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Sunday, January 4, 2015
SPARTAN WOMEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM LIKELY TO FALL IN ANN ARBOR TODAY
Looks like the Michigan Women's Basketball team has caught Michigan State at the right time and the right place for a rare victory. The teams play today at 2:00 p.m. at the Crisler Center.
MSU has enjoyed remarkable dominance over UM in women's basketball, winning 23 of the last 25 games in the series. That span includes five coaches, two for the Spartans and three for the Wolverines. The latest Wolverine Coach has pepped up the recruiting process, making her team a bit tougher than the historical record has led us to expect. She has a very nice class coming in next year.
The Spartan roster is riddled with injuries, leaving a seven-player rotation for their last game (including three freshmen) and that led to a double-digit loss to Indiana on New Year's Eve. Unless the Wolverines miss a great opportunity, they will get the win today in Ann Arbor.
If so, it does not mark any major change in the balance of power between the schools in women's basketball. The Spartan program has been hit with a series of career-ending injuries and player departures due to transfer or dismissal. That left the team a little shallow when Brandy Agee, a projected starter, tore her ACL last summer, creating a scholarship-athlete rotation of nine (maximum) players for this season. Two of those nine missed the last game, creating the super-short (and young) rotation. That lineup is not viable to compete in the B1G Conference, much less win rivalry games on the road.
Suzy Merchant has signed six (6) players to join her program next year, five of whom are listed as ESPN Top 100 players. She has a super-sized class for next year that fills all position needs with quality players. She will lose two seniors, add the six freshmen, and return Agee from her injury.
Things will be fine next year, and there's still a chance to pull this season out of the fire and even beat Michigan in February.
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