User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Izzo welcomes high expectations for Sparty

New Sportsbook.com customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

   

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan State is expected to have one of college basketball's best teams this season, and Tom Izzo is embracing the hype.

Advertisement
``I'm excited about it,'' the coach said Friday before the first practice of his 19th season.

The Spartans are without one player, center Derrick Nix, from last season's squad that won 27 games, finished second in the Big Ten and advanced to the NCAA tournament's round of 16.

``I think we deserve to be a highly ranked team,'' Izzo said. ``But I think there are a lot of other teams that do, too.

``Hopefully, we can live up to those expectations.''

It's a much earlier start for practice for Michigan State than last season, because of a new NCAA rule.

``This is a different experience, this is strange,'' Izzo said. ``We're starting 21 days earlier than we did last year. I think there's pluses to it.

``I was a fan of it because I think it gives us a chance that we don't have to get our players going and just kill them in the first week or two. ... It is almost an NBA season now, just not as many games.''

Sophomore guard Denzel Valentine didn't participate because of a hand infection.

``We don't know if he got a spider bite or what, but his hand swelled up,'' Izzo said.

Sophomore guard Gary Harris was limited because of a sprained ankle. Last year, he was slowed by shoulder and back injuries.

``It's so early in the year, I think he's a week away from doing anything physical,'' Izzo said.

The rest of the Spartans were put through a relatively difficult workout. And when Izzo wanted to give his players an extra push, he called on the hundreds of students, who are camping out for tickets, to cheer and jeer them as needed.

Michigan State opens the regular season Nov. 8 against McNeese State, four days before playing Kentucky, another team expected to be ranked high. The Spartans also will play North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Texas before Big Ten play.

While Izzo is fired up about his talented and experienced roster, he isn't sure who his leaders will be this season.

``We just actually met for an hour about it,'' Izzo said before practice.

None of the four returning starters - Adreian Payne, Keith Appling, Branden Dawson or Harris - is considered a natural leader, but Izzo wants at least one of them to become more vocal.

``I'm not into leading by example at all,'' Izzo said. ``Cop out. Hate it. Despise it.''

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter: http://twitter.com/larrylage

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
News: LVH releases 2014-15 Futures
Duke's Parker headed to the NBA
UCLA's Adams coming back to school
Kentucky's Young declares for NBA
Manning completes coaching staff at Wake
ASU's Carson declares for NBA draft
UCLA's Anderson, LaVine head to NBA
Hart: Vols job still 'extremely attractive'
Wojo hopes some will stick with Marquette
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAABK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 3952
Bill Marzano + 2405
Tony Stoffo + 2235
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
The Gold Sheet 57 %
The SportsBoss 56 %
Tony Stoffo 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 2810
Bruce Marshall + 2797
The Prez + 1048
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 3283
Antony Dinero + 1301
Tony Stoffo + 1265
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 1600
The SportsBoss + 1422
Bruce Marshall + 1116
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!