One of the season-opening games to be played in an unconventional locale on Friday is the Armed Forces Classic, which involves Michigan State and Connecticut at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.
On Sunday Michigan State revealed their special uniforms for the game, which are of the camouflage variety and similar to the jerseys they wore in their game against North Carolina last season.
In addition to the jerseys being camouflage the players’ shoes (laces as well) and socks will be as well.
“I think our players appreciate it,” said head coach Tom Izzo. “We wore them as a tryout today in practice. They look sharp, they feel sharp…hopefully now we’ll play sharp.”
The players were able to work out in the uniforms on Sunday, and they all voiced their approval of the apparel they weren’t allowed to see beforehand.
“We really look like some Army soldiers out here, honestly,” said forward Alex Gauna. “The pattern and everything is so sweet. I really can’t get over how [they look].”
Sophomore guard Keith Appling noted the shoes and the laces, perks the Spartans didn’t receive for the game on the USS Carl Vinson against North Carolina.
As fate should have it all eight teams playing in the four games put together to pay tribute to the military (Ohio State/Marquette, Florida/Georgetown and Syracuse/San Diego State are the other games) are sponsored by Nike and will wear special jerseys.
Already lacking depth, No. 13 Iowa State will be short a key contributor Saturday when they take on Oklahoma State in Stillwater.
Friday night it was announced that senior forward Jameel McKay has been suspended indefinitely by head coach Steve Prohm and did not make the trip with the team. McKay, who’s been dealing with knee issues recently, is averaging 12.4 points and a team-high 9.0 rebounds per game on the season.
Over the last six games he’s averaging 7.7 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, shooting 60.6 percent from the field.
McKay has been asked to man the middle for a team lacking in both size and depth, with Georges Niang shifting over to the five when McKay needs a break for either rest or foul trouble reasons. Without McKay even more responsibility falls upon the shoulders of Niang, Abdel Nader and Deonte Burton in the front court.
The Cyclones are looking to end a two-game losing streak, and even with Oklahoma State’s struggles accomplishing that gets tougher with McKay out of the lineup.