Michigan State defeated Tuskegee University on Saturday night. It was the first MSU basketball game at Jenison Field House since the Spartans' 1989 NIT appearance.
I did not attend the game, but watched it on television. It was so much fun seeing Jenison on TV again, and almost brought back memories of watching the Spartans in the days of Magic, Special K, Jay Vincent, Kevin Willis, and Scott Skiles. If only MSU could have replicated that funky old tartan court from the '70s and early '80s, (As a kid, I remember feeling embarrassed by that floor and wished MSU could have a "normal" wood floor. They did eventually end up getting rid of the tartan floor and replacing it with wood sometime in the mid-'80s).
MSU played a lackluster and sloppy first half against Tuskegee, but improved greatly in the second half and won by 36 points. I read many upset and angry posts on the Red Cedar Message Board during the first half, but as usual the complaining was completely over the top.
Nothing can really be taken from this game. It was played in the unfamiliar (for the current players) surroundings of Jenison, in front of a fairly subdued crowd that was nothing like the raucous Jenison crowds of old, against an energetic but thoroughly outmatched opponent. MSU was in a difficult position: you don't want to invite Tuskegee to participate in this game and then completely blow them out, at the same time anything short of a blow out looks to many as a sloppy struggle.
The next few games for MSU, against Bowling Green on the road and Texas at Breslin, will tell a lot more about the Spartan basketball team.