Sports From A Spartan

A close look at all the happenings in sports through the eyes of a Spartan.

Let’s Talk Spartan’s Sports.

Did anyone miss me?!?!

I am back from my hiatus and ready to begin contributing again as a new man. I have effectively awaken from my B1G Championship Game coma and am starting to get excited about the bowl game. There was a part of me that didn’t think I’d ever get too excited about this one, but I really am. The Spartans will do themselves a huge favor by leaving Tampa with a W and an Outback Bowl trophy.

I’ll get into the football coverage in depth later in the week as we get closer to kickoff.

Anyone watch that basketball game last night?! Now that was a roller coaster of emotions which has become a Tom Izzo staple at Michigan State. For those that missed it, MSU started the grueling B1G conference schedule against the Indiana Hoosiers, who were two weeks removed from beating the #1 team in the nation. MSU came out hot building an 18 point lead into the later minutes of the first half.

Three straight IU 3-pointers seemed to be a sign of what was to come before going in for the half. Picking up right where they left off, IU pounded the Spartans back to reality eventually taking a 9 point lead.

So what’s the best medicine for a 27 point swing for Tom Izzo’s club? How about a 20-0 run?! Behind Sophomore sensation Keith Appling’s career high 25 points, MSU got back to what made them successful in the first half, attacking the hoop at one end and smothering the ball on the other.

Derrick Nix was the unsung hero last night coming up with 13 points of his own. Nix has been the biggest (no pun intended) reason for celebration this season. The big man is finally coming into his own and is showing that with an improved conditioning regiment, he could be one of the best big men in the conference.

I’ll have to keep an eye on the headlines this week, but after beating IU last night, I would be shocked if people didn’t stand up and take note of the Spartans as legitimate contenders for the B1G conference.

Two side notes… Does anyone else have the Austin Thornton-borne-illness that I have?! For the life of me, I cannot figure out why he gets the minutes that he does. I can appreciate Thornton’s story coming on as a walk-on and making it into the normal rotation and I can also respect that he is a Senior and that Tom Izzo might feel Thornton is in entitled to playing time, but I cringe anytime he is out on the court. He possesses little to no scoring threat, which I find ironic. After hearing player and coach interviews, the one guy they always talk about in practice as being the most clutch three-point shooter is in fact, Austin Thornton! I can appreciate that for the most part he is a fundamentally sound player, he makes good passes and can be trusted with the ball in his hands, as long as he immediately passes the ball. I’d be much more content leaving Branden Dawson in for extra minutes or rotating Russell Byrd, Brandan Kearney, and Alex Guana instead. But if I’m the only one that feels that way, then maybe I’ll just shut up.

Lastly, I am ashamed to admit that I turned the game on last night 5 minutes into the start… I just got a Kinect for Christmas and what can I say? Kinect golf is addicting. What struck me from the moment I turned on the TV was how loud the student section was. It wasn’t two minutes later that the announcers had remarked that the Izzone that night was made up of old alumni members, since the current students were still on Winter break. Dear Current Izzone Members, that’s how it’s done!!

I have been critical of the student support for both football and basketball ever since my Senior year at State. For whatever reason, there has been a huge drop off in the way things use to be. Now this I know is more than just me. Joe Rexrode has been talking about this issue, the good people over at The Only Colors have been harping on it, Tom Izzo even called out the students this season! The current students are soft. Seems now-a-days the Izzone is more about dressing up in a banana costume and texting the person across the court then actually being rowdy. Which is another point, I am only three years removed from college, don’t make me start sighting stories of “back in my days…” Izzo put it perfectly, if you expect a top 10 team every year, we expect a top 10 attitude from the student sections. Watch a Duke game once in awhile, see how they do it.

  1. sportsfromaspartan posted this