When it comes to Big Ten basketball, there aren’t many who know the state of Michigan better than former MSU All-American Steve Smith. I caught up with Smith and asked him for three bold predictions leading up to tonight’s much-anticipated Michigan-Michigan State matchup.
Find out more about: B1G Predictions
The last time Michigan visited Michigan State, it marked the first time the two programs played as top 10 teams. The Spartans rolled to a 75-52 victory in that one. Here’s to hoping Saturday night’s battle is more contested. After all, this one in the Breslin Center marks the Big Ten’s first meeting between teams with 6-0 conference records or better. Really.
Yes, it’s that time of the week when I reach into my mailbag and answer your questions. See my latest installment in this post. And don’t forget, send me your questions via the comment box at the bottom of the post. My survey to Big Ten hoops writers that posed the question “who is the Big Ten’s toughest player” struck a chord.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag
The weekend is officially here. So that means it’s time for my weekly survey of seven Big Ten hoops writers. This week’s question: Who is the Big Ten’s most underrated player? Check out the responses. No consensus, but some interesting responses.
This week “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2014″ airs Sunday at 5 p.m. ET after Illinois plays Indiana on BTN/BTN2Go and we’ve got the stories right here. Come meet Minnesota point guard DeAndre Mathieu, a former walk-on and JUCO transfer who is now flourishing in Richard Pitino’s system – all while honoring a friend. Also, track the long and winding road taken by Champaign native Rayvonte Rice, who wound up at Illinois as one of the leagues’ top scorers.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another for Michigan State. Or, so it seems. News broke late Thursday afternoon that Branden Dawson had broken his right hand and will be out four to five weeks. How did it happen? Dawson slammed his hand on a table in frustration while watching film. He explains in this video. Looks Kenny Kaminski will need to step up as a defender on Glenn Robinson III. Meanwhile, reaction in social media circles has been critical. And that has MSU coach Tom Izzo fuming.