Things have been looking up for Michigan State following a season-opening loss to UConn in Germany. The Spartans have won four straight and late Friday night, Tom Izzo and his club received some good news regarding a pair of guards.
According to Diamond Leung of MLive.com, sophomore guard Travis Trice will return for Wednesday’s game against Miami (FL). Freshman guard Gary Harris will miss at least two weeks, recovering from a shoulder injury suffered in Tuesday’s win over Boise State, but the talented freshman will avoid surgery.
“We’ve got some worries there yet, but it was a big relief that he didn’t need surgery, and he is a tough kid,” Izzo told Leung. ” He wants to be able to shoot already.”
Entering the win against Boise State, the 6-foot-4 Harris was averaging 16 points per game. Trice, hasn’t played since the season’s first game against UConn, a game where he suffered a concussion and broken nose. According to Leung, the 6-foot-0 Trice has yet to return to practice, but did take part in a light workout or shooting and riding a bike.
Michigan State plays Louisiana-Lafayette on Sunday, but will “definitely” play in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against the Hurricanes next week.
The return of Michigan State’s young backcourt talent will compliment the play of junior point guard Keith Appling, who is averaging 15.5 points and 4.5 assists so far this season.
Trice has only played 18 minutes this season. Harris had made immediate contributions, even earning Big Ten Freshmen of the Week honors for his play against Kansas and Texas Southern.
Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne
The Big South is moving its 2016 men’s basketball tournament out of Coastal Carolina and a new site will be figured out by November. According to a release from the conference the Big South is using a league bylaw that stipulates that members leaving with less than two years of notice are not eligible to host championships. Coastal Carolina announced this summer that it would be leaving for the Sun Belt as of July 2016, so the Big South wants to find a new location that benefits teams staying in the league.
The Big South men’s and women’s conference tournaments are now also going to be split into two unique events, with the men’s championships being held Thursday-Sunday, March 3-6. The women’s event comes the next week from March 10-13. Bids for both events will come into the league and a new location will be selected in the next few months.
It will be interesting to see if the site of the conference tournament is moved to a campus site or placed at a neutral venue. That type of thing could alter how the NCAA tournament autobid gets played out. With Coastal Carolina coming off of back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances, this obviously changes their approach to the postseason now that they have to leave their city.
Virginia Tech is trying to decide what to do with injury sophomore guard Ahmed Hill, who had surgery this summer to deal with a tear in his patella tendon in his left knee.
The 6-foot-5 Hill has still not been released to work out with the team, but he is about a week to 10 days ahead of schedule in his rehab. But the injury is still nagging enough that Hill might not be healthy enough to really contritbute this season. Head coach Buzz Williams is deciding soon whether he wants to redshirt Hill or not.
Hill started a team-high 30 games for the Hokies last season, averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.
“I don’t have a decision on (Hill),” Williams said to reporters on Monday. “I will make the final decision. I’ll let (him) and his mom be a part of it, but I want to make a decision using the wisdom of doing this for a long period of time. If you let a kid make the decision, they always want to play.
“Right now, I don’t feel comfortable that I would want to play him. It’s just too early to be able to have much more of an answer than that.”
It’s still a rebuilding year for Virginia Tech, but they do get Maryland transfer Seth Allen, who is a talented guard who can score. The Hokies were hoping to have Hill and Allen as complimentary perimeter scorers, but now the plans might have to be altered. Williams went on to say that he would like to make a decision on Hill’s status by Halloween.