DOUG DEMARTIN, GOOD MSU SOCCER PLAYER

     Quietly, Mason redshirt junior soccer player Doug DeMartin has become one of Michigan State's top athletes.  He led his Spartans in a shoot out win over Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten men's soccer tournament being played at Old College Field.  DeMartin entered the tournament with 11 goals, good enough to lead the Big Ten.  He has 22 goals and 46 assists in his Spartan career with one more year of eligibility remaining.  Michigan State faces top seed Indiana at 1:30pm Friday in the semi finals and for whatever it's worth, the game is being televised on the Big Ten network.

     It's four months to the Big Ten men's basketball tournament. A lot can happen, pro and con, to all of the Big Ten teams in that time.  Michigan State is an early puzzle, but by no means should there be cause for alarm.  To me health is a bigger issue.  Drew Neitzel's shin splints hopefully will not return, nor will injuries continue to Marquise Gray.  Raymar Morgan needs to pay attention to what Tom Izzo tells him to do off the court so that there is no distraction there.  Michigan State has talented players and fortunately, the issues currently confronting Izzo are occurring in early November, not early March.

     Who knows how Michigan State's football team will play at Purdue on Saturday.  The talk of the week from the players doesn't always match the final results on the scoreboard come Saturday.  It's hard to believe the Spartans will play with the same emotion against the Boilermakers that they did against Michigan.  That said, they could still move the ball against Purdue's shaky defense, get some confidence and then come away with an impressive win.  They could also fall behind and then Purdue's passing game could score at will against a no confidence MSU defense.  What will the case be?  We'll find out at noon Saturday, televised by the Big Ten Network.

     As for Michigan-- I kind of like Wisconsin to win Saturday.  The Wolverines struggle in Madison where beating Michigan is always a big deal.  Michigan can't be as high either and the game at MSU might have taken a lot out of the Wolverines, especially since they still have their season determining date with Ohio State coming up.  I can't believe Michigan is good enough to go into the game with the Buckeyes with a nine game winning streak.  I think Michigan can beat Ohio State with all hands fully healthy-- but getting to that might also include a loss at Wisconsin.

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