Michigan State got some good news on the injury front heading into tomorrow’s Champions Classic. Fifth-year senior guard Kyle Ahrens is expected to play after suffering a high ankle sprain in the Spartans’ preseason scrimmage vs. Gonzaga on October 19.
“Hopefully Kyle Ahrens, he’s been progressing in practice, will definitely be able to play,” Tom Izzo told reporters this morning, adding later that he’ll work with Ahrens to gauge his playing time and pain.
Ahrens averaged 4.7 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.0 assists for the Spartans last season before injuring his ankle in the Big Ten Championship and missing all of the NCAA Tournament.
“God, he had a hell of a summer,” Izzo said of Ahrens. “I mean, he was really, really good and if you saw the accident or the injury, the way it happened, he was running out of bounds and there was nobody near him. We have weird injuries. He runs out of bounds and the other day (Thomas) Kithier is running down the court and Julius (Marble) kind of half fell and came up with his elbow and hit him in the nose broke his nose.”
Izzo said Kithier will wear a protective mask and likely start at power forward, but that Marquette transfer Joey Hauser will not play as the school continues to wait to hear whether or not the NCAA grants Michigan State’s appeal for immediate eligibility.
As for Nick Richards, who is also dealing with an ankle sprain, John Calipari said yesterday that his status remains day-to-day but they’re hopeful he’ll be able to practice today.
“Still day-to-day. We’ll see if he can give us a little bit of practice time today — probably nothing live — and see what he can do tomorrow. If he’s timid with it, he shouldn’t play. Not in this game. So, we’ll just have to see.”
We’ll know for sure soon enough.