According to many reports and sources around the college basketball world Michigan State will tip off against UConn at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. The game is scheduled to be played November 9th, the Friday before Veterans day. Though the game is very far away, let’s take an early look.
UConn has had a very difficult off-season. Guard Jeremy Lamb and Center Andre Drummond decided to leave college early and enter the NBA Draft. Jeremy Lamb ended up getting drafted by an up and coming Houston Rockets team with 12th overall pick and Andre Drummond wound up being taken 9th overall to the rebuilding Detroit Pistons. Just when things couldn’t get worse it was announced that UConn would not be able to compete in the upcoming postseason, UConn officials insist that they are appealing this, but lets be honest it is never going to be overturned. The reason it will not be overturned is because it has to do with academic issues and the NCAA wants to make a strong statement to all it student athletes;school work comes first! After hearing they would not be able to compete in the postseason several top players on the UConn roster requested transfers, citing they wanted to participate in postseason tournaments. Roscoe Smith will be heading to UNLV while Alex Oriakhi will attend a rejuvenated Missouri program.
Good news for Huskie fans is that Junior guard Shabazz Napier will be staying with the program and will be called on to be a major contributor to next year’s team. Napier has shown a lot of flash during his at time with the Huskies ( triple double last year, 22 rebound, 12 rebounds and 13 assists) but has failed to be consistent. Other players returning to UConn are Tyler Olander, DeAndre Daniels, fan favorite Niles Giffey and Holy Cross Transfer. R.J Evans. UConn has had 25 straight winning seasons in a row and expects it to continue to 26.
On the other end of the court the Michigan State Spartans have lost team leader Draymond Green but return a lot of great young stars. Guard’s Branden Dawson and Travis Trice will form a young backcourt while Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne will form a solid frontcourt. Five-star recruit Gary Harris is also expected to receive a lot of minutes, if not start.
Though the Spartans will come into the game with a top 10 ranking and the Huskies will not be mentioned for top 25 consideration, the Spartans should not underestimate a hungry UConn team trying to prove they have something to play for. Expect the game to be very physical and keep an eye on x-factor Niles Giffey from UConn. One thing is for sure though, the troops in Germany will enjoy this special treat.