Duke beats Michigan State in the Champions Classic

CHICAGO, Illinois – The No.1 ranked Duke Blue Devils defeated the No.2 Michigan State Spartans in the Champions Classic 88-81 on Tuesday night. Duke’s senior guard Grayson Allen led all scorers with 37 points and showed the nation he is not afraid of shining on the big stage. Spartans’ sophomore forward Miles Bridges, a preseason National Player of the year frontrunner, had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Bridges scored 16 points in the second half. The Spartans were outrebounded 46-34 and gave up 25 offensive rebounds.

Michigan State freshman Nick Ward would have bigger impact with more minutes

Standing at 6-foot-8 and weighing a bulky 250 pounds, Michigan State basketball’s freshman forward Nick Ward has never been in the shadows. He was a star averaging 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds as a senior at Gahanna Lincoln High School and was a top 50 recruit nationally heading into this year by both ESPN and 247sports. Ward was planning on adjusting to the shadows, destined for a minimal role, if any, in 2016-2017 as additions like prized top-10 recruit Miles Bridges and UNLV transfer forward Ben Carter gave commitments to Michigan State,. The Spartans also had senior center Gavin Schilling returning to the team and the emergence last season from former walk-on Kenny Goins slotted him in the Spartans rotation down low. That’s when the injury bug hit MSU shortly before the season.