hits while finishing second in AL Rookie of the Year voting.

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The Dirks Dilemma

At some point this season, Detroit fans have called for the heads of all three outfield starters: Rajai Davis, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter.

Other times, those shouting expletives in June were shouting approval in July.

All three players have looked valuable to the Tigers at some point during the first four months of the season, and while their sporadic play may have satiated fans, Brad Ausmus may not be convinced.

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More Former Dumars Employees Leave

When Stan Van Gundy accepted the job as President of Basketball Operations and head coach for the Detroit Pistons he made it no secret that he would make the team his own. Almost immediately Van Gundy let go five staff members, including assistant coach Rasheed Wallace. Various men who had worked with Van Gundy in the past replaced them.

Continuing to surround himself with people from his past, Van Gundy next hired old college basketball rival Jeff Bower as the organization’s general manager.

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