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.

“Tonight was just really special for me,” he said. “It’s something I’ll always remember for the rest of my life.”

The Spartans started slow and missed several open jump shots early in the contest, but they figured it out around the 12 minute mark of the first half and led by as much as 30 in the period.

Denzel Valentine led Michigan State with 24 points, including 6-9 from three point range. He also added 12 rebounds.

Four other Spartans finished in double figures including Branden Dawson, who scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half.

“I thought he played well in the first half; a little disinterested in the second half,” head coach Tom Izzo said.

Izzo was pleased with the offensive side of the ball, but wanted to see more from his defense, especially shooting guards Bryn Forbes and Alvin Ellis III.

Michigan State plays its final preseason game on Friday against Saint Cloud State. Tip is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.

Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports