Tom Izzo

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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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…

Previewing Key Non-Conference Matchups for Men’s Basketball

Before Big Ten conference play begins on December 30 with a matchup against Maryland, MSU faces a brutal non-conference schedule that will test head coach Tom Izzo’s young team right away. Sure, there are some cupcakes along the way with home games against Loyola (Chicago), Arkansas-Pine Bluff and The Citadel, but there are some grisly showdowns on the horizon.

Here is a preview of the biggest games of the non-conference schedule. 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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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…

Izzo Rocks Michigan State Madness

On an unseasonably warm October night, Spartan fans from around the state packed in to the Breslin Center to witness the spectacle that is Michigan State Madness (formerly known as Midnight Madness). Lines wrapped all the way around the stadium, one even stretching from the Magic Johnson statue to Shaw Lane.

Coach Tom Izzo has built quite the reputation for flashy entrances, and spectators were clueless as to what he might do this time. In recent years, Izzo rode in on a horse, came in dressed as Iron Man and even had a little help from a real-life Spartan, Gerard Butler. Last year, he faked out everyone in the building (myself included) when he pretended to get shot out of a giant cannon. Read More…

Impact Izzone — 10/24/14

It is officially 10 days until MSU men’s preseason basketball starts. Hosts Andrew Hayes and Blake Froling talk about all the festivities leading up to tip-off including the Izzone Campout and Midnight Madness.

The hosts give their predictions for Izzo’s entrance and much more on this edition of Impact Izzone. Read More…

A Guide to the Izzone Campout

This Friday is the annual Izzone Campout, where thousands of loyal (read: insane) fans camp on Munn Field in hopes of gaining access to the mythical land of the lower bowl and avoiding the freshman infested wasteland that is the “Ozone.”

One cannot go into such a monumental event unprepared, so we here at the Impact want to give the readers the best ways to survive the campout. Read More…

Opinion: It’s on MSU

Sometime during Saturday’s game, probably during one of those extra long TV timeouts, you might have seen a PSA video on the big screens with a handful of celebrities repeating “It’s On Us.” Then President Obama appeared, a loud booing rang from the student section, and the video was over. You may have thought it was a campaign about environmental change, drunk driving or even the ebola virus.  It was not about any of those topics.

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Opinion: Lack of Star Power Nothing New for Izzo

On the surface, it appears as though Tom Izzo has a recruiting crisis on his hands.

The Spartans missed out on yet another top-tier recruit in guard Jalen Brunson, who committed to Villanova University earlier in September. Brunson is the latest in a long line of missed five-star recruits in the past several years (recruiting rankings based on espn.com). 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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Non-Conference Schedule Preview: Hockey

At last year’s postseason press conference, Michigan State head coach Tom Anastos said that he would include a wide variety of non-conference teams for the Spartans to play in the upcoming seasons. Now with the official 2014-15 hockey schedule released, the Spartans boast a strong but flexible schedule that even Tom Izzo would be proud of. Read More…

Way-Too-Early Predictions: Jacksonville State (Aug. 29)

Michigan State is coming into the 2014 season as the defending Big Ten Champions with a 10-game winning streak. They have not lost at home since November 2012. With a win in the 100th Rose Bowl and a preseason ranking in the top 10, the ceiling for MSU football is a National Championship, but where is the floor?

If the Spartans lose their first game, it will be the biggest disaster a Big Ten team has experienced in non-conference play since No. 5 Michigan lost to unranked Appalachian State in 2007.

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Opinion: Byrd Leaves, Gauna Retires. Does it Matter?

Russell Byrd announced that he will not be returning to Michigan State next year. He will spend his final year of eligibility at Master’s College in California, according to the Detroit Free Press. Byrd was a highly recruited shooter in high school, garnering interest from high profile programs like Kentucky, as well as Michigan State.

According to MSU head coach Tom Izzo, Alex Gauna has decided to retire from basketball and spend his final year at MSU focusing on his education. Gauna was a three-star recruit, but was one of those players that many people thought could develop into a successful Division-I player under the tutelage of Izzo.

Yet, when this news came out, I could not help but ask myself, “So?”

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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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Getting to Know Marvin Clark Jr.

The recruiting class of 2014 got a little better with the signing of Marvin Clark Jr.

The 6-foot-7, 219-pound small forward committed to Michigan State a month ago, joining Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn and Javon Bess. He is a three-star recruit, according to rivals.com.

Clark is from Bel Aire, Kan. and played for Sunrise Christian Academy, the same school as Nairn.

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Impact Izzone – 4/10

It is all over.

Hayes and Blake discuss their sadness to the end of the NCAA Tournament and give their take on the championship game. They also look ahead to next year for the Spartans and what needs to improve for another run in the Tournament.

The sadness that is felt over the end of the basketball season is nothing compared to the sadness felt over the loss of young Lacey Holsworth this week. Read More…

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