Michigan State has played in some innovative events over the years thanks to the creative thinking of athletic director Mark Hollis.
The Spartans have recently participated in a game on an aircraft carrier against North Carolina and a game against UConn at Ramstein Air Base in Germany — to name a few of Michigan State’s unique non-conference clashes — but the latest of Hollis’ ideas looks like it won’t come to fruition. According to a report from Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, a proposed game between Michigan State and Oregon State to be played under a canopy on the White House grounds in 2016 won’t happen.
With the Beavers departing with head coach Craig Robinson — the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama — earlier this week the proposed match-up appears to be on-hold, Hollis confirmed to Rexrode.
The event was going to be played in-part to honor President Obama’s eight years in office.
“You’re always looking to explore unique opportunities for student-athletes, and that was one we were looking at,” Hollis said to the Free Press regarding the proposed game. “It wasn’t a done deal, but it was one of the dreams. And it was very doable, in terms of logistics.”
It’s unfortunate that it looks like this game isn’t going to be played, as it would have been a truly cool and unique setting for a non-conference game while also giving the players and coaches the chance to say they hooped at the White House, but Hollis holds out hope for the game, just in case.
“If somebody hires (Robinson),” Hollis said to the Free Press, “maybe it can still be on.”
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.