Stock boosters, side switchers, bold schedulers
The NCAA Tournament certainly has been that for many players over the years (from MSU, Mateen Cleaves and Goran Suton come to mind), but ESPN draft analyst Chad Ford made an interesting point -- while making the point that Draymond Green did much last weekend to "seal the deal" as a first-round pick. Sometimes, Ford said, the NCAA Tournament can help with the "public relations war." In other words, when fans and others who are invested can watch a player and get to like him more, it's easier for the scouts who already liked him.
"Green does not have the prototypical height of a power forward (he's around 6-6, though he does have long arms). He doesn't have the standard quickness of most small forwards (he's pretty heavy for a 3). I'm not sure what position he'll guard in the pros. What he does have is basketball IQ and the skills to make it lethal against his opponents. He can shoot, handle the ball, pass like a guard and isn't afraid to bang in the paint. There's little he can't do...
"Of course, we've known all of this for a while. Green is a senior on a top-5 team and has been playing this way for the past two years. The fact that he displayed it on the big stage of the NCAA tournament helps teams more with the public relations war than anything else. Most scouts have had him on the first-round bubble for a while; with this weekend's performance, he's probably done enough to secure being selected in the first round."
Very interesting. Also interesting: ESPN interviewed Mark Dantonio and tweeted a few position changes for spring ball: Tyler Hoover to DT (not a huge surprise), Dana Dixon to WR (kind of surprising) and Denzel Drone to TE (wow). ESPN also said Dantonio is "very optimistic" that DeAnthony Arnett will be cleared to play this season. Dantonio is scheduled to speak with local media next week.
And here's a report on an MSU-Oregon football series, no confirmation yet from MSU officials and I'm about to board a flight after an hour delay for a "gasket repair." Comforting.
UPDATE: Mark Hollis just tweeted confirmation, Oregon will replace West Virginia in 2014 and 2015. Discuss amongst yourselves. Wheels up.
UPDATE: A few minutes after tweeting, Hollis texted "yes" to the Oregon question. OK, really leaving now.
UPDATE: MSU press release on Oregon series. Got some in-flight wireless going.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State Athletics Director Mark Hollis announced Tuesday, March 20 that the Spartans have agreed in principle to a home-and-home football series with Oregon. The Spartans will kick off the two-game series with Oregon on Sept. 13, 2014, in the 54,000-seat Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore. The Ducks will make the return trip to East Lansing, Mich., on Sept. 12, 2015.
Oregon replaces West Virginia on Michigan State’s 2014 and 2015 schedules. West Virginia opted out of a two-year contract to create more flexibility in its scheduling, as the Mountaineers transition from the Big East to the Big 12.
“We look forward to adding Oregon to our future football schedule,” Hollis said. “The series provides MSU alums on the West Coast with an opportunity to see the Spartans compete against one of the nation’s outstanding football programs. The relationship between the Big Ten and Pac-12 is built on common values and the Rose Bowl. We also look forward to bringing the Ducks back to Spartan Stadium, as we continue to compete for championships and national exposure.”
The MSU-Oregon all-time series is tied 2-2, as the home team has won the four previous meetings. The two teams last met under the lights in the 1999 season opener, and Michigan State rallied from a 17-7 third-quarter deficit to post a 27-20 victory over the Ducks in Spartan Stadium. The Spartans took the lead for good at 24-17 on Amp Campbell’s 85-yard fumble return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Michigan State has compiled a 33-20-1 record (.620) against current members of the Pac-12 Conference (3-0 vs. Arizona, 1-1 vs. Arizona State, 2-2 vs. California, 3-0 vs. Colorado, 2-2 vs. Oregon, 6-2-1 vs. Oregon State, 3-2 vs. Stanford, 3-3 vs. UCLA, 4-4 vs. USC, 1-2 vs. Washington and 5-2 vs. Washington State).
Over the last three years, Michigan State has announced home-and-home series with Alabama (2016-17), Miami-Fla. (2020-21) and Boise State (2012, 2022-23) as well as the extension of its series with Notre Dame through the 2031 season, with two-year breaks in 2014-15, 2020-21 and 2026-27.
"We’ve definitely been aggressive in our approach to non-conference scheduling, as we continue to bring the top programs in college football to our state,” Hollis said. “So with teams like Boise State, Oregon, Alabama, Miami and Notre Dame on our future schedules, our fans can look forward to a lot of special game days in Spartan Stadium.”