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MSU-Northwood Game Preview

4:00 P.M. (ET), SUNDAY
RADIO: SPARTAN SPORTS NETWORK (follow link for list of stations)

It's officially basketball season!  The games just don't count yet.

The rundown on the (very fearsome sounding) Timberwolves:
  • Record of 13-15 last season, including 9-13 in GLIAC play.  Lost to eventual Division II champion Findlay 81-52 in the conference tournament to end the season.
  • Picked to finish third in the GLIAC's six-team South Division this season.
  • The team returns its two leading scorers from last season: 6'3" senior guard Chris Johnson (12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds per game) and 6'7" senior forward Lionel Sullivan (11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game).
  • Newcomers (and projected starters) include 6'5" freshman guard Andrew Vandierendonck (AKA "The Basketball Announcer's Worst Nightmare") and 6'0" junior guard Dorian Pierce, a transfer from Saginaw Valley State who last played college basketball three years ago.
  • Glancing at the team stats from last season, the team's strength appeared to be rebounding (33.5% OReb%, 71.6% DReb%).  The big weakness was apparently shooting (32.3% 3pt%, 60.1% FT%).
There's actually an MSU connection here.  From the official game notes:
Northwood is coached by Bob Taylor, now in his 13th season. Among Taylor's previous stops, he was head coach of Oakland's women's basketball team, where current MSU women's coach Suzy Merchant served as his top assistant for three seasons.
Our head coach's fretting aside, the Spartans should roll over the Wolves.  Expect to see all 14 (or 15? Anthony Ianni might be eligible for exhibition play?) active Spartans get significant amounts of PT.

This post will also serve as the open game thread for those readers who opt to purchase the streaming video feed.  I have not yet decided whether I will be joining those ranks.