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Michigan State Spartans news gathered from around the net.

Saunders Thought He Was Close To Deal With Izzo

At one point during his search for a new head coach, sources say Flip Saunders thought he had convinced Tom Izzo to take the job with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Izzo has also been linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers' job over the years, but he's ultimately always remained at Michigan State.

Saunders decided to take the head coaching job himself after being unable to agree to terms with Izzo and Dave Joerger.

Via Jerry Zgoda/Star Tribune

Oregon State, Michigan State Had Hoped To Play Game At White House

Michigan State and Oregon State have shelved plans to play a game under a canopy on the White House grounds in the fall of 2016.

The Beavers fired Craig Robinson, brother-in-law to Barack Obama, this week.

“You’re always looking to explore unique opportunities for student-athletes, and that was one we were looking at,” Mark Hollis told the Free Press of the event that he devised as a way to honor Obama’s eight years in office. “It wasn’t a done deal, but it was one of the dreams. And it was very doable, in terms of logistics.”

Hollis is responsible for playing a game on an aircraft carrier in 2011, as well as a four-team barnstorming event in 2018.

Via Joe Rexrode/Detroit Free-Press

Branden Dawson Returns To Michigan State For Senior Season

Branden Dawson announced on Tuesday that he has decided to remain at Michigan State University for his senior season.

Dawson averaged 11.2 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds for the Spartans in 2013-14. He missed 10 games due to injury, including nine straight with a broken hand from Jan. 25 to Feb. 23.

"I was always pretty sure that I wanted to return for my senior season, but Coach Izzo said he would do what he does for all his players and gather some information," Dawson said in a statement. "As he started making calls, my mom came up and we met with Coach. The three of us decided that as far as my basketball career, both present and future, and the chance to finish my degree, including possibly needing to take just one class during my final semester, that my initial decision was the correct one. I'm vowing to improve my consistency and am looking forward to a great final season."

Via RealGM Staff Report

Gary Harris Leaves Michigan State For NBA

Gary Harris will leave Michigan State for the NBA after his sophomore season.

Harris averaged 16.7 points on 42.9 percent shooting to go with 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Harris is one of the top shooting guards in the draft.

Via Jeff Goodman/ESPN

Tom Izzo Hasn't Been In Touch With Pistons

Tom Izzo insisted that he's happy at Michigan State and hasn't been in touch with the Detroit Pistons on their head coaching vacanc.y

"There's been so many rumors over the years," Izzo said on ESPN's "SportsCenter" on Tuesday. "I look at people I used to recruit against years ago [that] said that I'd be gone, but I'm still here and some of those schools have had three different coaches.

"I've always said I'd never say never to anything because you never know what it brings. But I got so much more work to do here. I have a great president, a great AD and a football coach that I really get along [with]. So this is a pretty good place for me right now. We're in a pretty good spot. Program's in pretty good shape.

"Ain't broke, so why fix it?"

Izzo has never met Pistons' owner Tom Gores, who is a Michigan State graduate.

"I swear to you, I have not talked to one soul from the Pistons," Izzo said.

Via ESPN

Tom Izzo Could Become Head Coach Of Pistons

Tom Izzo has "a realistic chance" of becoming the next head coach of the Detroit Pistons, according to ESPN's Jalen Rose.

Izzo was previously linked to the Cleveland Cavaliers head coaching job in 2010.

Via Gary Washburn/Boston Globe

Michigan State Beats Michigan To Win 2014 Big Ten Tourney

Michigan State defeated Michigan 69-55 to win the 2014 Big Ten Conference Tournament.

Branden Dawson was named Tournament MVP and was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris, Adreian Payne and LaQuinton Ross.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Nik Stauskas Headlines Big Ten Awards

Nik Stauskas has been named Big Ten Player of the Year by both the coaches and media for the 13-14 season.

Stauskas was joined on the All-Big Ten First Team by Gary Harris, Frank Kaminsky, Roy Devyn Marble and Terran Petteway.

On the All-Big Ten Second Team are Sam Dekker, Yogi Ferrell, Caris LeVert, D.J. Newbill and Adreian Payne.

On the All-Big Ten Third Team are Aaron Craft, Tim Frazier, LaQuinton Ross, Noah Vonleh and Aaron White.

Vonleh was also named Big Ten Freshman of the Year, while Craft won Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Via RealGM Staff Report

Michigan State, UNC, Florida, Texas To Play Three-City Barnstorming Tour In 2018

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis has devised a four-team barnstorming event that will include three games over an eight-day period.

Michigan State, North Carolina, Florida and Texas have agreed to play three games, one each in New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles while traveling together on a single chartered airplane in December of 2018.

Hollis said each of the four teams will get a home game against an opponent to be determined later to make this a four-game event and qualify as a multi-team event.

"So many of these kids know each other from AAU and everything else that we felt this would be a great way to travel," Hollis said. "I worked with (ADs) Steve Patterson at Texas, Jeremy Foley at Florida and Bubba Cunnningham at North Carolina on this. They and the head coaches are all excited about the opportunity for the student-athletes."

Via Andy Katz/ESPN

Trevon Bluiett Commits To Xavier Over Butler, Memphis, Michigan State

Trevon Bluiett has committed to Xavier, picking the Musketeets over Butler, Memphis and Michigan State.

Bluiett had originally committed to UCLA in September, but decided to reopen the process to find a school closer to home.

“There were a lot of things that attracted me to them,” Bluiett said of Xavier. “(Coach Chris Mack and assistant Travis Steele) were consistent throughout the recruiting process. There were a lot of curveballs in the process, but they always had the same message. When you look at the school, it’s a good program that’s in the Big East now and with their style of play it will fit me well. I think we’ll have enough weapons to make some noise in the tournament.” 

Bluiett is ranked No. 45 in the class of 2014 and is one of the best shooting guards.

Via Kyle Neddenriep/Indianapolis Star

Michigan State Spartans Archives

Cliff Alexander No Longer Considering Kentucky

Kansas and Michigan State are considered the favorites for Cliff Alexander.

Cliff Alexander Reportedly Favoring Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas

Cliff Alexander is the No. 2 overall prospect in the 2014 class, according to ESPN.

Izzo Preparing For Gary Harris' Departure To NBA

Tom Izzo believes Gary Harris will become a top-10 draft pick.

Michigan State Targeting PG Recruits Tyler Ulis, Quentin Snider

Tyler Ulis and Quentin Snider are considered top-50 recruits in the 2014 class.

Tom Izzo Considered Best X's And O's Coach In College Basketball

Tom Izzo of Michigan State, John Beilein of Michigan, Rick Pitino of Louisville, Bill Self of Kansas and Bob McKillop of Davidson placed in the top-5.
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