Denzel Valentine

No Dawson, No Ellis, No Problem for Spartans

With Alvin Ellis still nursing a sprained ankle and Branden Dawson out with the flu, Michigan State needed somebody to step up for the Spartans.

True freshman Marvin Clark Jr. did just that in MSU’s 79-52 blowout of Santa Clara University.

Clark started for the ailing Dawson and scored the game’s first three points. This was the beginning of a 17-2 run by the Spartans to start the game. Read More…

Hot Spartans Demolish Ramblers in Home Opener

East Lansing was frigid on Friday night for the home opener, but nothing could cool down the Spartans. The Loyola (IL) Ramblers were victims of an offensive onslaught led by Marvin Clark, Jr. and Branden Dawson. MSU was firing on all cylinders and rolled to an easy 87-52 win.

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Opinion: MSU Looked Fantastic Against Duke

MSU looked fantastic on Tuesday night against the Duke Blue Devils. I do not mean that sarcastically.

I am legitimately impressed with the performance that Michigan State basketball turned in against Duke.

Yes, State lost by double-digits and looked like it has a ways to go before it is anywhere near returning to championship form, but it does not appear that it is too far away. Read More…

Okafor, Blue Devils Too Much for Spartans

When Tom Izzo and Mike Krzyzewski get together, you know it is going to be a battle.

Coach K’s ridiculously talented Blue Devils defeated Coach Izzo’s young Spartans in the Champions Classic Tuesday night, 81-71.

Duke came armed with the best recruiting class in the nation, featuring the crown jewel of the group, Jahlil Okafor. He was the top-ranked recruit in the 2014 class and is considered the favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft this summer. Read More…

Opinion: Spartan Hoops Need Stronger Starter Showing

MSU men’s basketball opened the regular season last Friday against Navy in Annapolis, Maryland. While the Spartans enjoyed the hospitality of the Midshipmen during the week, the actual game was anything but a polite affair.

The Spartans squeaked out a 64-59 victory. Read More…

Spartans Escape Navy

There was nothing pretty about it but Michigan State started the regular season off on the right foot with a 64-59 win over Navy.

The Spartans looked sluggish all game and struggled mightily to establish an inside presence. MSU had several runs in the first half but the lead never eclipsed eight points.

“We didn’t do the things we needed to do to be successful,” head coach Tom Izzo said.

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Spartans Shoot Down St. Cloud State

If you were not aware, Friday, the Michigan State men’s basketball team had a game. Michigan State continued its exhibition excellence against St. Cloud State with a 101-46 victory.

Junior guard Denzel Valentine finished the night with a triple double, while his point guard counterpart Travis Trice finished with a team-high 20 points, including a 4-8 stat from beyond the arc. Read More…

Men’s Basketball Opens Preseason With Win

Michigan State welcomed back senior Russell Byrd to start the 2014-2015 basketball preseason, as MSU beat the former Spartan and The Masters College 97-56 Monday night.

Byrd scored the first three points for the Mustangs and led the team with 22 points on 7-22 shooting. 19 of his 22 shots were from behind the arc.

Byrd spoke before the coaches at the postgame press conference. Read More…

Opinion: Best-Case/Worst-Case Scenarios for Men’s Basketball’s “Big Three”

A new men’s basketball season is finally upon us, and with it comes the endless speculation by fans and experts alike. The success or struggles of Travis Trice, Denzel Valentine and Branden Dawson will determine the success or struggles of the Michigan State Spartans as a whole.

Here are the best-case and worst-case scenarios for the Spartans’ “Big Three.” Read More…

Opinion: It’s X-Factor Season

The leaves are changing and the temperatures are dropping, which means it is time for writers and bloggers to start filling headlines with their relatively unfounded predictions for college basketball.

One of my current favorites is the notion that, for the second year in a row, Branden Dawson will be the “x-factor” for Michigan State this year. Read More…

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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Middle Man

He was once a two-sport, star athlete at Lansing Sexton High School.

Drew Valentine set school records, garnered all-state acclaim and received top-notch offers from the most storied programs across the country (Florida State and Michigan State to name a few).

But little did Drew imagine that injuries would put him on the hardcourt sideline with his brother, Denzel, five years later.

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Trip to North Texas on the Line against UConn

Tom Izzo has never coached a senior that has not made it to the Final Four. A win on Sunday against the Connecticut Huskies will continue that incredible streak.

No. 7 UConn is a bit of a surprise team to make it to the Elite Eight, beating No. 10 St. Joseph’s, No. 2 Villanova and No. 3 Iowa State on its way. The Huskies are led by arguably the best point guard in the nation, Shabazz Napier.

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MSU Rolls Northwestern

On the hardwood at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, there were at least seven slips on the court throughout the first ten minutes of the game.

The falls may have been caused from the slick floor, or perhaps a bit of first half nerves. For Michigan State and Northwestern players, it could have been more than that.

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Spartans Finish with a Loss

There were missed opportunities in the final minute of the game Sunday afternoon. But Ohio State held on to beat No. 22 Michigan State, 69-67.

On senior day for the Buckeyes, senior Aaron Craft was his usual, pesky self, setting the all-time Big Ten record for steals with his first steal of the game on Keith Appling. Craft scored 12 points, had seven assists and four steals.

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Spartans Bounce Back against Hawkeyes

Thursday night was senior night at the Breslin Center, but it was the sophomores and juniors who stole the show as Michigan State beat Iowa, 86-76.

Travis Trice was 4-5 from the field and led the Spartans with 17 points off the bench. Denzel Valentine looked well on his way to a triple-double in the first half, but finished with 13 points, six rebounds and nine assists.

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Wolverines Overwhelm Michigan State

In a game that was truly a tale of two halves, the No. 20 Michigan Wolverines defeated No. 13 Michigan State 79-70 Sunday afternoon, to take full control of the top spot in the Big Ten.

The Spartans started off well, never trailing in the first half after Michigan led 4-2. MSU led by five in the closing seconds of the first half when Caris LeVert hit a three as time expired, to pull the Wolverines within two at the break.

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Spartans Shoot the Lights out in Win Over Purdue

Gary Harris and company hosted a shooting clinic in West Lafayette, Ind. on Thursday.

Michigan State started their game against Purdue on an unprecedented 11-14 streak from beyond the arc. Harris led the way for the Spartans with six three-pointers, finally breaking out of his shooting slump. He finished with 25 points, far surpassing his average of just over 13 points per game during his six-game shooting slump.

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