As we reach the home stretch of the college basketball season,
Michigan States team is even more of an enigma than usual. Recent
disciplinary actions taken against several
Spartans players and an ankle injury to star guard Kalin Lucas have
left MSU fans wondering how good this team COULD have been.
Will they get knocked off early in the NCAA tournament or surprise
their detractors with another run to the championship?
Heading into the Big Ten Tournament, the team has been playing better
defense of late and senior Raymar Morgan is finally playing up to his
abilities. My gut tells me Coach Izzo can will this talented squad to
play well when it really counts: the NCAA tournament. My crystal ball
shows Sparty making another run to the Final Four just barely. The
team has too many question marks to win it all.
Coach Beilein of Michigan is under increased criticism for his teams
performance this season. Expected to be a top 15 team, the Wolverines
have imploded at the end of a losing 2010 season without even a whiff
of a NCAA tournament bid to come.
Beilein is a good coach with the Xs and Os of strategy, but hasnt
recruited any elite players in his few years at the U-M helm (Sims and
Harris enrolled under the previous coach). Ominously, so far
Michigans basketball program has only one recruit from the nations
Top 150 high school seniors for next season. Beilein is a class act,
but if he doesnt attract a couple of elite players and soon he
might be saddled with more pressure to go back to West Virginia than
even Rich Rod.
For all of their injuries this season, the
Detroit Red Wings are now fighting for their hockey lives to make the
Stanley Cup playoffs. If the season ended today, they would fall just
I hereby and forthwith guarantee this team will qualify for the
playoffs. When they do it, we hockey fans should all pay tribute to
the resilience of the Red Wings and Coach Mike Babcock. Detroits
experience in recent playoffs will make them a frightening matchup for
any of the top-seeded teams.
Unfortunately, though, the Stanley Cup will not reside in Detroit at
seasons end. The team isnt as deep in quality players as in recent
years. Their frequent collapses at the end of games are indicative of
thinned-out talent. Prediction: Detroit will lose its first playoff
series against San Jose in seven games.
What can you say about the 2010 Detroit Pistons? It will be the first
season since general manager Joe Dumars first season running the
Pistons (2000-2001) that his team has not been in the playoffs. Joes
magic in Detroit has vanished poof. Injuries have wrecked the
teams season and high-priced, underperforming free agents Ben Gorden
and Charlie Villanuevea dont brighten the future at all. When young
stud Rodney Stuckey recently passed out during a game, his long-term
status in the NBA and the prospects of Pistons success dimmed even
Because the Detroit Pistons franchise will be sold soon and the team
is destined to experience losing seasons for the foreseeable future, I
believe Dumars will be gone by the end of the 2010-2011 season. It is
the end of another triumphant era for pro basketball in Detroit - we
all need to get used to it.