Found January 16, 2013 on Fox Sports Detroit:
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo insists his team has yet to play its best basketball, though it's probably time it reaches its full potential with a tough slate looming. Izzo hopes the 18th-ranked Spartans don't play down to their competition as they visit struggling Penn State on Wednesday night. Michigan State's solid record (14-3, 3-1) has helped mask its overall inconsistency. It ranks last in the loaded Big Ten averaging 14.8 turnovers and has experienced some close calls against seemingly inferior teams, most recently pulling away late for a 66-56 win over Nebraska on Sunday. The Spartans, who own a victory over then-No. 7 Kansas on Nov. 13, have won mainly due to a defense that ranks second in the conference in points allowed (57.7 per game) and opponents' field-goal percentage (37.6). "This is the weirdest 14-3 (start) while playing a pretty good schedule that I've ever been involved with here," Izzo told the program's official website. "It's been a different year, and I still think we haven't played near our best yet." Adreian Payne, who scored 14 points off the bench Sunday, said Michigan State has discussed its inability to have everyone give a solid performance in the same game. Guards Gary Harris (1 for 11), Keith Appling (1 for 6), Denzel Valentine (1 for 5) and Travis Trice (1 for 4) shot a combined 15.4 percent from the field against the Cornhuskers, but Derrick Nix and Branden Dawson combined for 29 points on 12-for-16 shooting. "The one thing we've been talking about as a team in our meetings is that we haven't had everybody play well in one game," Payne said. "Once we get that going, we're going to be a much better team, and the light will go on." Izzo hopes that happens soon. After facing Penn State, the Spartans play four of their next five against ranked opponents and open that stretch Saturday at home versus No. 11 Ohio State. They also visit Wisconsin (Jan. 22) and No. 2 Indiana (Jan. 27) before hosting No. 23 Illinois (Jan. 31) and No. 9 Minnesota (Feb. 6). "I worry that maybe we're looking at (the records of the opposition)," Izzo said. "I guess we've got one more game and then we've got (four of the next five) against ranked teams or whatever. So, maybe we'll play better then, but we've got to play better Wednesday to win on the road." Michigan State lost its last trip to Happy Valley, falling 66-62 on Jan. 8, 2011. It has split the last four meetings with the Nittany Lions (8-8, 0-4), who have lost four straight after falling 60-42 at Purdue on Sunday. Penn State set a season low for points and shot a season-worst 25.9 percent from the field, the fifth time it has shot below 36.0 percent. It ranks last in the Big Ten and near the bottom of the nation with a dismal 38.9 field-goal percentage. "It's only a matter of time before we start hitting shots again," said first-year coach Patrick Chambers, whose team lost senior and leading scorer Tim Frazier (16.3 points per game) to a ruptured left Achilles suffered Nov. 18 against Akron. Southern Mississippi transfer guard D.J. Newbill is averaging 14.9 points, but he's shooting only 26.1 percent (12 for 46) over his last three games. "We've done a great job of keeping the morale up," Newbill said. "Nobody's down, everybody's up. Our highs can't be too high, or lows can't be too low." Payne and Dawson scored 12 points apiece in Michigan State's 77-57 home victory Feb. 8 in last season's only meeting.

MSU’s Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne involved in fight

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo released a statement today saying that Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne were involved in a fight Wednesday in the second story lobby of the team hotel. Izzo said, “I’ve spent my entire afternoon meeting with the players involved and they are both sincerely remorseful.” Izzo said that neither player will start tonight and they will both pay for...

A pair of Michigan State basketball players involved in hotel altercation

On Wednesday, a pair of Michigan State basketball players were involved in an altercation which resulted in a busted lip and a dented wall.Head coach Tom Izzo identified the players as forward Branden Dawson and center Adreian Payne via statement. Neither player started the Spartans' game against Penn State on Wednesday as punishment."A scuffle that began as two players...

Payne's big half lifts No. 18 Spartans

Adreian Payne scored 20 points after spending the first half on the bench following a morning scuffle with teammate Brandon Dawson, and No. 18 Michigan State held on for a 81-72 victory against Penn State on Wednesday night. Payne, a sturdy 6-foot-10 forward, made up for lost time by dominating the post in the second half. He had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in a stretch of six...

Michigan State Basketball: Dawson, Payne help No. 18 Spartans beat Penn State

While we aren’t sure who won the fight between Michigan State teammates Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne — who both sat out the first half of tonight’s game due to  a scuffle in the hotel room prior to the game — it’s safe to say that Payne’s career-high 20 points and seven rebounds in the Spartans (15-3, 4-1) 81-72 victory over Penn State (8-9, 0-5) would count as a...

Transfer Kearney quickly swayed by ASU visit

By Hod Rabino After deciding to transfer out of Michigan State, Brandan Kearney planned to embark on a tour of a few schools before he settled on the program of his choice. As it turns out, the first stop on that circuit was the team he ultimately chose. Earlier this week, Kearney talked to Devils Digest about his decision to be part of the Arizona State program...

Former Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell Highlight Video

Earlier this month, Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell announced that he will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft.  In his three years as a Spartan, Bell carried the ball a total of 671 times for 3,346 yards (5.0 yards/carry) and 33 rushing touchdowns.  He added 78 catches for 531 yards and another touchdown. Bell was the bell cow  his junior season, rushing...

Report: Spartan teammates fight on Penn State campus

Spartans! What is your profession?!?

Video: Manti Te’o Thanked His ‘Girlfriend’s Family’ After Win at Michigan State

A bizarre and still-unfolding Manti Te’o story took the sports world by storm on Wednesday. In case you somehow missed it, Deadspin reported that Lennay Kekua, Te’o's “girlfriend” did not exist. The news of Kekua’s supposed death broke just hours after Te’o's grandmother passed away (that one’s legit) and mere days before Notre Dame went into East Lansing and...

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo wins humanitarian award

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo, an eight-time national Coach of the Year and the longest-tenured Big Ten men’s basketball coach ever, will be honored at the 2013 College Basketball Awards April 15 in Oklahoma City as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award. Izzo, who has spent nearly two decades as the head coach at Michigan State and has led his team to...

Devers Looking For Spartan Offer

Michigan State hosted several visitors last Sunday for the basketball game with Nebraska. Massillon (OH) lineman Nathaniel Devers was on hand in East Lansing and enjoyed his visit to check out the Spartans.

Watkins At Ease During Spartans Visit

Dareian Watkins has yet to earn an offer from Michigan State during the recruiting process. However, that does not mean he’s not impressed by what he saw during a Junior Day visit this past weekend.

Podcast: Allen Trieu Talks Michigan State national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu joins Dave Berk to talk all things Michigan State in our latest podcast.
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