Michigan State honored its three seniors, including Keith Appling and Adreian Payne, following Thursday night’s 86-76 win over Iowa. The senior class has helped lead the Spartans to a Big Ten championship, two Sweet 16 appearances, and a fourth NCAA bid on the way this season.
It’s a story that can make just about anyone tear up. Several years ago, there were worries about whether 8-year-old Lacey Holsworth would ever walk again. Tonight, she did just that, with her hero, Adreian Payne, right by her side.
This year’s college basketball season is entering the home stretch, which means the NBA mock drafts are going to begin to appear on a regular basis in the upcoming months. ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman released his initial 2014 NBA Mock Draft 1.0 this morning, and it’s filled with plenty of Big Ten stars.
Iowa pummeled Michigan on Saturday with an offensive attack that’s as good as we’ve seen this season.
Here’s something everyone should be able to agree on: At the midway point of the Big Ten season, the conference title race is down to three teams. The teams are Michigan (8-1), Michigan State (8-1) and Iowa (6-3). The rest of the Big Ten is competing for fourth place and a first-round bye in the Big Ten tourney. Who’s going to win? That’s a tough question, but I’ve broken out the remaining schedule for each contender to try to make sense of it all.
The Big Ten basketball season is approaching the midway point and the conference picture is beginning to take form. Michigan (5-0) and Michigan State (7-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the Big Ten, while Iowa is close behind at 4-1 and climbing up the national rankings. So, we ask, who is the best team in the Big Ten at this point?
If Buckeyes fans aren’t feeling good today, we understand. That’s four losses in a row for Ohio State, which fell at Nebraska last night to a Cornhuskers’ squad that was 0-4 in the Big Ten. This is OSU’s longest losing skid since 2007-08.
Toughness. It’s needed in any sport to be successful. And there are many definitions of toughness, which is displayed in various ways. Show me a successful team—and I’ll show you a tough team. Knowing that, I asked some writers who cover Big Ten hoops teams who they felt is the “toughest” player in the conference.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne didn’t start and it wasn’t a guarantee he would play Tuesday night vs. No. 3 Ohio State due to a sprained right foot. This just in: Payne looked good! The star senior soared for back-to-back putbacks in the second half of the fifth-ranked Spartans’ 72-68 overtime win over previously undefeated Ohio State. Watch the sequence in this post.
The headliner to the Big Ten’s wild weekend was Ohio State’s improbable comeback over Notre Dame. The Irish held an 8-point lead with under a minute to play, but OSU’s frenzied press led to four Notre Dame turnovers, which fueled a 14-3 Buckeye run. It was an unreal comeback, so hopefully you saw it, and weren’t like, trying to get a toddler to go to sleep. That would have been unfortunate.
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So, evidently, the World Dwarf Games are on the campus of Michigan State this week. We know this because Michigan State star basketball player Adreian Payne posted a great video from the event on his Instagram account. In it, the players, who cannot exceed five feet, are running and jumping to give Payne – all 6-foot-10 of him – high-fives. Watch it in this post.
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Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey, Iowa’s Aaron White and Michigan State’s Adreian Payne were named to the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team. The Big Ten quartet made the team after five days of training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Indiana’s Yogi Ferrell and Will Sheehey, Iowa’s Aaron White and Michigan State’s Adreian Payne were named finalists for the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s World University Games Team. The finalists were announced Wednesday following three days of training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
It’s official: Adreian Payne is returning to Michigan State for his senior year, stamping the Spartans as the Big Ten favorite and top national title contender next season. Payne struggled with the decision, waiting until the final day (April 28) to render a choice. He was projected by many to be a first-round draft choice. Payne will return to a roster that welcomes back all of its key components, save for departed senior big man Derrick Nix.
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As we still await Adreian Payne’s NBA draft decision, I thought it would be fun to take another way-too-early look ahead to the 2013-14 season. This time, I’ll do it in prediction form, offering five things I’m confident about in 2013-14. See all five in this post. Have a prediction of your own? Feel free to leave it as a comment.
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On Saturday night’s latest installment of “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball 2013,” we profiled Illinois, Michigan State’s Adreian Payne and Northwestern’s Jared Swopshire. Watch a segment from the show that spotlights Payne’s improvement as a player and maturation as a leader and Swopshire’s move from Louisville, a Final Four team last season, to Northwestern now. And jump inside for a couple bonus clips.
NBA Hall of Famer Reggie Miller once scored eight points in 11 seconds. The Spartans had a quick – albeit less memorable – outburst of their own in Sunday’s defeat at Indiana. In a span of 3.7 seconds, Adreian Payne slammed home Travis Trice‘s miss and Branden Dawson, after stealing the ensuing inbound pass, dunked again. Yes, that’s two dunks in less than four seconds. Some teams don’t get two dunks in an entire game! Watch the sequence now.
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On Saturday, Iowa defended its home court with a win over Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes raced out to a 30-10 lead before the Badgers finally got something going on offense, though I think that early start for Wisconsin overshadows what kind of game this really was.
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This may surprise you, but every now and then we say something that really gets fans riled up. The best example of this is our belief that while Aaron Craft is a very good defender, he is not, nor has he ever been, Ohio State’s best defender. And this year, he’s not even the team’s best perimeter defender. Rather than take this as a complement to Ohio State’s collection of outstanding defenders, a lot of people take this as a slight to Craft.
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When talking most improved player, the Big Ten boasts plenty of candidates. There are proven guys who have taken their game to another level, such as Indiana’s Victor Oladipo, and there are previously unproven guys who have made the most of extra playing time, such as Ohio State’s Shannon Scott.
Entering the season, we heard a lot about how Michigan State big man Adreian Payne had extended his range. That may be true, but Payne spends most of his time down low, and for good reason. In Sunday’s 69-41 victory over Texas Southern, the 6-foot-10 junior threw down two highlight-reel dunks. Watch his alley-oop on the inbound pass now and see his athletic and powerful putback of a missed 3-pointer in this post.
After a wild opening weekend, the Big Ten emerged with four teams among the remaining Sweet Sixteen. Today, we’ll preview the Thursday games, two of which are conveniently in the same regional. In Boston, it’s a four-team tournament with a Final Four spot on the line, and Big Ten teams are on both sides of the bracket. The other B1G Thursday participant will be Michigan State. We’ll delve into the Boston regional before previewing the Spartans’ path.
Prior to his breakout performance against Ohio State, Adreian Payne had scored double figures in exactly two Big Ten games as a Spartan. And although his offense was certainly a big reason for Michigan State’s victory, his defense probably deserves more credit. Payne did something that few ever will–make Jared Sullinger look like a bad basketball player. The Ohio State big man was frustrated all game long, and although he had 17 points and 16 rebounds, it came at a cost of 10 turnovers (not to mention 4 fouls).
In one of the biggest tests of his career, Adreian Payne played his best game as No. 12 Michigan State upset No. 3 Ohio State on Saturday at Value City Arena (AP recap). The sophomore big man scored a career-high 15 points, including 11 in the first half, went a perfect 6 of 6 from the field and frustrated Ohio State star Jared Sullinger. The 15-point night marked Payne’s first consecutive double-digit games — he tallied 12, which matched a career-high, Wednesday against Penn State. Watch two of Payne’s most impressive points, as he slams home Draymond Green’s missed shot. Speaking of Payne, he had a nice alley-oop in the aforementioned Penn State win.
Michigan State’s Adreian Payne is as long as any player in the Big Ten. That length really comes in handy when his teammates decide to loft a pass his way in the paint. Keith Appling knows that as well as any Spartan. The first-year Michigan State point guard found Payne open around the rim in the first half of Wednesday night’s game against Penn State, and the result was pretty obvious. Two easy points. Watch the Appling-to-Payne alley right here.