Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/21/13
Who: No. 1 Michigan State Spartans (4-0) vs. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1) What: Coaches vs. Cancer Classic When: Friday, Nov. 22 (9:30 p.m.) Where: Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center) Fun Fact: First meeting Michigan State and Virginia Tech will play for the first time ever on Friday. Matchup to Watch For: Adreian Payne vs. Virginia Tech frontcourt With the uncertainty on who will emerge at the center position for the Spartans, one thing is for sure in the Spartans’ frontline: MSU big man Adreian Payne is having a monster of a season so far. Payne, a senior, is averaging 17.5 points per game and 7.8 rebounds per game while shooting 51 percent from the field and 40 percent from the 3-point line. His ability to stretch the floor has been an issue for defenses, and his height and long wing-span is troubling opponents in the post. On Friday, however, Payne will be going against a very athletic Hokies frontcourt that has three players — Cadarian Raines, Trevor Thompson and Joey Van Zegeren — that average more than 1.5 blocks per game. As a team, Virginia Tech is averaging 8 blocks per game, and it will be an intriguing matchup to see Payne battling against an array of guys who may be just as athletic as him. Payne missed Wednesday’s practice with a plantar fasciitis injury, and while Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said Payne will still start Friday, it will be interesting to see if the injury bothers him at all. Branden Dawson X-Factor: MSU forward Branden Dawson Going against a team with the length and athleticism that Virginia Tech possesses, it will be important that MSU junior forward Branden Dawson, the most athletic Spartan, shows up to play on both ends of the floor. The 6-foot-6 Dawson is averaging 9 ppg and 9 rpg, and has looked as athletic as ever despite coming off an ACL injury in 2012. He will be in the trenches for most of Friday’s matchup, and it’s important that someone else, other than Payne, is able to match athleticism with Virginia Tech in the paint. Prediction: MSU 76, Virginia Tech 64 Note: Below is a video put together by isportsweb’s Ryan Squanda showing various members of the MSU basketball team talking about Friday’s game:  
PLAYERS: Keith Appling
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Prospective St. Louis NFL stadium gets $158 million naming rights deal

Former Gators legend Neal Walk dies at 67

WATCH: Astros give Buster Olney champagne shower

Hope Solo accused of slamming nephew’s head into cement

Astros pitch their way to 3-0 win over Yankees in Wild Card game

Report: Patriots work out RB Boom Herron


Karlos Williams suffered concussion in Week 4

Houston taped SMU jerseys to ground as motivational tactic

Lionel Messi cleared of tax fraud charges

Clemson WR Mike Williams 'likely' out for rest of season

Week 5 NFL game watchability rankings

Gregg Popovich makes LaMarcus Aldridge sit out practice

Spartans News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 matchups to watch during NFL Week 5

Top 10 storylines for Week 6 of the college football season

Astros pitch their way to 3-0 win in WC game

Arrieta-Cole, objectively one of best playoff matchups ever

The controversy and numbers behind the 'CONCACAF Cup'

Why the Thunder starters need to stay healthy

Roddy White: I want to catch passes

Five questions about the 2015 AL Wild Card game

Bowling Green State coach saves motorist from serious injury

Bills defenders: Odell Beckham Jr. is a prima donna

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker