The #5 Michigan State Spartans are home on Thursday to play Illinois. MSU likely will play its fourth straight game without Denzel Valentine. Valentine’s knee could be good enough for a return Sunday at Penn State, but he says it could also be another week. Coach Tom Izzo says his team “hasn’t been terrible’ without Valentine, but says his star player does so many things well that he’s hard to replace.

 

Michigan Basketball

Michigan basketball hits the road Thursday for a Big Ten Conference game at 14th-ranked Purdue.

 

College Basketball

Kent State beat Western Michigan 87-84 in overtime in a MAC opener last night in Kalamazoo. Thomas Wilder led Western Michigan with 28 points, and had a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to force overtime. But Kent State jumped out to a six-point lead in overtime and held on for the win.

 

Central Michigan (7-6) begins defense of its MAC title when they host Eastern Michigan (8-5).

 

Pistons

The Pistons are back in action tonight when they visit the Celtics. The Pistons, 19-16 on the season, are in fourth place in the Central Division, five and a half games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Lions

The search for a new Lions’ GM is on, and two prospects have turned down interview requests. Bengals Director of player personnel Duke Tobin and Cowboys' Will McClay both said no.

 

Lions’ defensive coordinator Teryl Austin could be in the running for a head coaching position with another team. According to the "Detroit News", Austin has an interview scheduled for today with the Cleveland Browns and has already had a meeting with the Miami Dolphins. The Philadelphia Eagles are also reportedly interested in interviewing Austin for their vacant head coaching position.

 

NFL

The NFL playoffs start on Saturday with the Texans hosting the Chiefs. The Bengals are home against the Steelers.  On Sunday, the Vikings host the Seahawks and the Redskins are home against the Packers.

 

Wrestling

Lakeview beat Niles and host team Maple Valley in wrestling.

 

Red Wings

The Red Wings return to action Thursday night when they visit the San Jose Sharks.

 

High School Basketball

Battle Creek Central played Holt tough last night. Holt used a height advantage to wear down the Bearcats and win 51-43, in a game heard on WBCK.  Holt was led by 6-foot-6 and 6-foot-10 forwards who combined for all but eight of the Rams points.

 

Lakeview 63, Plainwell 42. C.J. Foster had 17.

 

Pennfield 66, Otsego 57. Steffen Kinne had a triple double, with 13 points, 13 rebounds and ten blocks to lead Pennfield.

 

Marshall 58, Gull Lake 36. Jacob Brubaker with 15.

Portage Central 74, Harper Creek 56

Climax-Scotts 75, Waldron 43. Dallas Froberg had 22.

Tekonsha 61, Will Carleton 32.

 

Girls Basketball

Harper Creek 55, Portage Central 37. Jacey Bowers and Charley Andrews each scored 17.

Lakeview 53, Plainwell 24. Ava Cook had 12 points and seven steals.

St. Phillip 47, Camden Frontier 37. Kameron Haley had 19 points.

Marshall 46, Gull Lake 34. Emily Delmotte had 13 and 7 rebounds for the Redhawks.

Otsego 49, Pennfield 35.

Chelsea 42, Olivet 38.

Waldron 40, Climax-Scotts 35.

Bellevue 70, Burr Oak 17.

Athens 53, Concord 45. Jillayne Wheeler had 15.

Homer 40, Springport 38.

Union City 51, Reading 39. Kena Bartlett scored 20 and had 21 rebounds.

Trammell’s last Chance for Hall of Fame

Baseball will announce its 2016 inductees to the Hall of Fame tonight. By Thursday, the 1984 Tigers will be one of very few World Series champs without at least one Hall of Famer. It’s the 15th and final year for former Tiger shortstop Alan Trammell to be on the ballot. A player needs to be named on 75% of the sports writer ballots. Trammell only got 25% last year. Jack Morris had his final year last time around and was also snubbed by the writers.   reviously, Lance Parrish, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Chet Lemon, Darrell Evans, and even Howard Johnson spent brief stretches on the writers’ ballot.

Manager Sparky Anderson is in the hall.

Ken Griffey Jr. is considered a shoo-in on his first time on the Hall ballot. Others that are considered close to entering the Hall include closer Trevor Hoffman and catcher Mike Piazza. Ken Griffey Jr. is not only a shoo-in...he may be the first player ever elected unanimously. Nobody - not Babe Ruth, Willie Mays or Nolan Ryan made it on all the writers' ballots. The closest ever to unanimous election was Tom Seaver - who was named on 98.84% of the 500-plus ballots.