Spartans guard Harris is guarded by Buckeyes guard Craft during the first half of their NCAA men's college basketball game at the 2013 Big 10 tournament in Chicago

Report: Michigan State sophomore Gary Harris to miss 4-to-8 weeks with ankle injury

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Michigan State suffered a blow to their early-season preparations as sophomore shooting guard and reigning Big Ten freshman of the year Gary Harris sustained an ankle injury during a pickup game with teammates and is expected to miss four-to-eight weeks according to a report from Diamond Leung of MLive. The 6’4″ Harris averaged 12.9 points per game last season for the Spartans.

While the injury to Harris hurts Michigan State’s preparation for a title run early in the school year, if the injury is only four weeks he could be back before the official start of practice on September 27th. If the injury stretches out to the full eight weeks, Harris could be back by early November and might not even miss any regular season games. Michigan State opens the exhibition season on October 29th.

The ankle injury is mostly a concern if it becomes any kind of recurring issue as many basketball players can relate to ankle injuries sometimes being difficult to fully recover from. But with the aid of Michigan State’s training staff and an ankle brace, Harris should ideally fully recover by the start of the regular season and the Spartans can continue their quest for a Big Ten title and possibly even bigger things.

Akron reveals special bobble heads for LeBron, high school teammates

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When it comes to discussing some of the game of basketball’s best players, specifically those who went directly from high school to the NBA, a question that’s often asked is where said player would have attended college if forced (by rule) to do so. Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James are among those who have been discussed in this manner, and in the case of LeBron he’s got connections to two programs within his home state of Ohio.

LeBron’s connected with the Ohio State program, which is outfitted by the Nike’s LeBron signature line, but there’s another program with an even closer connection. That would be Akron, which is led by head coach Keith Dambrot, and all he did was serve as LeBron’s high school coach at St. Vincent/St. Mary’s HS in Akron during the player’s freshman and sophomore years at the school. Also on those teams were two future Akron Zips in guard Dru Joyce and forward Romeo Travis.

Thursday the school announced that it would be honoring James, Joyce and Travis with bobble head dolls to be given out before Akron’s home games against Buffalo (February 16; Joyce’s bobble head), Bowling Green (February 26; Travis) and Ohio (March 1; James).

All three bobble head dolls are wearing Akron uniforms, which in the case of LeBron allows fans to think back and imagine what could have been. Season ticket holders guaranteed one bobble head per account (on each of the three giveaway days), with the first 750 fans in attendance to receive one as well.

NEW PODCAST: Indiana, Cal, troublesome trends and a weekend preview

California's Jabari Bird celebrates a score against Oregon in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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The gang is back together again for another episode of the NBCSports.com College Basketball Talk Podcast, with Rob Dauster hosting and Raphielle Johnson and Scott Phillips joining him. Today’s episode touched on big wins picked up Thursday night by California and Indiana, discussing the performances of those teams and also touching on their prospects down the line.

Also discussed were the recent performances of Iowa State, Providence and Texas A&M (which are you more worried about?), and some of the top games on this weekend’s schedule headlined by Kansas visiting Oklahoma. And if you’re a fan of seafood, you may take umbrage with some of Rob’s comments at the beginning of the podcast.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast on either iTunes or Stitcher, and there’s also a link to listen to this podcast below. Thanks for listening.