Hoops time: EMU at Michigan State
The EMU men’s basketball regular season tips off at 8:30 tonight!
As anyone reading this already surely knows, the Eagles start their season in the unfriendly confines of the Breslin Center, where they will face the Michigan State Spartans, widely expected to be one of the best collegiate teams in the country this season. Unless you’ve been hiding in a cave somewhere, you probably know that Michigan State is the consensus #2 pre-season basketball team. Most people regard this as nothing more than a tuneup for the Spartans. If you want a good example, take a look at the AP’s game preview that Yahoo! Sports is using, which reads more like a Michigan State season preview.
Michigan State opens the season Friday night at home against Eastern Michigan, an expected tuneup on a schedule packed with intriguing matchups.
That is the entirety of what they have to say about EMU’s team and tonight’s game, which can be seen on the Big Ten Network and heard on Eagle All-Access. Since they’re playing Michigan State, you will also be able to listen to the Spartan broadcast on WJR (760 AM).
As for the matchup, junior point guard Korie Lucius won’t play since he’ll be serving a suspension for a drunk driving arrest in August, and senior guard Mike Kebler is expected to be out with an injured right foot. As a result, freshman guard Keith Appling is expected to get plenty of playing time tonight. Despite that, all I really have to say is that Tom Izzo is 2-0 against EMU, and I’ll be shocked if he isn’t 3-0 in a few hours. Frankly, my expectations for this game are pretty similar to what they were when the football team visited the Horseshoe this fall: keep it respectable and don’t embarrass EMU.
What are other people saying:
- The Lansing State Journal asks if this is the best MSU basketball team of the Izzo era, and nearly answers the question with a prediction that, come April, the Spartans will be cutting down the nets in Houston.
- SBNation’s Michigan State blog, The Only Colors, says, of Charles Ramsey’s promise of an aggressive defense this season:
We’ll see if Ramsey really sends his team out playing aggressive defense to try to force the action. Given MSU’s major talent advantage, that’s unlikely to turn out well for Eastern. It sets up as a nice opening test for the younger Spartan players: play with poise against pressure on offense and avoid defensive breakdowns leading to easy baskets against a team unlikely to beat you from the outside. Another key to watch will be whether MSU can impose its will on the offensive glass against a solid defensive rebounding team.