Nov. 24, 1997
Michigan State Men's Basketball Hosts Coca-Cola Spartan Classic
GAME INFORMATION -- Looking to get back on the winning track after dropping its first road game of the season, the Michigan State men's basketball team will host the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic this Friday and Saturday (Nov. 28-29). Joining the Spartans in the tourney are Central Michigan, Arkansas at Little Rock and Gonzaga. MSU will battle Central Michigan in the opening round on Friday starting at 6:00 p.m. while UALR and Gonzaga will clash in the other first-round affair scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m. The consolation and championship contests are slated for Saturday starting at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m., respectively. All games will be played at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center (15,138) on the MSU campus.
COVERAGE -- All MSU basketball games can be heard on WJIM Radio (1240 AM/97.5 FM). Describing the play-by-play is Mark Champion while former Spartan head coach, Gus Ganakas, serves as analyst.
THE RECORDS -- MSU stands 1-1 following a 70-58 setback at Illinois-Chicago on Friday (Nov. 21). In that game, the Spartans outshot the Flames, 44.8 vs. 39.0 percent from the floor, but were hampered by 18 turnovers and an opportunistic UIC club that enjoyed a 39-34 edge in rebounds, 17 of those caroms coming on the offensive glass. The Green and White were also plagued by foul trouble with two starters fouling out while another was saddled with four fouls. Leading the scoring attack for the Spartans was sophomore guard Mateen Cleaves with 17 points while sophomore David Thomas tallied 10.
Central Michigan enters its game vs. MSU with a 1-1 mark. In their most recent performance, the Chippewas topped Rochester College last Saturday, 74-52, at Mt. Pleasant. CMU opened its regular season on Nov. 15 with an 82-72 loss at home to Wright State.
Arkansas at Little Rock, a member of the Sun Belt Conference, will tangle with Gonzaga with a ledger of 1-0. The Trojans opened their season on Nov. 17 with an 82-70 win at home over Hampton.
Through four games, Gonzaga stands 4-0. The Bulldogs turned in an excellent effort at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, this past weekend, claiming the championship in the eight-team field. Gonzaga hammered Tulsa, 78-40, in the opening round before edging Mississippi State, 68-66, in the semifinals. In the championship contest, GU defeated No. 7-ranked Clemson, 84-71.
MSU LOOKS TO CONTINUE HOME WIN STREAK -- Heading into the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic, MSU will be looking to keep its home winning streak, now at seven games, intact. In home games against teams outside the Big Ten Conference, the Green and White have claimed the last 10 meetings.
MSU RADIO NETWORK
Michigan State basketball can be heard on the following radio stations.
SERIES RECORDS -- In a series that started in 1906, Michigan State posts a 30-3 all-time mark against Central Michigan, 25-2 in games played at East Lansing (1-1 at the Breslin Center). The teams last met on Dec. 29, 1995, when CMU posted a 69-62 triumph in the opening round of the Oldsmobile Classic, ending a 12-game Spartan winning streak that encompassed six championships in that tournament.
Michigan State has never met either Gonzaga or Arkanas at Little Rock in basketball.
THE COACHES -- Michigan State is guided by head coach Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan '77), who is in his third season at the helm of the program. Izzo has a school and career record of 34-29. In games at the Breslin Center, Izzo has posted a record of 24-9, 10-20 on the road.
Central Michigan Coach Jay Smith (Saginaw Valley State '84) is in his first season leading the Chippewas and second as a head coach. Heading into the tournament, Smith has a career mark of 24-7 which includes a 23-6 mark at Grand Valley State last year.
Arkansas at Little Rock Head Coach Wimp Sanderson (North Alabama '59) is in his fourth season at UALR and has compiled a slate of 59-31. In 16 campaigns of head coaching, which includes a 12-year stint as the head man at Alabama (1981-92), Sanderson has a career showing of 324-148.
Gonzaga Head Coach Dan Monson (Idaho '85) is in his first season as a head coach. Prior to his current post, Monson was an assistant coach at Gonzaga for nine seasons.
TOM IZZO RADIO SHOW INFO -- Starting on Monday, Dec. 1, the Tom Izzo radio show can be heard throughout the state of Michigan on MSU basketball radio affiliates. The show will be held at Tripper's Sports Lounge on Mondays from 7:00-8:00 p.m.
MSU SHOT BLOCKERS MAKE THEIR PRESENCE FELT -- Coach Izzo's preseason prediction of having perhaps his most athletic team has been borne out, in part, in the blocked shots category. Through two games, MSU has blocked 16 shots, the best back-to-back effort in that category since Dec. 21 & 29, 1977, when that squad posted eight blocked shots against both Detroit and Southern Methodist. During the 1996-97 campaign, the team did not reach 16 blocked shots until the fifth contest while the 1995-96 unit had to wait until the 10th game to reach that figure.
MSU AND THE BRESLIN CENTER -- MSU's win over East Tennessee State raised its all-time record at the Breslin Center to 98-24 (.803) since the facility opened in 1989 (45-5 vs. non-conference opponents, 53-19 in Big Ten contests). MSU has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 69 games at the Breslin Center while allowing the opposition to reach that mark on just 16 occasions.
SCHEDULING NOTE -- The starting for the Michigan State-Detroit game on Saturday, December 13, will be 7:05 p.m. (EST)
MOST POINTS BY IZZO-COACHED TEAMS
QUICK FACTS -- After two games, MSU is shooting 45.6 percent (23-of-57) from the floor in the first half and 43.9 percent (29-of-66) in the second half ... Opponents are shooting 35 percent (20-of-57) from the field in the first half and 41.8 percent (23-of-55) over the final 20 minutes of action ... The Spartans have been outshot from the foul line in both games and are connecting at just a 45.5 percent (20-of-44) vs. the opposition's effort of 73.9 percent (34-of-46) ... The Spartans are averaging 34 points in the first half of play (29.5 for opponents) and 36 points in the second half (35 for opponents).
CENTRAL MICHIGAN PREVIEW -- After losing six letterwinners, including the team's top three scorers from last season, CMU fields a young squad that has seven freshmen, three sophomores, three juniors and three seniors. Senior Jerry Glover ranks as CMU's top point producer and rebounder through two games, averaging 18.0 points and 6.0 boards. The 6-foot-3 Glover hit nine-of-12 field goal attempts en route to 20 points vs. Rochester last Saturday and totaled 16 points in the season opener vs. Wright State. After two games, CMU is shooting 46.4 percent from the field while allowing its opponents a mark of 42.6 percent. The Chippewas are shooting 30 percent (9-of-30) from beyond the arc while their foes are connecting at a 30.4 percent (7-of-23) rate.
GONZAGA WATCH -- Sophomore guard Matt Santangelo ranks as the team's leading scorer with a 16.0 points per game average. The 6-foot-1 Santangelo was named the MVP of the Top of the World Classic this past weekend after totaling 46 points and 14 assists over the three-game tourney. He scored 19 points against Mississippi State and Clemson and hit seven-of-11 three-point attempts in those two outings. Last season, Santangelo was named Co-WCC Freshman of the Year. Senior forward Bakari Hendrix (13.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) is No. 2 on the team in scoring and has scored in double figures in three games. Sophomore center Axel Dench, a native of Melbourne, Australia, is scoring at an 11.0 per-game average while grabbing 5.3 rebounds per contest. In the three games at the Top of the World Classic, Gonzaga shot 57 percent from the field including a blistering 65.9 (31-of-47) percent from three-point range.
ANTONIO SMITH'S TOP REBOUNDING GAMES
UALR NOTES -- Arkansas at Little Rock returns just three players from last year's squad that finished with an 18-11 record. Senior point guard James Price is the lone returning starter from the '96-97 team and averaged 8.3 points and 5.3 assists per game last year. In the season opener vs. Hampton, the 6-foot-1 Price registered nine points and four assists. Junior frontliner Ryan Moss, considered one of the top JUCO players in the nation last season (Hutchinson JC), notched 20 points and grabbed eight boards in the season opener.
MORSELS FOR MUSING -- Michigan State has won its last 12 games (1-0 in '97-98, 10-0 in 1996-97) when holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points, and stands 23-3 in such contests during Tom Izzo's tenure as head coach ... Since last season, the Spartans are 7-1 when scoring 80-plus points ... Antonio Smith claims eight career double-doubles ... Under Izzo, MSU is 30-6 when leading at halftime ... Dating from last year, MSU is 10-1 when the opposition has more turnovers ... Dating from last season, the Spartans have failed to shoot 70 percent or better from the foul line in the last eight contests.
MSU PLAYER NOTES
#11-- Sophomore David Thomas has started both MSU games ... Tallied a career-high 10 points vs. Illinois-Chicago, hitting a career-best five-of-six field goal attempts ... Established career highs in minutes (23) and rebounds (8) vs. East Tennessee (11/17) ... No. 2 on the team in boards vs. ETSU ... No. 2 on the team in rebounding (7.0 rpg) ... No. 1 on the team in field goal shooting (10-plus attempts) with a mark of 69.2 percent (9-of-13).
#12 -- Sophomore Mateen Cleaves leads the team in minutes (30.5 mpg), scoring (12.5 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg) ... Team-highs in points (17) and assists (5) vs. Illinois-Chicago (11/21) ... Registered team-high seven assists vs. East Tennessee (11/17) ... Has 158 assists in 31 career contests (5.1 apg) ... Has led or shared for MSU's lead in assists in 26 of 31 career outings ... Scored in double figures in 17 outings during his career (16 in '96-97).
#13 -- Junior Antonio Smith paces the team in rebounding (9.0 rpg) and is No. 2 on the squad in field goal shooting (10-plus attempts) with a 60 percent effort ... Has been MSU's leading rebounder in each of the first two games including eight boards vs. Illinois-Chicago ... Notched his eighth career double-double vs. ETSU (11/17) with 11 points and 10 boards ... Has 20 career contests of 10 or more boards and five of 15-plus caroms ... Third-Team All-Big Ten pick last year.
#14 -- Freshman Charlie Bell is No. 2 on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg) ... Four points vs. Illinois-Chicago ...
Paced the team in scoring vs. ETSU (11/17) with 15 points while also chipping in seven boards and two assists ... His point total marked the first time that a true frosh had led MSU in scoring in a season opener since Jay Vincent's 25 points vs. Central Michigan (11/28/77) ... Runner-up in the voting for Michigan's Mr. Basketball Award last year.
#30 -- Freshman Doug Davis has played a total of 21 minutes as a reserve in MSU's two games ... Totaled
13 minutes off the bench vs. ETSU (11/17) and scored eight points while dishing out three assists ... Made his lone appearance of the exhibition season against Ural where he played six minutes and scored four points ... One of four finalists for the state of Ohio's Mr. Basketball Award.
#34 -- Freshman Andre Hutson is averaging 14.5 minutes after two games ... Averaging 4.5 rebounds ... No. 2 on the club in blocked shots with five ... 13-minute stint vs. Illinois-Chicago where he chalked up three rebounds and two blocks ... 16 minutes off the bench vs. ETSU (11/17) and grabbed six boards, tops among the reserves ... Blocked three ETSU shot attempts.
#42 -- Sophomore Morris Peterson is averaging 5.5 points and 3.5 boards after two games ... Posted four rebounds and six points in 16 minutes vs. Illinois-Chicago ... Played 14 minutes vs. ETSU (11/17), scoring five points ... Played in 29 games last season, 18 as a starter ... Has scored in double figures on five occasions in his career, all of which came last year ... Four of his double-figure scoring efforts have come at home.
#43 -- Sophomore A.J. Granger has come off the bench in MSU's first two games and is averaging 15.5 minutes ... Played 18 minutes at Illinois-Chicago (11/21) and snatched five boards, tops among the subs, and tying his personal best ... 13 minutes of action vs. ETSU (11/17) and and finished with five points and three rebounds ... Played in 22 games and started the last seven contests of the '96-97 season.
#44 -- Junior Jason Klein has come off the bench in the first two games and is the top scoring reserve with a 9.0 points per game average (Tied for No. 3 on the squad) ... Leads the team in three-point field goals with five ... Played a career-long 29 minutes against Illinois-Chicago (11/21) and hit three treys, tying his career high, en route to nine points ... Registered 21 minutes as a reserve vs. ETSU and notched nine points, tops among the subs ... Ten career games of two or more treys, five coming last year.
#55 -- Senior DuJuan Wiley has started the first two MSU games and is averaging 18 minutes ... Team's leading shot blocker with six ... Four points and two blocks in 16 minutes vs. Illinois-Chicago (11/21) ... First career start came in the ETSU (11/17) game where he played a career-long 20 minutes and finishing with a personal-best six caroms ... Tied career high in blocked shots with four ... Paced the team in blocked shots with 19 in '96-97.
STREAKS OF NOTE -- Junior forward Antonio Smith has started the last 29 Spartan contests while sophomore guard Mateen Cleaves has the starting nod in MSU's last 26 encounters ... Dating from last year, the Spartans have made three or more three-point field goals in their last 12 games ... Dating from last year, Smith has either led or shared for the team's rebounding lead in the last 11 outings.
ON THE HORIZON -- Following the Coca-Cola Classic, MSU's next action will be against Temple on Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Breslin Center starting at 7:30 p.m.
SPARTAN DEFENDERS HOLDING FIRM -- MSU has been stingy in terms of field goal percentage defense in the first two games, not allowing either East Tennessee State or Illinois-Chicago to shoot 40 percent from the floor. Through two games the opposition has shot just 38.4 percent (43-of-112) from the floor.
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