SpartanDigest Mailbag: February 28

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

Who are your guesses for the X factors for MSU in football for the coming season? Offense and defense.

On offense, I think it has to be Aaron Burbridge. He had flashes as a freshman, but really has not been a big player the past two seasons. With Bennie Fowler gone, Tony Lippett stepped up in a major way. It is Burbridge’s turn now. MSU needs him to be the No. 1 wide receiver without a double. As for defense, I think I would go with Demetrious Cox. The fact he could have a big spring and play cornerback is huge. But he also is in line to be a starting safety. Where he falls into place matters a lot for the defense moving forward.

What names are you keeping an eye on for surprise contributions in football? Anyone you wouldn't be surprised that might crack the 2 deeps that others would be?

I think cornerback Vayante Copeland is in a good spot to get playing time and a chance to start even. Matt Sokol at tight end also comes to mind. He is a solid downfield, big-bodied tight end that might sneak into the rotation behind Josiah Price/Jamal Lyles. I don’t think there are many true “surprises” out there, but position changes always can be interesting. Could Gerald Holmes be at linebacker come spring? We will see.

Anyone recruits at Thursday’s basketball game, football or basketball?

2016 WR commit Cameron Chambers was on campus, as was 2017 SG/SF Brian Bowen.

When does spring workouts begin?

Michigan State kicks off in late March, much later than most teams.

What seed do you project the basketball team landing?

That’s tough, but the range probably is 7-11. Assuming a loss to Wisconsin, a win against Purdue, a loss to Indiana and then one win in the Big Ten tourney, an 8-9 is probably most likely.

What's the focus area for improvement do you think the Spartans will be working on in practice besides free throws?

Well, the defense was lacking majorly but that has not been an issue often. Halfcourt offense has been a big thing this team has to work on, but that has gotten better through the season. Really, with this team, it is just a matter of showing up and playing as it should. That isn’t something that can really be shown in practice.

Any injures to players which will hold them out of spring ball?

Nothing out there yet on injuries as spring ball has not started yet.

Are there any redshirts in football or basketball that have a chance of making an impact next year?

As mentioned earlier, I think Vayante Copeland is going to have a shot to contribute. Craig Evans and Montez Sweat both figure to be in the defensive rotation, with Sweat possibly being a starter. Madre London has a shot at running back. With basketball, not so much as Kenny Goins was the only player redshirted.

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