5 Things For April 16th: Branden Dawson Returning to Michigan State
1. Michigan State forward Branden Dawson is returning for his senior season. Dawson played very well late in the season, and there was some speculation that he may pursue a professional basketball career.
Dawson likely would have been picked in the NBA draft, but probably would not have been a first-rounder, which guarantees you a two-year contract. With a good season that sees improvements in his ball-handling and shooting, he could work his way into the first round next year.
It is a big deal for Michigan State, who will field a younger, less talented team next season. Dawson is not the most skilled offensive player, but he will be asked to pick up some of the scoring slack, in addition to being the excellent rebounded and defender that he is.
2. Michigan did not receive the same good news from it's underclassmen. Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III announced that they are declaring for the NBA draft. Both players are projected to be first-round draft picks. Stauskas appears to be more ready for the league, but Robinson's upside will have a lot of teams interested in him.
Mitch McGary has not declared his intentions yet, and it will be a very important decision for the Wolverines. I think they can withstand the losses of Stauskas and Robinson, because Caris Levert is outstanding, and Derrick Walton Jr. and Zak Irvin seem poised to make a nice leap. However, with the losses of Jordan Morgan and Jon Horford U of M is very thin on the interior, and they could really use McGary's presence.
3. The Tigers series opener against Cleveland has been postponed. There was terrible weather all across Michigan yesterday, and the two teams expect to get things underway tonight at 7:08. Anibal Sanchez was scheduled to start yesterday, and he will likely take the ball for Detroit tonight.
4. The Lansing State Journal reports that Macgarrett Kings Jr. is suspended for the rest of spring practice for a "violation of team rules." Coach Mark Dantonio also said in that article that he expects Kings to be back with the team.
5. The NHL playoffs start tonight. There are three games tonight, starting with Tampa Bay and Montreal. Columbus plays Pittsburgh, and Dallas plays Anaheim later in the night. The Wings get in action Friday against the Bruins.
Steve Miller is on-air from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. producing ‘Mad Dog in the Morning’ on The Game 730 AM. Follow him on Twitter @SteveMilllerWVFN.