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Jan. 5, 1998

MSU Men's Cagers Make Big Ten Home Debut against Wisconsin

GAME No. 12 -- vs. Wisconsin
Thur. Jan. 8 7:30 pm East Lansing

GAME INFORMATION -- The Michigan State men's basketball team makes its Big Ten home debut on Thursday (Jan. 8) when it battles the Badgers of Wisconsin. The Jack Breslin Student Events Center (15,138) on the MSU campus will serve as the site of the 100th meeting between MSU and Wisconsin and tipoff is slated for 7:35 p.m.

COVERAGE -- The MSU-Wisconsin clash will be televised nationally by ESPN. Handling the play-by-play duties will be John Saunders while Larry Conley contributes analysis. 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 has won its last four games and takes an overall record of 8-3, including a 1-0 Big Ten slate, into the Wisconsin game. Michigan State opened the Big Ten on Dec. 30 with a 74-57 win over then No.5-ranked Purdue at West Lafayette. In that contest, the Green and White led from start to finish and used a career-high 25 points by sophomore guard Mateen Cleaves, along with a 48-31 advantage on the boards, in snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Boilermakers. Freshmen Andre Hutson and Charlie Bell each turned in fine performances with 13 and 11 points, respectively, while junior forward Antonio Smith grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds. MSU held the Boilermakers, who entered the game averaging 91 points, to 34.5 percent from the floor and handed PU its worst home loss since 1984. So far this year, the Spartans stand 5-2 at home, 3-1 in road outings.

Wisconsin has captured four of its last five decisions and will meet MSU with an overall mark of 8-6, 1-1 in the Big Ten. The Badgers dropped their conference opener, 76-63, to Michigan on Dec. 31 before evening their league record with a 64-59 win at Ohio State last Saturday.

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 41-31. In games at the Breslin Center, Izzo has posted a record of 28-11, 13-20 on the road. Izzo has directed the Green and White to appearances in the NIT in each of his first two years. He is 2-2 vs. Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Head Coach Dick Bennett (Ripon College '65) is in his third season leading the Badgers and checks into the MSU affair with a school ledger of 43-31. While at UW, he has guided the program to a NIT berth (1996) and a spot in last year's NCAA Tournament. In 22 years as a college head coach, Bennett has a career slate of 403-220. Bennett is 2-3 all-time vs. MSU (2-2 at UW).

THE SERIES -- In a series that started in 1921, Michigan State owns a 53-46 all-time record against Wisconsin with two victories coming via forfeit. In games played in East Lansing, the Spartans stand 34-12 vs. Wisconsin, 6-2 at the Breslin Center. Last year, the Green and White swept the season series, 58-50 at Madison and 68-49 at East Lansing. Overall, MSU has recorded victories in five of the last seven meetings.

F -- #13  ANTONIO SMITH  (Jr., 6-8, 9.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg)
F -- #44  JASON KLEIN    (Jr., 6-7, 10.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg)
F -- #34  ANDRE HUTSON   (Fr., 6-8, 7.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg)
G -- #14  CHARLIE BELL   (Fr., 6-3, 10.3 ppg, 4.9 rpg)
G -- #12  MATEEN CLEAVES (So., 6-2, 15.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 7.4 apg)
WISCONSIN PROBABLE STARTERS (8-6 overall; 1-1 Big Ten)
F -- # 4  SAM OKEY        (Jr., 6-7, 10.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg)
F -- #52  SEAN DAUGHERTY  (Sr., 6-10, 9.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg)
G -- #25  DAVID BURKEMPER (Sr., 6-1, 0.9 ppg, 0.8 rpg)
G -- #11  SEAN MASON      (Jr., 6-2, 15.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
G -- #22  MIKE KELLEY     (Fr., 6-3, 4.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg)  

MSU QUICK HITTERS -- The Spartans' four-game winning streak ties the longest victory skein by an Izzo-coached squad. Izzo has a total of four four-game winning streaks during his tenure as head coach at MSU ... MSU's win at Purdue was its first win over a Top-5 opponent since Feb. 1, 1992, when it defeated No. 4-ranked Indiana, 76-60, at East Lansing ... The 17-point win at Purdue represented MSU's largest margin of victory in a Big Ten road contest since a 75-57 triumph at Northwestern on Feb. 17, 1996 ... The Spartans' 13 turnovers at Purdue tied a season low.

MSU MASTERFUL ON THE GLASS -- MSU's 48-31 advantage on the boards vs. Purdue marked the eighth time this year that the Spartans had posted an advantage of 10 or more caroms (seventh of 15 or more) than their foe. Entering the Wisconsin affair, the Spartans hold a 44.5-30.7 per-game edge in rebounding, 49.4-33.3 in the last four games. Since Tom Izzo has been head coach, the Spartans have outrebounded 57 of 72 opponents and hold a 37-20 record when enjoying an edge on the glass. At the start of this week, Michigan State holds down the No. 1 spot in the Big Ten in rebounding margin (+13.7), ahead of Iowa's showing of +11.6.

MSU DEFENSE GETTING THE JOB DONE -- MSU continued its solid play on the defensive end of the floor in the Purdue game, holding the Boilermakers to season lows in points (57) and field goal percentage (.345). Through 11 outings, MSU has allowed just one opponent to shoot 50 percent or better from the field (Temple's 51.3%) while holding eight foes to less than 40 percent from the floor. During MSU's four-game winning streak, it has allowed an average of just 57.8 points while surrendering just 31.8 percent (73 of 229) from the floor. Heading into the new week, the Spartans rank No. 1 in the Big Ten in both field goal percentage defense (.375) and No. 2 in scoring defense (60.6 ppg).

MSU AND THE BRESLIN CENTER -- MSU's win over Eastern Illinois on Dec. 27 upped its all-time record at the Breslin Center to 102-26 (.797) since the facility opened in 1989 (49-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 53-19 in Big Ten contests). MSU has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 71 games at the Breslin Center while allowing opponents to reach that mark on just 17 occasions.

QUICK FACTS -- After 11 games, MSU is shooting 43.9 percent (150-of-341) from the floor in the first half and 49.1 percent (162-of-330) in the second half ... Opponents are shooting 35.5 percent (103-of-290) from the field in the first half and 39.2 percent (124-of-316) over the final 20 minutes of action ... In the last four games, MSU is shooting 37.6 percent (26 of 69) from beyond the arc vs. the opposition's effort of 25.9 (21 of 81) percent ... MSU is averaging 31.3 points in the first half of play (24.3 for opponents) and 43.2 points in the second half (36.2 for opponents) ... The Spartans have enjoyed a second-half scoring advantage in their last seven and in a total of nine contests this year ... In the last four games, MSU owns a 41.3-33.3 second-half scoring edge against its foes.

95, vs. Wright State (12/17/97)
90, vs. Illinois-Chicago (12/5/96)
89, vs. Central Michigan (11/28/97)
86, vs. Evansville (12/17/96)
85, vs. Cleveland St. (12/6/97)
84, vs. Detroit (12/14/96)
83, vs. Weber State (12/28/96)
83, vs. Kent State (12/28/96)
83, vs. Cleveland St. (12/3/96)
83, vs. E. Tennesee St. (11/25/96)
41, Ohio State (2/7/96)
43, Kansas State (12/21/96)
45, E. Tennessee (11/25/96)
49, Wisconsin (3/1/97)
50, Geo. Washington (3/12/97)
50, Wisconsin (1/9/97)
50, Washington (3/13/96)
51, Weber State (12/28/96)
58.2% vs. Wright State (12/17/97)
56.9% vs. Central Mich. (11/28/97)
56.3% vs. N'western (2/27/96)
56.1% vs. Illinois (3/6/96)
54.5% vs. Kent (12/27/96)
53.6% vs. Kansas State (12/21/96)
53.1% vs. Wisconsin (3/1/97)
53.1% vs. Evansville (12/17/96)
53.1% vs. Illinois (1/6/96)
23.8% by Kansas State (12/21/96)
24.6% by S. Florida (12/20/97)
29.8% by E. Tennessee (11/25/96)
31.1% by Wright State (12/17/97)
31.3% by Idaho State (12/30/95)
31.7% by George Washington (3/12/97)
32.6% by Ohio State (2/7/96)
33.3% by Cleveland St (12/6/97)
33.3% by Indiana (3/8/97)
33.3% by Wisconsin (1/9/97)
33.3% by Minnesota (1/27/96)

MORSELS FOR MUSING -- MSU has won 16 of its last 17 games when holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points (5-1 in 1997-98) ... During Izzo's stint as head coach, the Spartans post a 27-4 mark in such games ... Since last season, the Spartans are 11-1 when scoring 80-plus points (5-0 in 1997-98) ... Under Izzo, MSU is 37-6 when leading at halftime (8-0 this year) ... Dating from last season, the Spartans have failed to shoot 70 percent or better from the foul line in the last 17 contests ... MSU has forced the opposition into 20 or more turnovers on three occasions this year ... The Spartans have outscored the opposition in 17 out of 22 halves of basketball ... MSU has given up 50 percent or better from the floor in three halves of action while reaching that mark on nine occasions ... After ranking eighth in the Big Ten in blocked shots last season (2.45 bpg), MSU held down the No. 4 position in this week's Big Ten rankings (4.45) ... Since Izzo has taken over as head coach, MSU is 33-4 in games when it has outshot the opposition from the field ... The Spartans have held their opponents to less than 10 field goals in a half on six occasions this year ... After 11 outings, MSU is averaging 16.9 offensive rebounds vs. the opposition's average of 10.4.

# 11-- Sophomore David Thomas returned to the lineup in the Purdue (12/30) game after missing the previous three contests with a knee sprain ... Finished with three boards in nine minutes vs. the Boilermakers ... Has started seven games ... Tallied a career-high 12 points vs. Cleveland State (12/6) and his five field goals tied his career high ... Shot 50 percent or better from the floor in five games ... Shooting 50 percent from the floor (25-of-50) ... Played a career-high 33 minutes in the Temple contest ... Coca-Cola Classic All-Tournament after totaling 18 points and 20 boards ... First career double-double came against Gonzaga with 10 points and 10 boards (board total tying career high) ... Came up with 10 boards against Central Michigan (11/28), tying him with Antonio Smith for game honors ... 10 points vs. Illinois-Chicago, hitting a then career-best five-of-six field goal attempts ... No. 2 on the team in rebounding (6.5 rpg).

#12 -- Sophomore Mateen Cleaves leads the team in minutes (32.6 mpg), scoring (15.8 ppg) and assists (7.4 apg) ... Leads the Big Ten in assists ... Is No. 9 among Big Ten scorers ... Totaled a career-high 25 points and and doled out a game-high eight assists against Purdue (12/30) ... Hit a career-best nine FGs against the Boilermakers ... Has scored in double figures his last 10 games (16.6/avg.) including a game-high 15 points vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Doled out 10 assists against USF, his second game of double-figure assists this season and third of his career ... Picked up a then career-best 21 points vs. Detroit (12/13) ... Hit six-of-nine from the field and posted a team-high 16 points vs. Wright State (12/17) ... Game-high 17-point effort vs. Cleveland State (12/6) ... Has led or shared for the team's scoring lead in six of the last seven and in a total of eight contests ... No. 2 on squad in treys with 17 ... Coca-Cola Classic MVP after scoring 29 points and doling out 19 assists against Central Michigan and Gonzaga ... Career-high 11 assists against Gonzaga was the first time a Spartan had more than 10 assists in a game since Eric Snow's 11 vs. Wisconsin (3/11/95) ... Notched game-high 19 points and doled out eight assists vs. CMU .. Shooting 49.3 percent (37 of 75) from the floor in last five games ... Registered team-high seven assists vs. East Tennessee (11/17) ... Has 228 assists in 40 career contests (5.7 apg) ... Has led or shared for MSU's lead in assists in 35 of 40 career outings (all 11 this season) ... Scored in double figures in 26 outings during his career (16 in '96-97).

#13 -- Junior Antonio Smith paces the team and is No. 3 among Big Ten players in rebounding (9.4 rpg) ... Has double-figure rebounding in his last three games and is averaging 13.3 caroms in that stretch ... Finished the Purdue game (12/30) with his second straight effort of 15 boards while chipping in nine points ... Has double-figure rebounding in four of his last five performances ... Totaled his third double double of the year (10th of his career) vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) with a season high 14 points and 15 rebounds ... Picked off 10 boards, tying for team high, against South Florida (12/20) ... Second double-double of the year was a 13-point, 10 board (team high) effort vs. Detroit (12/13) ... Shooting 50 percent (9 of 18) from the floor in the last two contests ... Shot 50 percent or better from the floor on seven occasions ... Has four games of double-figure scoring this season ... Hit six field goals and totaled 12 points at Cleveland State (12/6) ... Has led or shared for MSU rebounding honors in seven games including a 10-board performance vs. CMU ... Notched first double-double of the year vs. ETSU (11/17) with 11 points and 10 boards ... 25 career contests of 10 or more boards and seven of 15-plus caroms.

#14 -- Freshman Charlie Bell is No. 3 on the team in scoring (10.3 ppg) ... Has scored in double figures in three of his last four contests (11.25 ppg) ... Totaled 11 points, his sixth double-figure scoring performance of the season, and five rebounds while playing 32 minutes, his second longest stint, against Purdue (12/30) ... Finished the Eastern Illinois game (12/27) with eight points in 29 minutes ... 12 points, tying for second highest on the team, vs. South Florida, and also grabbed nine rebounds vs. USF, tying his personal best ... Totaled 14 points vs. Wright State ... Registered a season-long 33 minutes vs. Detroit (12/13) and finished with nine points ... Has at least one trey in his last seven contests including a season-best two vs. Wright State ... 29 minutes and registered 13 points vs. Cleveland State (12/6) ... Also paced the squad in rebounding vs. CSU with nine caroms, the first time a Spartan guard had led MSU in boards since Eric Snow grabbed six vs. Weber State in the 1995 NCAA Tournament ... No. 2 on the squad in scoring against CMU (11/28) with a career-best 17 points ... Paced the team in scoring vs. ETSU (11/17) with 15 points while 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).

#30 -- Freshman Doug Davis has seen action in the last six games (averaging 10.3 minutes per stint in last four contests) ... 13 minutes vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) ... Played a season-long 17 minutes vs. Wright State (12/17) and posted his first double-figure scoring effort of the year with 11 points ... Sank three treys against Wright State ... Averaging 9.6 minutes per game ... Hit a trey en route to three points in nine minutes vs. Central Michigan ... 13 minutes off the bench vs. ETSU (11/17) and scored eight points while dishing out three assists.

#34 -- Freshman Andre Hutson is averaging 21.7 minutes per game ... Is the team's No. 2 shooter from the floor, hitting 61% (36 of 59) of his attempts ... Has started the last nine MSU contests ... Fine effort vs. Purdue (12/30), hitting six (ties career best)-of nine field goals and tying his personal best with 13 points, good for No. 2 on the team, while chipping in eight rebounds (tying second-highest total of the year) ... Shooting 63.1 percent (12 of 19) from the floor in the last three contests ... Grabbed eight boards and scored eight points in 22 minutes vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Averaging 7.3 rebounds in the last three contests ... Hit six-of-nine from the field and finished with 13 points (tying season high) at Cleveland State (12/6) ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the field in eight contests ... Five-of-seven from the floor, finishing with 11 points, and snared a game-high nine boards in a season-long 30 minutes vs. Temple (12/4) ... No. 3 on the team in rebounding (6.0 rpg) ... Strong effort in the Coca-Cola Classic where he started both games and shot 69.2 percent from the floor -- averaging 11 points ... Tallied a team-high 13 points in the championship game vs. Gonzaga in 28 minutes ... No. 2 on the club in blocked shots with 14 ... Made first career start against CMU, playing 21 minutes and registering nine points and five boards ... Blocked three ETSU shot attempts.

#42 -- Sophomore Morris Peterson is averaging 13.3 minutes over the last four contests ... Playing with a fractured bone in his right wrist that forced him out of action for three games (Temple, Cleveland State and Detroit) ... Missed three games with a fractured bone in his right wrist (suffered in the Gonzaga game) ... Contributed two points and two rebounds in 11 minutes vs. Purdue (12/30) ... Six points and four boards vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) in 12 minutes ... Season-high 11 points against WSU, hitting five-of-seven from the floor, while also grabbing a season-high five boards ... Played 15 minutes vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Hit five-of-seven field goal attempts en route to a season-high 10 points against Gonzaga (11/29) ... Posted four rebounds and six points in 16 minutes vs. Illinois-Chicago ... Has scored in double figures on seven occasions in his career, five of which came last year ... Six of his double-figure scoring efforts have come at home.

#43 -- Sophomore A.J. Granger has come off the bench in MSU's 11 games and is averaging 12.4 minutes ... Picked off three rebounds in seven minutes at Purdue (12/30) ... Averaging 2.6 rebounds ... Established career highs in field goals (4) and points (8) in the Wright State (12/17) contest while playing a season-high 19 minutes... Played 16 minutes vs. Cleveland State (12/6) and grabbed a career-high six boards ... Has scored in eight of MSU's 11 games and has rebounds in nine contests ...18 minutes at UIC (11/21) and snatched five boards, tops among the subs, and tying his then personal best ... 13 minutes of action vs. ETSU (11/17) and and finished with five points and three rebounds.

Date      Opponent      Pts.
12/30/97  Purdue        25
12/13/97  DETROIT       21
 2/15/97  Illinois      20
11/28/97  CENT. MICH.   19
 1/11/97  OHIO STATE    18
12/17/96  Evansville    18
Date      Opponent      Ast.
11/29/97  GONZAGA       11
12/20/97  S. Florida    10
 2/12/97  IOWA          10
 1/18/97  N'WESTERN      9
12/21/96  KANSAS STATE   9
Date      Opponent       Rebs.
 3/8/97   INDIANA        19
2/22/97   PENN STATE     17
1/2/97    Indiana        16
12/30/97  Purdue         15
12/27/97  E. ILLINOIS    15
1/29/97   Purdue         15
12/14/96  Detroit        15
Date      Opp.         Pts./Rebs.
12/20/97  E. ILLINOIS   14 /15
12/13/97  DETROIT       13 /10
11/17/97  E. TENNESEE   11 /10
 3/ 8/97  INDIANA       10 /19
 3/ 6/97  Minnesota     10 /14
2/26/97   Ohio State    10 /10
 2/ 1/97  Michigan      12 /10
 1/29/97  Purdue        17 /15
12/14/97  Detroit       13 /15
12/ 3/97  CLEVE STATE   16 /10

#44 -- Junior Jason Klein is No. 2 on the team in scoring (10.4 ppg) ... No. 6 in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (.448) ... Hit three treys and finished with nine points against Purdue (12/30) ... No. 2 in the league in treys made (2.73 pg) ... Posted a career-high 16 points vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) which included a career-high four treys ... Shooting 43.4 percent (10 of 23) from beyond the arc in his last three contests ... Has six double-figure scoring efforts this season ... Career-long 34 minutes vs. South Florida (12/20) and finished with nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds ... Totaled 11 points vs. Temple (12/4), tying him for team honors ... Shooting 50 percent (19 of 38) from three-point range in home contests ... No. 1 on the squad in treys with 30 ... Coca-Cola Classic All-Tournament Team pick after scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 boards in the two games ... 11 points in 17 minutes against Central Michigan ... Has three or more treys in seven outings ... Has two or more treys in all 11 contests this year ... Played 29 minutes vs. Illinois-Chicago (11/21) and hit three treys en route to nine points ... Nineteen career games of two or more treys (five coming last year, three in '95-96) ... No. 6 on MSU's all-time list in treys with 67.

#55 -- Senior DuJuan Wiley is averaging 14.3 minutes ... Averaging 10 points and shooting 68.1 percent (15 of 22) from the floor in the last four games ... Notched 10 points and four boards vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) ... Totaled career-high 12 points vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Played a career-long 22 minutes against Wright State (12/17) and scored 10 points while establishing a career best in rebounds with a team-leading eight ... Also blocked three shots against the Raiders ... Has scored in every game ... Grabbed seven rebounds vs. Detroit ... Team leader in field goal shooting, hitting 66.7 percent (30 of 45) of his attempts ... MSU leader in blocked shots with 19 ... No. 5 in the Big Ten in blocked shots (1.73 bpg) ... Tied his career high in blocked shots with four in the Cleveland State (12/6) ... First career start came in the ETSU (11/17) game where he played 20 minutes while finishing with a six caroms and four blocked shots, tying career high ... Has blocked shots in eight contests.

BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT -- Dating from last year, the Spartans have made three or more three-point field goals in their last 21 games ... MSU has allowed just 26 of its last 160 opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field ... Through games played Jan. 4, the Spartans' three losses come to teams with a combined record of 27-9 (.750) (Illinois-Chicago 10-3, Temple 6-4 and Detroit 11-2) ... As of Jan. 4, MSU's non-conference opponents have a combined record of 72-48 (.600). Mateen Cleaves has started the last 35 Spartan contests while Antonio Smith has drawn the starting nod in the last 38 ... Smith has 538 career boards in 72 contests (7.4 rpg) ... If MSU is able to defeat Wisconsin on Thursday evening, it would represent the Spartans' fourth 2-0 Big Ten start during the decade of the 1990s ... That DuJuan Wiley is eight minutes shy of matching his entire total of 165 minutes during the 1996-97 campaign ... The 6-foot-9 Wiley has already doubled his scoring output from a year ago with 70 points this season (34 pts. last year) ... The freshman combination of Andre Hutson and Charlie Bell is averaging 17.9 points and 5.5 rebounds ... That the ESPN game vs. Wisconsin on Thursday will make the first time that the network has televised a game from the Breslin Center since March 6, 1996 when MSU posted a 77-67 win over Illinois.

TOM IZZO RADIO SHOW INFO -- The Tom Izzo Radio Show can be heard throughout the state of Michigan on MSU basketball affiliates. The show is held at Tripper's Sports Lounge on Monday evenings on Mondays from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

MSU-WISCONSIN TICKET INFO -- Lower-bowl bleacher seats in the student area for this Thursday's game vs. Wisconsin only are available on a one-time basis for $11 to the general public and $7 for MSU students. For more information, call the MSU Athletic Ticket Office at 517/355-1610.

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