Baseball Authentic Mike Trout Womens Jersey

Opening Day is nearly upon us, which means it’s Prediction Season, and what’s more fun to predict than which players will take home baseball’s most prestigious awards?

The 162-game season is filled with twists and turns, and much still needs to be determined before anyone is crowned.
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But which players and managers could be among the best in the game? That’s the fun part.
Duquette’s 2017 NL award winners
Duquette’s 2017 NL award winners
MLB.com’s Jim Duquette gives his predictions for the 2017 NL MVP, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year Award winners
MLB.com’s 30 beat reporters weighed in to highlight which stars could be in line for some hardware come November.
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Angels: Nobody is a bigger favorite for the American League Most Valuable Player Award than the two-time winner patrolling center field for the Angels, Mike Trout. More >
Trout remains Angels’ star
Trout remains Angels’ star
MLB.com columnist Richard Justice picks Mike Trout as the Angels’ star for 2017
Astros: Deep and balanced on both ends of the game, Houston has no shortage of candidates for major awards this season. More >
Athletics: Pitching potential and fancy glove work could turn several A’s into dark-horse candidates for hardware. More >
Blue Jays: Star power and potential award winners litter Toronto’s roster. More >
Braves: Atlanta will run out one of baseball’s top prospects, Dansby Swanson, at shortstop, with an MVP candidate lined up across the infield at first in Freddie Freeman. More >
Freeman Braves’ star for 2017
Freeman Braves’ star for 2017
MLB.com Braves reporter Mark Bowman names Freddie Freeman as the team’s star for the 2017 season
Brewers: Milwaukee has a couple of National League Comeback Player of the Year candidates — including one who came back all the way from Korea in Eric Thames. More >
Cardinals: St. Louis’ awards fate will hinge on a Cy Young candidate at the top of the rotation, Carlos Martinez, and its defensive stalwart behind the plate, Yadier Molina. More >
Cubs: The reigning World Series champs are loaded again, with potential MVP, Cy Young and Gold Glove Award candidates all over the roster. More >
D-backs: Whenever you talk Esurance Player of the Year, you talk about Arizona’s first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. More >
Hazen on Goldschmidt’s impact
Hazen on Goldschmidt’s impact
D-backs executive vice president and general manager Mike Hazen talks about the value of All-Star Paul Goldschmidt
Dodgers: Guess which lefty is again the favorite for NL Cy Young? More >
Giants: San Francisco’s rotation is topped by Madison Bumgarner, who perennially finds himself in the Cy Young and Silver Slugger Award conversation. More >
Indians: Cleveland could be in the running for a ton of offseason hardware, especially if it repeats as AL champion. More >
Mariners: Robinson Cano has placed in the top 10 in AL MVP voting five times. Is this the year he nets the honor? More >
Cano a star for Mariners
Cano a star for Mariners
MLB.com Mariners reporter Greg Johns selects Robinson Cano as the team’s star for 2017
Marlins: Miami has a potential batting (Christian Yelich) and home run champion (Giancarlo Stanton) anchoring its lineup. More >
Mets: Look no further for a legit NL MVP candidate than New York’s most dynamic superstar, Yoenis Cespedes. More >
Cespedes on offseason, 2017 Mets
Cespedes on offseason, 2017 Mets
Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes discusses his offseason work, playing the outfield and expectations for the team in 2017
Nationals: At least one player on Washington’s roster seems to take home a major postseason award every season. This year should be no different. More >
Orioles: Baltimore’s best player, Manny Machado, is a strong candidate for the AL’s top individual honor, while its manager, Buck Showalter, is always in the awards season conversation. More >
Padres: Manuel Margot and Hunter Renfroe, a pair of NL Rookie of the Year candidates, will be major reasons to watch the Padres in 2017. More >
Phillies: A potential breakout star, Maikel Franco could make an even bigger jump than expected and become one of the NL’s best sluggers. More >
Pirates: From 2012-15, Andrew McCutchen placed no lower than fifth in NL MVP balloting, even winning it in ’13. A return to his top form isn’t hard to envision. Meanwhile, youngsters Josh Bell (first base) and Tyler Glasnow (rotation) could be among the NL’s best rookies. More >
Rangers: If healthy, Shin-Soo Choo has the talent and experience to win AL Comeback Player, and a Cy Young isn’t out of the question for Yu Darvish, who would be the first winner of that honor in franchise history. More >
Banister on Darvish’s readiness
Banister on Darvish’s readiness
Rangers manager Jeff Banister talks about Yu Darvish’s readiness for his Opening Day start and role in the starting rotation
Rays: Just a guess, but Kevin Kiermaier, baseball’s top defensive center fielder, could be in line for a few more accolades. More >
Reds: First baseman Joey Votto should once again be in the discussion for NL MVP as well as a bevy of other offensive awards. More >
Red Sox: Boston already returns the reigning AL Cy young winner, and Rick Porcello is just one player on a loaded roster who could take home hardware come November. See also: Baseball’s top overall prospect, Andrew Benintendi. More >
Rockies: Third baseman Nolan Arenado will remain in the NL MVP discussion for the foreseeable future because he can do practically anything on the field. More >
Royals: The award potential on Kansas City’s roster centers around its array of glove-heavy talent. More >
Tigers: Starting with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera, Detroit will once again trot out some of baseball’s best on the mound and at the plate. More >
Miggy named Tigers’ star in ’17
Miggy named Tigers’ star in ’17
MLB.com Tigers reporter Jason Beck selects Miguel Cabrera as the team’s star for 2017
Twins: Minnesota has Silver Slugger and Gold Glove potential in its starting lineup. More >
White Sox: Chicago has a Cy Young candidate in the rotation (Jose Quintana) and a Rookie of the Year favorite waiting in the wings in Yoan Moncada. More >
Yankees: Coming off an outstanding spring, Masahiro Tanaka could make a case for AL Cy Young, while New York has not just one bullpen piece in the running for Reliever of the Year, but two. More >

Cheap Authentic New York Jets Black Jerseys

The New York Jets have identified their replacement for Darrelle Revis.

The Jets are expected to finalize a deal with former Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, via a source informed of the situation.

Dallas will be in the market for secondary help in next month’s cornerback-laden draft after losing both Claiborne and Brandon Carr in free agency.

Claiborne was ranked No. 44 overall in Around The NFL’s list of the Top 101 free agents.

With Revis out of the picture, the former LSU star should slot in opposite Buster Skrine in the starting lineup.

Although Claiborne is coming off perhaps his finest season since being drafted No. 6 overall in 2012, it’s telling that he played just seven games before going down with a serious groin injury that sidelined him until the postseason. He has played more than 11 games just once in five NFL seasons.

The Jets still have a lot of renovating to pull off if they’re going to back up coach Todd Bowles’ dubious contention that this is not a rebuilding campaign.

Cheap WBC Team USA Baseball Jerseys 2017

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Chris Archer will throw the first pitch for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and that’s fitting. He’s everything Major League Baseball had in mind when it created the event.

He brings to the baseball festival a fresh face, powerful arm and heavy thirst to compete against the best players from around the world.
Manager Jim Leyland jokes that Archer recruited Team USA, not the other way around as it normally works. There’s a lot of truth in that, as Archer has pictured himself since the original run in 2006, when he was a high school senior in Clayton, N.C.
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Rules for 2017 Classic
“I volunteered my services over 10 years ago, whenever it started,” Archer said. “I knew from that minute on I wanted to be a part of something special. … My favorite players were playing — [Derek] Jeter, Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Roger Clemens … at that time they were all peaking, they were in their prime. I was glued in. I was locked in. To be considered one of the best in the country, like those guys were, it’s the highest honor I’ve achieved in my baseball career.”
Archer has had international success before, shutting down a loaded Cuban team to help a U.S. team of Minor Leaguers qualify for the Pan American Games in 2011. But he and his teammates don’t know what it would mean to win the Classic, because they haven’t done it in three tries.
Ichiro Suzuki blasted a leadoff homer off Jake Peavy in the semifinal game at Angel Stadium in 2006, and the Americans have been off stride in the event ever since.
Leyland, the longtime Tigers manager who won a World Series with the Marlins in 1997, knows all about USA’s 10-10 record. He also knows Joe Torre has rounded up a team built around perennial All-Stars Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Buster Posey, Andrew McCutchen and Giancarlo Stanton, among others.
“It’s been a process to put this thing together,” Leyland said Tuesday. “Joe’s put a lot of pressure on me. He’s given me a good team. It’s exciting.”
Leyland, who is coming out of retirement for the occasion, admired the Dominican Republic’s 8-0 romp through the Classic in 2013 and dreams of having that type success after his team gets rolling with its Pool C opener against Colombia on Friday (6 p.m. ET, live on MLB.TV and MLB Network at Marlins Park.
He won’t look ahead, however, as he knows there are no guarantees in a pool that includes Canada and the defending champions, whom the U.S. will face on Saturday night (6:30 ET, live on MLB.TV and MLB Network).
There are, of course, notable roster omissions, who are either rehabbing injuries or declined the opportunity to play. But Leyland has been blown away by the desire of his players to represent their country, praising “commitment” as the strength of his team.
“This is a pretty special thing,” Leyland said. “I’ve worn a lot of jerseys but I’ve never worn one like this. … It’s different putting this jersey on, obviously. I think we all know what that means.”
Leyland on managing Team USA
Leyland on managing Team USA
Team USA manager Jim Leyland discusses getting his team ready for the World Baseball Classic
Archer believes the time is right for this version of Team USA to roll all the way through to Dodger Stadium, then bring home the Classic championship in the March 22 final. He referenced the country’s political climate.
“Given the timing and the circumstances of our country, I think it’s a great opportunity for us, temporarily, to show we are united, regardless of the turmoil and things going on here and other places in the world,” Archer said. “So it’s always been a dream. And what’s going on in the country right now makes it even better.”
What kind of statement can Team USA make?
“Just that we are all unified, at least in my opinion,” he said. “And it is a beautiful country of diversity and freedom and a lot of other things that other countries don’t have. So for this moment in time, for this next two weeks, we’re going to put on this jersey with pride and show we’re diverse, we’re united and what USA is really all about.”
Despite unsuccessful efforts to add more elite pitchers, the United States will still have a deeper rotation than its rivals in the tournament.
Leyland plans to use two starters — probably Marcus Stroman and Tanner Roark — against the Dominicans on Saturday, with Royals lefty Danny Duffy attacking Freddie Freeman and Canada’s lefty-leaning lineup Sunday. Mariners starter Drew Smyly was a last-minute addition to the roster, replacing catcher A.J. Ellis to give Leyland a starter if a tiebreaker game is needed Monday.
“I’m happy with the guys who want to be here,” Archer said. “If there’s any doubt or any uncertainty with somebody, it’s better that they stay home, because that’s what this is all about. This is about people who want to be here, who want to represent the game, who want to grow the game and want to represent their country.”
The right guy is starting Game 1.

Cheap World Baseball Classic Jerseys 2017

Call in sick today, because the schedule is jam-packed with baseball from sunup to sundown. There’s a little something for every fan with a wide variety of matchups on the docket.

The day begins with a pair of early-morning World Baseball Classic games — Chinese Taipei vs. the Netherlands in Seoul, South Korea, at 4:30 a.m. ET (live on MLB.TV) and Japan vs. Australia in Tokyo at 5 a.m. (live on MLB.TV and MLB Network). The day ends with the Netherlands back on the field against tournament-surprise Israel at 10 p.m. In between, there are 17 spring exhibitions in Arizona and Florida, including eight between Classic squads and big league teams.
A marquee pitching duel between Rick Porcello and Noah Syndergaard — which is also Tim Tebow’s first game against Major League competition — is among the highlights, as is Team USA’s warmup against the Twins. Fans can catch much of the day’s action streaming live on MLB.TV.
MLB.TV Premium is only $112.99 for the entire season. In addition to getting every out-of-market game live or on demand during the regular season, you can watch nearly 300 Spring Training games live and blackout free, plus the World Baseball Classic live (U.S. only). This package has the best value and provides access to more than 400 devices and a free subscription to the MLB.com At Bat Premium app (a $19.99 value). It offers the best picture quality ever — at 60 frames per second — for supported devices, while other great features include choice of home or away broadcasts, live game DVR, multi-game viewing and more. Monthly signups for MLB.TV Premium are now underway as well for $24.99, and the MLB.TV Single Team package is also available as a $87.49 yearly subscription.
Here’s what to watch for throughout the day (all times ET):
Tebow time: [email protected] (ss), 1:10 p.m., MLB.TV
This matchup in Port St. Lucie, Fla., won’t lack for intrigue. It not only features a star-studded pitching matchup between Syndergaard and Porcello, but also marks the Grapefruit League debut for Tim Tebow. The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback will start at designated hitter for the Mets, drawing a tough assignment in Porcello, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. With 11 players departing for the World Baseball Classic, the short-handed Mets will borrow Tebow from Minor league camp for their split-squad home games today and Friday.
“I don’t think he’s going to make our team,” manager Terry Collins said, laughing. “But I think it’s great for the organization, it’s great for the fans. He’s a pretty famous guy, and it will be fun to get him out there.”
Tebow ready to start vs. Red Sox
Tebow ready to start vs. Red Sox
MLB.com columnist Richard Justice discusses Tim Tebow making his spring debut on Wednesday against the Red Sox, starting at DH
This is far from the only Grapefruit and Cactus League action worth following. Two notable right-handers, Carlos Carrasco and Hisashi Iwakuma, will duel in Peoria, Ariz., when the Mariners host the Tribe at 9:10 p.m., and Stephen Strasburg toes the rubber for the second time this spring against the Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla., at 1:05 p.m.
Classic squads warm up with Spring Training
Eight Major League clubs will take a brief hiatus from their Cactus and Grapefruit League schedules to host World Baseball Classic teams, including Team USA, which will take on the Twins in Fort Myers, Fla., at 7:05 p.m. (live on MLB.TV). Fans will be treated to an influx of stars as U.S. manager Jim Leyland’s squad boasts one of the most talented rosters in the tournament, with former All-Stars at nearly every position, including catcher Buster Posey, outfielder Andrew McCutchen, starting pitcher Chris Archer, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, third baseman Nolan Arenado, second baseman Daniel Murphy and reliever Andrew Miller.
The Twins will send right-hander Trevor May to the mound. He’ll look to contain the potent U.S. lineup while competing for the fifth spot in Minnesota’s rotation.
The U.S., which has never finished higher than fourth in the Classic, opens play Friday against Colombia at Marlins Park (6 p.m. on MLB.TV and MLB Network).
Other big league organizations taking on international competition today are the Yankees (vs. Canada), the Pirates (vs. the Dominican Republic), the A’s (vs. Italy), the Giants (vs. Puerto Rico), the Royals (vs. Venezuela), the D-backs (vs. Mexico, 3:10 p.m. on MLB.TV) and the Rays (vs. Colombia).
Previewing Team USA in Classic
Previewing Team USA in Classic
MLB.com’s Alyson Footer and Jack Morris discuss Team USA as they get ready for their first game in the World Baseball Classic
The Classic continues
Three more games in the international tournament are on tap, beginning with Chinese Taipei vs. the Netherlands (4:30 a.m.) and Japan vs. Australia (5 a.m.).
The Dutch can punch their ticket out of Pool A to the second round with a win, while Chinese Taipei is fighting to avoid elimination. In Pool B, Japan — which defeated Cuba, 11-6, on Tuesday — will take on Team Australia at the Tokyo Dome. Australia, playing its tournament opener, is eyeing its second-ever victory in the Classic, having won just one of nine previous contests.
Lavarnway’s two-run homer
Lavarnway’s two-run homer
Ryan Lavarnway puts Israel up 6-0 with a two-run homer to left-center field in the top of the 3rd inning
In the final game of the night, Israel, the story of the tournament thus far, will take on the Netherlands. In its first Classic appearance, Israel has been among the biggest surprises after defeating Pool A host Korea and Chinese Taipei at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, putting the nation in position to advance to the second round.
“One of the goals is to not put the cart before the horse,” Israel manager Jerry Weinstein said. “We’re not in the second round yet. We’re preparing for the game with the Netherlands, and that’s what we’re thinking about right now. My experience has been that when you start getting ahead of yourself, you get out in the future, you’re not taking care of the present.”

Denzel Valentine Michigan State NCAA College Jersey

Michigan State is 17-4 on Senior Day under Tom Izzo. Senior guard Denzel Valentine netted 27 points last season against Ohio State, tying for the most by a Spartan senior on Senior Day under Coach Izzo, matching the 27 points Travis Trice scored vs. Purdue in 2015. On his Senior Day in 2000, Mateen Cleaves established a Big Ten record with 20 assists in a 114-63 victory over Michigan. Paul Davis grabbed 14 rebounds vs. Illinois on his senior day in 2006.

4. Breslin Advantage
Michigan State is 378-58 (.867) at home all-time since Breslin Center opened in 1989, including 197-44 (.817) in Big Ten play. Under Tom Izzo, the Spartans are 304-43 (.876) at Breslin, including a 156-31 (.834) conference record.

5. Spartans On Target
Michigan State ranks third in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (.476) and second in 3-point field-goal percentage (.381). The Spartans are even better in conference games, shooting .477 from the field to lead the Big Ten and .387 from 3-point range to rank third.

MSU vs. Wisconsin Notes
Series History
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Wisconsin, 76-64, including a 47-14 advantage in games played in East Lansing. The home team has won 18 of the last 20 games played on a college campus, with the lone exceptions being MSU’s wins in Madison in 2012 and 2013. Tom Izzo is 25-20 in his career against Wisconsin.

Coach Gard
Greg Gard (Wisconsin-Platteville, `95) is 37-14 in his second season as a collegiate head coach at Wisconsin. He took over the Badger program on Dec. 15, 2015, following Bo Ryan’s retirement, and guided UW to the 2016 Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Gard joined Ryan’s staff at Wisconsin-Platteville in 1993, and spent the next 23 seasons with Ryan at UW-Platteville, UW-Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State scored the game’s first five points and never looked back in a 69-57 win over Wisconsin on Feb. 18, 2016. Less than seven minutes into the contest the Spartan lead was already in double figures at 14-3. Wisconsin scored five straight points, but a quick 9-2 run pushed the margin up to 13 points at 23-10. The Spartans led by as many as 16 points in the first half, but the Badgers closed on a 7-0 run to give MSU a 32-23 lead at the break. UW scored the first basket of the second half, but an 8-0 Spartan run early in the second half gave MSU a comfortable margin it would not give up, leading by as many as 22 late in the period. MSU’s defense held the Badgers to 33.9 percent shooting. Denzel Valentine led the Spartans with 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds, while Bryn Forbes added 17 points. Ethan Happ paced Wisconsin with 18 points and Bronson Koenig added 12.

Badger Notes
Wisconsin freshman D’Mitrik Trice is the brother of former Spartan Travis Trice (2011-15). The elder Trice finished his career with 1,135 points and earned East Regional Most Outstanding Player honors during Michigan State’s run to the 2015 Final Four. The Badgers bring an experienced group to East Lansing, with four seniors in the potential starting lineup. In addition to the Badgers’ experience, sophomore Ethan Happ leads the team in points (14.4), rebounds (8.9) and assists (2.9) and is making a push to become an All-American. Wisconsin owns the best scoring defense in the Big Ten, allowing just 61.3 ppg and is second in the conference with a +11.8 scoring margin.

Spartan Basketball Notes
Spartan Depth
Eight healthy Spartans average more than 17 minutes per game, while 10 average more than eight minutes per game (Does not include Eron Harris who is out for the year with a knee injury). Seven different players have led Michigan State in scoring in a single game. The depth has helped MSU’s reserves outscore the opponent’s bench in 24 of 28 contests, as MSU gets 29.1 points per game off the bench. Michigan State has used nine different starting lineups this season. According to KenPom.com, MSU leads the nation with non-starters playing 45.2 percent of the team’s minutes.

Too Many Turnovers
After averaging fewer than 12 turnovers in each of the last three seasons, this year’s Spartan squad is averaging 14.6 per contest. MSU is 14-5 when committing 15 or fewer turnovers and 3-6 when committing more. In Big Ten play, MSU is averaging 14.5 turnovers (13.6 in victory, 16.0 in defeat). MSU is 7-1 when having fewer turnovers than its opponent, and 10-0 when it has an advantage in points off turnovers.

Spartan Defense
Michigan State has held opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field in each of the last five seasons, including finishing second in the nation in field-goal percentage defense in 2012 (.379) and 2016 (.382). The strong defensive effort has carried over to 2016-17, as 15 opponents have been held under 40 percent, as MSU boasts a field-goal percentage defense of .407, including holding Big Ten opponents to a .423 field-goal percentage. In Big Ten victories, Spartans are holding opponents to .372, compared to .503 in defeat. MSU has held its opponent under 50 percent shooting in 26 of 28 games this season, failing to do so at Michigan and at Purdue.

Winston Lends A Hand
Freshman point guard Cassius Winston ranks second in the Big Ten with 5.4 assists per contest, and is tied for fifth with a 2.3 assist-to-turnover ratio. According to KenPom.com, Winston leads the nation in Assist Rate (assists divided by the field goals made by the player’s teammates while he is on the court) (49.9). With 151 assists on the season, he already ranks second all-time among Spartan freshmen, trailing just Earvin “Magic” Johnson (222), and having recently passed Mateen Cleaves (146), and Scott Skiles (146). The 2016 Michigan Mr. Basketball winner is fourth on the team in scoring (7.0 ppg) and has scored in double figures in three of the last seven games, after doing it just three times in his first 21 games. Winston also tallied nine assists vs. Ohio State (Feb. 14), the most in a Big Ten game by a Spartan this season. In the last game against Nebraska, he totaled eight assists and zero turnovers.

Knee Injuries
Eron Harris suffered a significant right knee injury against Purdue (Feb. 18) that will require surgery. He becomes the third Spartan senior to suffer a season-ending knee injury this season. Ben Carter (left knee) and Gavin Schilling (right knee) sustained their injuries prior to the first game of the season.

MSU’s Freshman Class
Michigan State’s freshman class of Miles Bridges, Joshua Langford, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston is the most productive freshman class of the Tom Izzo era, as the quartet averages a combined 42.9 points, 18.3 rebounds and 91.8 minutes, with each one starting at least five contests. Against Iowa, they each scored in double figures, marking the first time four Spartan freshmen scored in double figures in the same game under Tom Izzo. Against Nebraska, the quartet combined for a season-high 64 points, as Bridges (20 points) and Ward (20 points), became the first freshman duo to score 20 or more points at MSU since Jay Vincent and Magic Johnson did it on Jan. 5, 1978 against Minnesota. Bridges and Langford were McDonald’s All-Americans, Winston joined Bridges as Jordan Brand All-Americans and all four players were ranked in the Top 40 in the nation. The 2001-02 Spartan freshmen of Alan Anderson, Chris Hill, Kelvin Torbert and Aaron Alexander combined to average 77.4 minutes and 26.5 points, both of which previously ranked first in the Izzo era.

NBA All-Star
Draymond Green was a reserve on the NBA All-Star West team for the second-straight season. The 2012 NABC National Player of the Year is the seventh Spartan to make an All-Star Team, joining Johnny Green, Ralph Simpson (ABA), Magic Johnson, Kevin Willis, Steve Smith and Zach Randolph. Through Feb. 23, Green is averaging 10.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 7.3 assists for the Golden State Warriors. In a Feb. 10 contest vs. Memphis, Green became the first player in NBA history to record a triple-double while scoring fewer than 10 points. In 2015, Green donated $3.1 million to MSU Athletics, which will be used in the construction of the Draymond Green Strength and Conditioning Center in the ongoing Breslin Center renovations, and towards an endowment for the basketball program.

Rejection By Ward
Despite standing just 6-foot-8, Nick Ward is proving to be a defensive presence as a shot blocker. He ranks third in the Big Ten in total blocks (48) and is tied for third in blocks per game (1.7). The 48 blocks are already the second most ever by a Spartan freshman, trailing only Deyonta Davis’ freshman season record of 64, established just last season. He blocked six shots against Northeastern (12/18), tying the Spartan freshman single-game record and matching the second most ever by a Spartan in a single game. In conference games, he ranks tied for sixth in the Big Ten in blocks (1.5 bpg).

Ward’s Emergence
The least heralded member of Michigan State’s freshman class, Nick Ward is proving to be an impact player. He ranks second on the team in scoring (13.1 ppg) and second in rebounding (5.9), while ranking fourth in the conference in field-goal percentage in conference games (.573) and fourth overall (.589). He’s lost 30-plus pounds since arriving on MSU’s campus in June. His per 40-minute averages of 27.2 points and 12.2 rebounds lead the Spartans among members of the core playing group. He’s scored six or more points in every game this season and has posted double-figure points in 18 of the last 22 games, averaging 14.0 ppg over that same span. In the seven games that Miles Bridges missed, Ward averaged 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds. He’s a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week honoree, earning the accolade on Dec. 5, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. According to KenPom.com, Ward ranks second in the nation in fouls drawn per 40 minutes (8.9).

Big Ten Freshmen Of The Week
Michigan State has captured the Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor eight times in the 15 weeks it has been presented. Miles Bridges (Nov. 14, Nov. 28, Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 20) leads the conference with five weekly honors, while Nick Ward (Dec. 5, Dec. 26, Jan. 2) has been honored three times. Bridges also was honored as the Wayman Tisdale National Freshman of the Week by the USBWA and CBS Sports on Jan. 30.

Spartans Share The Ball
Unselfishness is a trademark of all Tom Izzo teams. That has been especially true over the last three seasons as MSU has established a school record for assists in each of the last three years. Last season, MSU tallied a school record 719 assists, good for the 22nd-best total in NCAA history. MSU’s nation’s-best assist average of 20.5 was the 23rd-best average in NCAA history. The Spartans recorded an assist on a nation’s-best 71.3 percent of their field goals. This year, the Spartans are averaging 17.5 assists in 2016-17, ranking eighth in the nation, recording an assist on 67.4 percent of their field goals, which is the second-best mark in the nation.

A Senior Steps Up
Senior Alvin Ellis III has played the best basketball of his career as MSU has opened conference play. In Big Ten play, Ellis is averaging 8.9 points and 3.9 rebounds, ranking third on the team in scoring and third in rebounding. The Spartans are 4-1 in Big Ten games this season in which he scores in double figures. He scored a career-best 20 points, including two game-winning free throws, in a one-point overtime victory at Minnesota. He followed with a team-best 16 points at Northwestern, adding a career-best eight rebounds. It marked the first time in his career that Ellis has led MSU in scoring, and the first time in his career that he’s scored in double figures in back-to-back contests. Ellis led the team in scoring in a win over Ohio State, as he hit a career-best six 3-pointers, five of which came in the first half.

Izzo Second In Wins At A Big Ten School
With 541 career wins, Tom Izzo has passed Gene Keady (512 wins) for second-most victories at a Big Ten school, trailing only Bob Knight (661 wins). Izzo is also third all-time with 255 Big Ten wins, trailing just Knight (353 wins) and Keady (265 wins).

Big Ten Success
Michigan State has won 13 regular-season Big Ten Championships since joining the league prior to the 1950-51 season. The Spartans’ first-ever league game was at Northwestern, where MSU claimed a 67-62 victory on Jan. 6, 1951. All-time, MSU is 613-478 (.562) in league play, including 255-118 (.684) under Tom Izzo, who ranks third in league history with 255 conference wins. Izzo has guided MSU to seven of its 13 league crowns. Since Izzo’s first season (1995-96), MSU has a Big Ten-best record of 255-118, 12 games better than second-place Wisconsin (243-130).

Bridges Makes An Immediate Impact
Miles Bridges is having one of the most productive freshman seasons in Michigan State history. Bridges’ scoring average of 16.3 points per game trails only Magic Johnson’s 17.0 ppg in 1977-78 as the best ever for a Spartan freshman. Only Greg Kelser (9.6 rpg, 1975-76) posted a better rebounding average than Bridges’ current 8.3 average.

Nairn’s Homecoming Provides A Spark
Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn Jr. ranks second in the Big Ten with a 3.3 assist-to-turnover ratio, while ranking tied for ninth in the conference in assists (3.8). The junior point guard had a very productive homecoming during MSU’s play in the Battle 4 Atlantis. A native of Nassau, Nairn had arguably his best three-game stretch as a Spartan, matching or setting a career high in each game. He tied a career high in points with 13 points vs. St. John’s, and set new career highs in rebounding (6) vs. Baylor and assists (12) vs. Wichita State. He also hit 4-of-6 3-pointers, after entering the tournament with seven threes in his first 71 career games. He matched his career high with 13 points in a comeback win at Minnesota, including 11 in the second half and overtime, while also scoring 13 points vs. Penn State.

It’s All About Boardwork
Being forced to play with a smaller frontcourt due to injury, rebounding has not been the staple it normally is for Michigan State. Through 28 games, MSU has a +2.9 rebound margin, out-rebounding the opponent in 16 contests. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 580 of 756 opponents (.767), posting a 458-122 (.790) mark in those games. The Spartans have led the nation in rebounding in five of the last 17 seasons (2000, 2001, 2009, 2010, 2016), ranking in the Top 10 10 times and the Top 25 on 13 occasions. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in conference games in 13 of the last 19 years and in 14 of 21 seasons under Izzo.

From Beyond the Arc
The 2015-16 Spartans led the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (.434) and made a school record 321 3-pointers. This year’s Spartan squad must replace Bryn Forbes (112) and Denzel Valentine (104) who combined for 216 3-pointers last season. MSU is shooting .381 from behind the arc this year, ranking second in the Big Ten, as Eron Harris (.387, 43-111), Miles Bridges (.408, 40-98), Alvin Ellis III (.411, 37-90) and Matt McQuaid (.337, 31-92) lead the team in made 3-pointers. Joshua Langford (.412, 14th) and Ellis (.411, 15th) rank among the Big Ten leaders in 3-point field-goal percentage. In Big Ten play, the Spartans are shooting .387 from 3-point range, ranking third in the conference.

Hall of Famer Tom Izzo
Now in his 22nd season at Michigan State, Hall of Fame coach Tom Izzo has built the Spartans into one of the elite programs in the nation. MSU is the only school in the country to win 27 or more games in each of the last five seasons. The Spartans’ 19 straight NCAA Tournaments are a Big Ten record, the third-longest active streak in the nation and the fourth-longest active streak of all time. He’s been able to accomplish this while playing more ranked teams than anyone else since 1998. Michigan State has appeared in a nation’s best seven Final Fours in the last 18 seasons. Izzo’s seven Final Four trips are tied for fifth most in NCAA history. Izzo was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame on Sept. 9.

The Nation’s Toughest November
MSU’s game at Duke (11/29) marked the final game in what was arguably the toughest opening month in college basketball history, certainly Spartan history. With games against No. 2 Kentucky, No. 10 Arizona and No. 20 Baylor (rankings at date of game), No. 5 Duke was the fourth ranked opponent MSU played in November alone. The Spartans had never faced three Top 10 opponents in November until this season, and had never played four Top 20 non-conference opponents in a single month during the regular season. Not only did the Spartans play a diabolical slate of opponents, they faced a brutal travel schedule to open the season. Beginning with a flight to Hawaii on November 8 and ending with the return flight from Duke on Nov. 29, the Spartans traveled more than 13,600 miles in 22 days, including additional trips to New York City and the Bahamas. Five opponents from November are currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Feb. 20), including No. 4 Arizona, No. 9 Baylor, No. 10 Duke, No. 11 Kentucky and No. 25 Wichita State.

Izzo Receives Dean Smith Award
As announced by the USBWA in October, Tom Izzo is the recipient of the 2016 Dean Smith Award. The award goes to an individual in college basketball who embodies the spirit and values of the late North Carolina coaching great. Izzo is the second person to receive the Dean Smith Award. The USBWA established the award last year and selected former Georgetown coach John Thompson as the first recipient. Among the qualities in a coach that the award is based on are honesty and integrity, being a part of players’ lives during and after college, abiding by NCAA rules, involvement in charities and the community, standing up for social issues and causes and having a reputation for treating people with respect.

Spartans In The NBA
Michigan State had a Big Ten-best eight players on NBA opening day rosters, including Denzel Valentine (Bulls), Gary Harris (Nuggets), Deyonta Davis (Grizzlies), Bryn Forbes (Spurs), Draymond Green (Warriors), Adreian Payne (Timberwolves), Zach Randolph (Grizzlies) and Alan Anderson (Clippers).

Playing The Best
Since the 1997-98 season, the year of Michigan State’s first of 19 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans have played 212 games against ranked opponents. That total ranks first among teams that have appeared in a Final Four since then. The Spartans are followed by North Carolina (200), Texas (190), Duke (188), Kentucky (182), Illinois (179) and Michigan (176).

Strength of Schedule
In total, the 2016-17 schedule features 15 teams that appeared in the 2016 postseason, including 11 opponents that played in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Kirk Cousins Michigan State NCAA College Jersey

Cousins getting paid: Former Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins may get franchised for a second year by the NFL’s Washington Redskins by Wednesday’s deadline. Reportedly the two sides cannot come to agreement on a long-term contract. If he is franchised, Cousins likely will get in the neighborhood of $22 million for next season, to go with the $19 million plus he received last year. Not bad for a quarterback who has never led his team to a playoff victory.

School looking for funds: Lansing Catholic High School is looking to raise another $1 million over the next two months to go with a private $1 million donation the school just received. If the funds are found, Catholic will immediately add a team building to its new football stadium along with permanent concessions and restroom facilities. And new natural grass fields will be added for softball, baseball and soccer, all in the original plans. Down the road – a new gymnasium, which the school says it desperately needs but comes after the pecking order of the outside upgrades.

Le’Veon Bell Michigan State NCAA College Jersey

Former Michigan State RB Le’Veon Bell set to finally make more than $1 million per year

With the NFL’s franchise-tag deadline set for Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to let their star tailback cash in a bit early. On Monday, the team placed its franchise tagged on Le’Veon Bell, and it’s worth around $12.2 million.

Before the Steelers chose to stop the Columbus, Ohio native from heading into free agency, Bell was still receiving checks via his rookie contract, which handed him just $1.19 million last season. Nevertheless, he earned himself a much larger payday with a massive 2016-17 campaign, collecting the fifth-most rushing yards in the league (1,268).

Moreover, the 6-foot-1, 225-pound running back posted 357 rushing yards during the NFL playoffs, good for the most among his peers. He’s also the first player at his position to be tagged since Matt Forte (Chicago Bears) and Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens) were in 2012.

During his days in East Lansing, Mich., Bell was just as explosive, especially as a junior. That season, he posted 1,793 yards on the ground, along with 13 total touchdowns.

Le’Veon Bell highlights at Michigan State