SpartanDigest Mailbag: January 23

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

How would you grade each basketball player in the rotation at this point of the season?

Travis Trice: B+

Denzel Valentine: B –

Branden Dawson: B

Javon Bess: INC

Gavin Schilling: B+

Bryn Forbes: C+

Matt Costello: B

Tum Tum Nairn: C –

Marvin Clark: C –

Visitors for this weekend?

A couple officials in linebacker Quarte Sapp and defensive end Mufi Hunt. I also am expecting a big out-of-state visitor, which has been pretty much kept under wraps to this point.

Consider this assertion: “Madaris will be a huge part of the offense next year.” Why or why not?

I like it, personally, but I would not say “huge.” I think it is more fair to say that he will be a part of the offense as I don’t think he is going to come out and have 50 catches or anything. I think Madaris is a guy that took a lot of strides forward last year. He got into the rotation in Big Ten play a little bit and showed the ability to make some athletic grabs. With Tony Lippett gone, I think he moves into that steady playing group – which also is important as MSU loses A.J. Troup, Aaron Burbridge, MacGarrett Kings and Andre Sims Jr. after this season. That would be my why. My why not is a matter of health. Madaris has been injured throughout his first couple seasons in East Lansing.

Who retires first: Tom Izzo or Mark Dantonio?

Oh boy. I would love to just go based on age, but Izzo is 59 and Dantonio is 58, so not much difference there. I would guess – GUESS – Dantonio.

How likely are Riley Bullough (inside) and/or Chris Frey (outside) to start? And is Reschke going to be healthy and ready to go as spring practice begins?

I made my projections – which will inevitably come back to bite me – this morning. I do think Bullough slides inside and starts at middle linebacker. As for Frey, I think he will be battling for the backup spot and third-down package with Jalyn Powell. Reschke is coming off shoulder surgery and I do not think Dantonio has commented on his status for spring ball. It would be a benefit to have him competing as I think he will have a good push to start.

Who will be the new Andrew Gleichert? Will it be Paul Lang, Jamal Lyles or could it be one of the youngsters, Dylan Chmura or Matt Sokol, as the primary blocking tight end?

I think early it should be Lang. He is the veteran of the group and is built to take on that role. Chmura would be the other guy I think is in that mix. Lyles’ strength is not blocking and he is more of a strength in the passing game. I think Sokol will fit that bill as more of a downfield guy as well, but he will be well equipped to block.

Any news on the preferred walk-on Kenny Goins? How is he progressing? I also heard there was a preferred walk-on point guard. If this is true, who is he and any information on him?

Goins looks pretty good in practice. He has a lot of length and athleticism and looks like he could be an asset in the future. There is not a walk-on point guard, but I assume you are referring to Matt Van Dyk, who is a 6-foot-5 guard/forward. I believe he played junior college ball at St. Clair County Community College and transferred.

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