Michigan State basketball's media day was supposed to be last week, but with the Tigers and the football game and the what have you, it was pushed back to today. Here's a few things we (the royal we) learned.
The starters have been (almost) set. Here's a tweet from Rexrode (yes, Rexrode, follow him @joerexrode if you haven't already): "Izzo on MSU starters: Appling, Wood, Dawson, Green, Payne, Nix. Yep, that's six. It's down to Nix vs. Payne." I think that's what most of assumed, and the only relevatory part is that it looks like Branden Dawson has already locked down a starting spot. I assume that this would be situational as well. To start big Izzo may go Green-Payne-Nix in the frontcourt, and if he wants to go more athletic Green-Dawson-Payne could work with Payne at the 5.
Keith Appling won't be a pure point guard. This may have been assumed by a lot of the fanbase, but it was confirmed at media day today. My best guess is that Appling spends about 20 of his 30 minutes at point per game, being spelled by Brandon Wood (he did play a little point at Valparaiso), Travis Trice, and possibly even Draymond Green. Izzo also had this to say on the matter: "On Appling at the point or two: "How good is Wood, how good is Trice and how good is Dawson?" That will determine the distribution. Trice had a rough couple days early, got better, has been "a little bit nicked up in the last couple days."
Barring injury, all of the freshmen will play. This tweet from The State News: Izzo said he'll be surprised if all of the freshmen don't play. He'll also be surprised if at least one of them don't start." It's pretty safe to assume that the freshman who'll start is Dawson, and I can't imagine Travis Trice, the only pure scholarship point guard on the roster, being redshirted. It does sound like Brandan (side note -- the Brandan/Branden/Brandon spellings are going to be hard to keep straight this season) Kearney still needs to add strength, but at 6'5" he'll add much needed length to a defense that sorely missed it last season.
Anthony Ianni is now on scholarship. Presumably he took Delvon Roe's for one year when Roe had to retire. A couple notes on Delvon in December -- he'll have another surgery then, and he'll also have a role in another movie. It could be for Gametime, but I'm not 100% on that. Do we, as Spartans, have a duty to see it? Damn right we do.
Derrick Nix has once again reshaped his body. And it looks better than it did last season. Take a look at the picture above (Credit: @jeffrdillon), and realize any other words I have to say on the matter would be superfluous. In addition, Nix was weighed in front of the media; he came in at a svelte 268. Here's to him maintaining the loss throughout the season.
Lastly, there will be no beer in the locker room this year:
His Spartans will not play like strangers.
"I don’t think there is any question intangibles do play a major factor," Izzo said. "I’ve been studying the Lions. I’ve been studying the Tigers. … I’ve been studying the Red Sox and what happened to that locker room — hopefully beer and chicken is out of our locker room this year; we don’t plan on having any of that in there — but if you look at those things, it’s easy to see why chemistry is so important on a team, and why locker rooms are so important."