There is plenty to look forward to on Sunday when Michigan State hosts Ohio State in the season finale. The Spartans are playing to win the outright Big Ten championship, it is the final home game from Draymond Green and Austin Thornton, and it marks one final goodbye for senior Delvon Roe, who retired before the season because of knee injuries.
But the one thing Spartan fans should see that might be the biggest plus on the court is the return of a healthy Travis Trice.
Trice missed four games after spraining his right ankle in the first matchup with the Buckeyes. He returned to play briefly at Indiana on Tuesday, but at practice on Thursday he looked like the Trice of old, moving quickly, dropping slick passes and nailing shots.
It’s something that was a welcome sight for Tom Izzo.
“I saw what you saw,” Izzo said with a wry smile. “No. 1, Trice is gonna give Keith (Appling) a little rest, that will be important. No. 2, they’re gonna play together some. We went back and watched the first game we played them and didn’t realize how much Trice and Keith and Brandon Wood played together, because were going with a smaller lineup once in a while. So he gives us versatility to do a lot of different things and the foot has really been remarkable in the last three days. … It’s been pretty doggone good, so I’m excited about that.”
Trice said there are a couple of small tears in the ligament, but after playing on Tuesday there was no swelling.
“I’d say it was definitely a dramatic turnaround,” Trice said. “Before the Indiana game I just didn’t know. Once we got to Bloomington everything just fixed itself.”
If it stays that way – and there is no reason to think it won’t – Trice could be just the spark the Spartans need to close the deal on Sunday
While Trice is feeling good, so is center Derrick Nix, who said his ailing right foot is OK and he will be 100 percent for Sunday.
As for Thornton, he sat out practice on Thursday with a migraine headache but doesn’t expect any ill effects for the game.
Also, if you haven’t yet, check out John Niyo’s column on Delvon Roe. He’ll be on hand Sunday for Senior Day festivities and will likely be on the bench with the team. But he won’t play and probably will not be in uniform.