SpartanDigest Mailbag: December 19

Answering your questions about Michigan State football, basketball and recruiting!

If Waynes goes pro, who do foresee as the front runners to start at the four secondary spots next season?

Man, good question. All four spots feel like the are in pencil right now and there should be plenty of competition. R.J. Williamson and Demetrious Cox probably are the safeties, but Montae Nicholson will be pushing there. As for cornerback, well, that is more interesting. You would assume Darian Hicks is a starter. Across from him, the next two are Arjen Colquhoun and Jermaine Edmondson. Could a guy like Vayante Copeland make a push? Possibly. It will be interesting.

With Dawson out, what will the playing groups look like in these next two games?

I think it will be basically the same, but the nice thing for Michigan State is Javon Bess is back in the lineup. He will get more of a look in smaller lineups, but should be out there anyway. He brings nice defensive presence and good rebounding. Marvin Clark also probably sees more time.

The three point shooting ... is what we are seeing what we're going to get? Are Travis Trice, Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes and Marvin Clark really this good? Or are they going, as the BTN announcer suggested, going to "revert to the mean" and all of them dip to 40% or lower from this point forward?

Well, Trice always has been a pretty good shooter, but is getting a higher volume now. Forbes also consistently has been a good shooter in his career. Clark started hotter than he has been lately, but he is a nice shooter as well. I think the big surprise is Valentine, but it is a credit to the work he did on his shot this offseason. All are legitimate shooters, but I do think there is reason to believe the pace at which MSU is hitting 3s will decline somewhat in Big Ten play. Better defense, more physical, etc., would be the reasons.

I've seen Baylor play twice, and I think we're the better team. I see three outstanding units in this game: Baylor's offense, Michigan State's offense, and Michigan State's defense. And that's why MSU will win. Comments?

I think you’re selling short a pretty solid Baylor defense – not spectacular, but good. It is a nice front seven. My initial reaction is to pick Baylor, honestly. MSU struggled with the two best teams it faced in terms of getting defensive stops – apart from the first half at Oregon. Picking bowl games is a crapshoot, though, as you have to throw out most predictions given the extra time to prepare.

Assuming Raequan Williams commits tonight, what positions do you see filling out the class?

Linebacker and defensive end are high on that list and probably top it. I think an outside linebacker and a good rush defensive end would be ideal. I have been feeling three wide receivers would be necessary in this class from the start, but I don’t know if MSU wants to squeeze a third in anymore. Can’t rule out an offensive lineman either.

What is extent of Dawson's injury? Sitting next two for extra healing, doctors advised not to play, etc?

The official word from Michigan State last night was it was a “non-displaced fracture on his left wrist.” Expectation is he will miss the next two games and COULD be back in time for Big Ten play. I think the plan is just rest it and see how it progresses.

After the first six weeks of season, how do you see the basketball team finishing in the B1G? 12-6, 11-7, 3rd place?

I thought before the season Michigan State would be the second-best team in the Big Ten. I still think that is the ceiling. I think third is a reasonable expectation as well. It is hard to say what this team will be, but it seems to be steadily improving. If Dawson comes back well and is a force, this is a pretty solid Michigan State group that can make some noise.

When does football team fly down to Dallas? Are the three Texas kids allowed to get tickets from MSU? Or any word on them coming to the game?

Michigan State cannot provide tickets to commits and not sure on them coming to the game. I will try and reach out to those guys soon. As for when the team heads down, I am not 100 percent sure, but the night of Christmas was the time last year, so probably the same.

Any word on Miguel Machado? How did he do throughout the season? Does he appear as a probable player in next year's rotation?

I think Machado definitely will factor into the rotation next season on the right side of the offensive line. He probably could have this season, but it was ideal for Michigan State – and for Machado – to redshirt.

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