5 Things you Need to Know for Thursday, Febuary 6th
1. The Michigan basketball team responded well from their first Big Ten loss with a blowout win over Nebraska, 79-50. Nik Stauskas had a quiet night with only nine points, but the Wolverines got major contributions from other players. Glenn Robinson III scored 23 points, and Caris Levert and Zak Irvin both chipped in with 16.
U of M shot 50% from the field while drilling 13 three pointers. The Wolverines will put their 9-1 conference record on the line Saturday, when they travel to Iowa city to take on the #17 Hawkeyes.
2. Adreian Payne makes his return to the Michigan State lineup tonight as the Spartans host Penn State at the Breslin Center. The Nittany Lions are riding a three-game winning streak, including an impressive upset over Ohio State.
PSU can score, ranking fourth in the Big 10 with a 75.2 points-per-game average. However, they rank near the bottom of the league in most defensive categories. They are led by senior point guard Tim Fraizer, who averages over 16 points and six assists a game. Shooting guard D.J. Newbill is their leading scorer, averaging 17.6 points-per-game.
3. Yesterday was national signing day, and both in-state schools fared well according to most pundits. 24/7 sports had Michigan as the 20th best class, and Michigan State 25th. Rivals.com had MSU 21st and U of M 31st.
However, the day was filled with dramatic side-stories for both coaches. For the Spartans, it was the Malik McDowell saga. McDowell, the top ranked player in the state of Michigan, chose the Spartans Wednesday morning. His mom does not approve of this selection, and is refusing to sign his letter of intent. The Detroit News lays out all of the details in this article. As of Wednesday night, MSU still had not received his LOI.
For Brady Hoke, he was asked multiple questions about the Brendan Gibbons situation. Reportedly the press conference got a little uncomfortable.
4. The 24th ranked MSU's women's basketball team moved to 8-2 in Big 10 play with a 69-53 win over Illinois. Tori Jankoska and Becca Mills each had 22 points for the Spartans, who have won four straight games.
5. The Pistons dropped one to the lowly Magic last night, 112-98. Mo Cheeks shortened the bench, playing just six players more than 13 minutes. Josh Smith scored 25 points, but Brandon Jennings had another off-shooting night, going just 5-23 from the field. The Pistons are now 19-29.