Blake Froling

Impact Izzone – 2/7/14

This week, host Andrew Hayes returns to discuss all of the hoopla surrounding MSU’s injuries. Keith Appling was ruled out for the Penn State game and Branden Dawson is still nursing his broken hand.

On the brighter side, Adreian Payne returns from his absence and the Impact Izzone crew break it down.

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NBA Trade Deadline Targets: Jeff Green

With just two weeks until the All-Star break, the Pistons find themselves a half game out of the playoffs in an embarrassingly weak Eastern Conference. With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, Joe Dumars will almost certainly make a move that could make or break the season.

Jeff Green was a standout at Georgetown before being drafted No. 5 overall in 2007 by the Boston Celtics. He was traded to Seattle on draft night and spent three years with the SuperSonics and the Thunder. Green was traded back to the Celtics in 2011 at the trade deadline, but missed the entire 2011-2012 season with a heart complication

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Role Players Plugging the Hole for MSU

One slam of a hand, and MSU’s season could have been up in flames.

Without their top two rebounders, the Spartans could have imploded and limped along until Adreian Payne came back. But the role players for Michigan State have done their best to plug the gaping hole left by Payne and Branden Dawson so far. Read More…

Opinion: Pistons Need to Shake Things Up

After a MLK Day drubbing by the Los Angeles Clippers, the Detroit Pistons found themselves with a record of 17-24. At this time last year, an “inferior” Pistons squad was 16-25. The addition of superstars does not guarantee success, I suppose. Detroit must do something to break out of their funk and take advantage of a weak Eastern Conference, and it starts with the starting lineup.

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Opinion: Dawson Disappointing but Knows His Role for MSU

In November, I wrote an article about how Branden Dawson would be the X factor for Michigan State this season. At the time, he had been bragging about his new-look jump shot that would transform his game.

As of now, nothing has really changed for the junior from Gary, Ind. Read More…

Bright Spots in a Bleak Season

What was once considered a slow start is now turning into a disappointing season for the Detroit Pistons.

As owners of a 14-22 record and a six-game losing streak after their loss to the Raptors Wednesday, underachieving might be an understatement. There have been a rash of injuries and a few benchings along the way, but the season is still young. Luckily for Pistons fans, there are a few bright spots for coach Cheeks’ squad. Read More…

Marquee Matchup: Aaron Craft vs. Keith Appling

When talking about Ohio State, the first player that comes to mind is most likely point guard Aaron Craft.

In his senior season with the Buckeyes, Craft is the leader of an undefeated and third-ranked team heading into only its second true road game of the season. He is not expected to put up 20 points a night, but defense is how he earns his keep.

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Dawson Stars in Return as Spartans Rally Past Nittany Lions

With Branden Dawson and Matt Costello returning to the lineup, MSU (12-0, 1-0) looked to steamroll the up-and-coming Nittany Lions (9-5, 0-1). Dawson missed the New Orleans game with an injured shin, and Costello missed the last four games with mono.

In his last press conference, Tom Izzo said his team would have their work cut out for them in Happy Valley.

The Spartans stumbled out of the gates, finding themselves in a 10-3 hole in the opening minutes of the game. Read More…

Payne Has Career Game as Spartans Down Longhorns

Erwin Center was rocking on Saturday, as the upstart Texas Longhorns hosted number five-ranked Sparty. Rick Barnes’ squad was looking to avenge their 67-56 loss from last year in East Lansing.

Texas surprised many experts this year, starting the season 10-1 with an impressive win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill. MSU came into the game shorthanded, with Matt Costello out due to illness and a banged-up Gary Harris coming off the bench. Read More…

Pistons Recap: December 4-13

BMO Harris Bradley Center hosted the Pistons, on December 4, to take on the struggling Bucks. Detroit jumped out to a seven-point lead after the first quarter. Andre Drummond was a force early in the paint, scoring seven points and grabbing six boards to lead the Pistons.

But the Bucks charged back, opening the second quarter on a 19-5 run to take a 38-31 lead midway through the frame. Read More…

Scouting Report: North Carolina Tar Heels

In what could be the biggest challenge of the season since Kentucky, the North Carolina Tar Heels come to the Breslin Center on Wednesday as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The two teams will meet for the fifth time in 15 years.

North Carolina has had an interesting season, beating No. 3 Louisville but also losing to Belmont and UAB. Take a look at this box of chocolates from North Carolina:

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Pistons Recap: New York and Atlanta

The Pistons finally returned home from their grueling West Coast road trip to face Carmelo Anthony and the struggling New York Knicks. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope found himself in the starting lineup due to the absence of Will Bynum and Chauncey Billups, and looked to make the most out of the opportunity. With the depth of this roster, KCP has often found himself to be the odd man out, lucky to play more than five minutes. Read More…

Pistons Recap: Oklahoma City and Portland

The Oklahoma City Thunder came to the Palace of Auburn Hills on Friday for the first and only time this season.

The Pistons held on to a slim two-point lead after the first quarter, mostly due to 10 points by Josh Smith. But Kevin Durant and the Thunder charged back, taking an 11-point lead late in the second quarter. Less than two minutes into the third quarter, the Pistons tied the game back up at 56. Read More…

Opinion: Branden Dawson is the Spartans’ X-Factor

Branden Dawson’s freshmen season ended during the final regular season game of the year versus Ohio State, when he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament. That injury changed the trajectory of Dawson’s career. Instead of spending the summer of his sophomore year developing his game or possibly preparing for his rookie season in the NBA, he was forced to rehab his knee.

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