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Jan. 16, 1998

MSU Men's Cagers Play Host to Illinois

GAME No. 15-- vs. Illinois   Sat.   Jan. 17   12:15 pm   East Lansing
(subject to change)
F -- #13  ANTONIO SMITH (Jr., 6-8, 8.3 ppg, 9.6 rpg)
F -- #44  JASON KLEIN (Jr., 6-7, 11.4 ppg, 3.8 rpg)
F -- #34  ANDRE HUTSON (Fr., 6-8, 8.2 ppg, 5.6 rpg)
G -- #14  CHARLIE BELL (Fr., 6-3, 9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
G -- #12  MATEEN CLEAVES (So., 6-2, 15.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 7.4 apg)
ILLINOIS PROBABLE STARTERS (11-6 overall; 3-1 Big Ten)
F -- #23  JERRY HESTER (Sr., 6-6, 13.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg)
F -- #34  BRIAN JOHNSON (Sr., 6-6, 7.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg)
C -- #32  JARROD GEE (Sr., 6-8, 8.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg)
G -- #21  MATT HELDMAN (Sr., 6-0, 11.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.9 apg)
G -- #33  KEVIN TURNER (Sr., 6-3, 17.4 ppg, 3.1 rpg)  

GAME INFORMATION -- Looking to remain at the top of the Big Ten standings, the Michigan State men's basketball team plays host to the Fighting Illini of Illinois on Saturday in a key early-season conference showdown. The Jack Breslin Student Events Center (15,138) on the MSU campus will serve as the site of the 84th meeting between MSU and Illinois and tipoff is slated for 12:15 p.m.

COVERAGE -- The MSU-Illinois clash will be televised locally by WLAJ-TV (Ch. 53). Handling the play by-play will be Tom Hamilton while former Spartan cager Greg Kelser provides analysis. Other stations throughout Michigan airing the game include WXYZ-TV (Ch. 7) in Detroit, WXMI-TV (Ch. 17) in Grand Rapids and WWTV-TV (Ch. 9) in Traverse City. 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 enters the Illinois game with an overall record of 10-4, 3-1 in the Big Ten, good for a five-way tie for first place. The Spartans have won six out of their last seven contests and are coming off a 74-60 win at Minnesota on Wednesday. In that game, the Spartans received double-figure scoring from three players, paced by sophomore guard Mateen Cleaves' 19 points, his 13th straight effort of double-figure scoring (also dished out seven assists). Junior Jason Klein added 14 points while Morris Peterson rounded out the trio by chipping in 11 points off the bench, tying his season high. Junior Antonio Smith led the MSU rebounding effort with a game-high 11 caroms. Defensively, the Green and White held Minnesota to 34.9 percent from the field, the third time in four conference games that MSU has held an opponent to less than 35 percent from the floor. So far this year, the Spartans stand 6-2 at home, 4-2 in road outings.

Illinois comes to town with an overall mark of 11-6, 3-1 in the Big Ten. This past Tuesday, the Fighting Illini saw a three-game winning streak snapped when they dropped a 68-58 decision at home to Purdue.

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 43-32. In games at the Breslin Center, Izzo has posted a record of 29-11, 14-21 on the road. Izzo has directed the Green and White to appearances in the NIT in each of his first two years.

Illinois is directed by Lon Kruger (Kansas State '75), now in his second season as the head man of the Fighting Illini. Kruger, who led Illinois to a 22-10 record last season, along with an NCAA berth, has a two year school record of 33-16 and a 16-year career ledger of 270-201.

THE SERIES -- In a series that originated in 1951, Illinois has an all-time record of 44-39 vs. Michigan State. In games played at East Lansing, MSU has a 26-15 advantage, 6-2 at the Breslin Center. Last year Illinois captured both games of the series, 66-63 at East Lansing and 79-68 at Champaign.

MSU QUICK HITTERS -- MSU turned the ball over a season-low 11 times against a Minnesota team that was forcing its opponents into 19 turnovers per game ... MSU's victories at Purdue and Minnesota represent for the first time since 1990 that the Spartans have registered wins at Mackey Arena and Williams Arena in the same season ... The Spartans' four wins on the road already match last season's victory total in games played on enemy courts ... Through 14 games last season, MSU was allowing 63.2 points per game (vs. this year's effort of 60.4) and allowing the opposition to connect on 41.6 percent of its field goal attempts (vs. 1997-98's 37.6 percent) ... MSU reserves post a 51-26 scoring advantage over the opposition's bench in the last three outings (17.0 vs. 8.7).

MSU AND THE BOARDS -- Though MSU has been outrebounded in each of its last two outings (37.0 vs. 39.0), the Spartans still rank No. 2 in the Big Ten in rebound margin (+10.7) just behind Iowa's league leading mark of +10.9. The Green and White have outboarded 10 foes this year (9-1 in those games) and have outrebounded their opponents by 10 or more boards eight times this season (seven of 15 or more). Since Tom Izzo has been head coach, the Spartans have outrebounded 58 of 79 opponents and hold a 38-20 record when enjoying an edge on the glass.

MSU AND THE BRESLIN CENTER -- MSU's win over Wisconsin (Jan. 8) upped its all-time record at the Breslin Center to 103 26 (.798) since the facility opened in 1989 (49-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 54-19 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 14 games, MSU is shooting 41.8 percent (176-of-421) from the floor in the first half and 49.3 percent (201-of-407) in the second half ... Opponents are shooting 36.5 percent (134-of 367) from the field in the first half and 38.5 percent (152-of-394) over the final 20 minutes of action ... In the last three games, MSU is shooting 36.7 percent (22-of-60) from beyond the arc vs. the opposition's effort of 23.0 (9-of-39) percent ... MSU is averaging 28.3 points in the first half of play (23.8 for opponents) and 45.1 points in the second half (36.5 for opponents) ... The Spartans have enjoyed a second-half scoring advantage in their last 10 and in a total of 12 contests this year ... In the last three games, MSU owns a 43.7-29.0 second-half scoring edge against their foes.

MORSELS FOR MUSING -- MSU has won 18 of its last 19 games when holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points (7-1 in 1997-98) ... During Izzo's stint as head coach, the Spartans post a 29-4 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 38-6 when leading at halftime (9-0 this year) ...

MSU's has averaged 18.8 turnovers in its four losses ... Through 14 games last season, MSU has recorded 70 three-point field goals compared to this year's effort of 86 ... After 14 contests in '96-97, the Spartans had a rebound margin of +5.1 vs. this season's +10.7 ...

MSU has allowed just three halves of 40 percent or better from the floor in its last 18 halves ... The Spartans have outscored the opposition in 21 out of 28 halves of basketball ... MSU has given up 50 percent or better from the floor in four halves of action while reaching that mark on 11 occasions ...

Since Izzo has taken over as head coach, MSU is 35-4 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 eight occasions this year ... After 14 outings, MSU is averaging 15.4 offensive rebounds vs. the opposition's average of 10.6

MSU PLAYER NOTES #11-- Sophomore David Thomas returned to the lineup in the Purdue (12/30) game after missing the previous three contests with a knee sprain ... Came off the bench to record four points and four rebounds in 17 minutes vs. Wisconsin (1/8) ... Averaging 12 minutes and 3.0 rebounds in last three 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 seven games ... Shooting 50.9 percent from the floor (28-of-55) this season ... 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. 3 on the team in rebounding (5.5 rpg).

Cleaves Photo
Mateen Cleaves leads the Spartans in scoring (15.8 per game). (File photo)

#12 -- Sophomore Mateen Cleaves leads the team in minutes (33.0 mpg), scoring (15.8 ppg) and assists (7.4 apg) ... Leads the Big Ten in assists and is No. 8 among Big Ten scorers ... Has 13 straight contests of double-figure scoring and is coming off a game-high 19-point performance, along with seven assists, at Michigan (1/14) ... Totaled 14 points, along with a game-high nine assists, vs. Wisconsin (1/8) ... 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 ... Team leader in steals with 29 ... Game-high 15 points vs. South Florida (12/20) and 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) ... Has led or shared for the team's scoring lead in seven of the last 10 and in a total of nine contests ... No. 2 on squad in treys with 22 ... 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 .. Has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in three of his last four contests ... Registered team-high seven assists vs. East Tennessee (11/17) ... Has 249 assists in 43 career contests (5.8 apg) ... Has led or shared for MSU's lead in assists in 38 of 43 career outings (all 14 this season) ... Scored in double figures in 29 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 (9.6 rpg) in overall play ... Big Ten's top rebounder in league contests (11.8 rpg) ... Has double-figure rebounding in his last two and in five of last six games and is averaging 12.0 caroms in that stretch ... Eight points and a game-high 11 boards at Minnesota (1/14) ... Paced MSU with a game-high 12 rebounds at Michigan (1/10) ... Finished Purdue game (12/30) with his second straight effort of 15 boards while chipping in nine points ... 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) ... 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 last five and in a total of 10 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 ... 27 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 (9.1 ppg) ... Picked up eight points in 17 minutes at Michigan (1/14) ... 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 eight of last 10 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 off the bench in the last nine games ... 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 21.6 minutes per game ... Is the team's No. 2 shooter from the floor, hitting 63.8% (44 of 69) of his attempts ... Tallied eight points and four rebounds in in 25 minutes at Minnesota (1/14) ... Has started the last 13 MSU contests ... Has double-figure scoring in three of last four contests (11.0 ppg) ... Posted 11 points and seven boards at Michigan (1/10) ... Shooting 73.7 percent (14 of 19) from the floor in his last four contests ... Owns six games of double-figure scoring effort this season including 12 points vs. Wisconsin (1/8) and hit eight (most by a Spartan player in a game this year)-of-nine charity tosses against the Badgers... Shooting 88.2 percent (15 of 17) from the foul line in the last three games ... 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 ... Grabbed eight boards and scored eight points in 22 minutes vs. South Florida (12/20) ... 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 11 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. 2 on the team in rebounding (5.6 rpg) ... Strong effort in the Coca-Cola Classic, starting both games and shooting 69.2 percent from the floor -- averaging 11 points ... Tallied a team-high 13 points in the championship game vs. Gonzaga in 28 minutes ... Blocked three ETSU (11/17) shot attempts.

#42 -- Sophomore Morris Peterson is averaging 16.3 minutes over the last three contests ... Playing with a fractured bone in his right wrist that forced him out of action for three games (Temple, Cleveland State and Detroit) ... Came off and scored 11 points, tying his season high, vs. Minnesota (1/14), his third double figure scoring effort of the season ... Shooting 60 percent (6 of 10) from three-point range in the last three contests ... Recorded two treys en route to six points vs. Wisconsin (1/8) and Michigan (1/10) ... Six points and four boards vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) in 12 minutes ... 11 points against Wright State, hitting five-of seven from the floor, while also grabbing a season-high five boards ... Hit five-of-seven field goal attempts en route to a 10 points against Gonzaga (11/29) ... Posted four rebounds and six points in 16 minutes vs. Illinois-Chicago ... Has scored in double figures on eight 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 14 games and is averaging 12.1 minutes ... Scored five points in 13 minutes vs. Michigan (1/10) ... 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 nine of MSU's 13 games and has rebounds in 10 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.

#44 -- Junior Jason Klein is No. 2 on the team in scoring (11.4 ppg) ... No. 6 in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (.424) ... Has scored in double figures in his last three games including a 14-point night at Minnesota (1/14) ... Averaging 15.3 points in his last three performances ... Career-high 17 point effort vs. Michigan (1/10) where he tied his career best in three-point goals with four ... Has led or shared for team's scoring lead in four contests ... Hit a career-best six field goals (three treys) and finished with a team-high 15 points against Wisconsin (1/8) ... No. 2 in the league in treys made (2.79 pg) ... Posted a then career-high 16 points vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) which included four treys ... Shooting 36 percent (9 of 25) from beyond the arc in his last three contests ... Has nine 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 45.8 percent (22 of 48) from three-point range in home contests ... No. 1 on the squad in treys with 39 ... 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 nine outings ... Has two or more treys in all 14 contests this year ... Twenty-two 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 76.

#55 -- Senior DuJuan Wiley is averaging 14.2 minutes ... Averaging 7.7 points and shooting 66.7 percent (18 of 27) from the floor in the last six games ... Posted seven points and four boards in 18 minutes vs. Wisconsin (1/8) ... 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 percent (33 of 50) of his attempts ... MSU leader in blocked shots with 19 ... No. 7 in the Big Ten in blocked shots (1.46 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 24 games ... MSU has allowed just 26 of its last 163 opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field ... Through games played Jan. 16, the Spartans' four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 48-14 (.774) (Illinois-Chicago 14-3, Temple 8-4, Detroit 13-3) and Michigan 13-4) ... Through Jan. 16, MSU's non conference opponents had a combined record of 90-63 (.588) ... Mateen Cleaves has started the last 38 Spartan contests while Antonio Smith has drawn the starting nod in the last 41 ... Smith has 570 career boards in 75 contests (7.6 rpg) ... That DuJuan Wiley's 204 minutes already surpasses last year's total of 165 minutes ... The 6-foot-9 Wiley has already doubled his scoring output from a year ago with 82 points this season (34 pts. last year) ... That MSU ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in both scoring defense (60.4 ppg) and field goal percentage defense (.376) ... MSU has allowed just two opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field this season while 10 have been held to less than 40 percent ... The Spartans are No. 2 in the Big in three-point field goal percentage defense (.295) behind Minnesota (.283).

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.

CLEAVES AN ALL-AROUND THREAT -- Through games played Jan. 16, Mateen Cleaves is the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top 10 in scoring (8th, 15.8 ppg), assists (1st, 7.36 apg) and steals (t-3rd, 2.07 spg). Cleaves' 29 steals tops the MSU squad, and he has registered eight games of two or more thefts this season.

MSU AND THE RATINGS -- Through games played Jan. 15, Michigan State held down the No. 20 spot in the Sagarin Ratings. The Spartans had a rating of 85.97, fifth among Big Ten squads Purdue (7th, 90.44), Michigan (13th, 87.60), Iowa (16th, 87.10) and Indiana (19th, 86.41). Of the three non conference teams that defeated MSU, Temple has the highest ranking (30th, 84.78) and was followed by Detroit (32nd, 84.50) and Illinois-Chicago (39th, 83.78).

AT HOME:                                29-11
ON ROAD/NEUTRAL:                        14-21
MOST POINTS SCORED:                     95 vs. Wright St. (12/17/97)
                                        90 vs. Ill.-Chic. (12/5/96)
FEWEST PTS SCORED:                      43 vs. Wisconsin (1/4/97)
MOST PTS ALLOWED:                       92 by N. Carolina (11/21/95)
FEWEST PTS ALLOWED:                     40 by Wisconsin (1/8/98)
                                        41 by Ohio State (2/7/96)
BEST FG PERCENTAGE:                     56.9% vs. Cent. Mich. (11/28/97)
WORST FG PERCENTAGE:                    26.3% vs. Wisconsin (1/4/97)
WHEN LEADING AT HALF:                   38-6
WHEN TRAILING AT HALF:                  4-24
WHEN TIED AT HALF:                      1-2
LARGEST HALF. LEAD:                     28 pts. vs Kansas St. (12/21/96)
                                        26 pts. vs. Wright St. (12/17/97)
LARGEST HALF. DEFICIT:                  26 pts. at Iowa (2/21/96)
FG SHOOTING AT HOME:                    45.4% (1009 of 2220)
FG SHOOTING ON ROAD:                    42.9% (853 of 1984)
3 PT SHOOTING AT HOME:                  32.9% (176 of 534)
3 PT SHOOTING ON ROAD:                  33.0% (170 of 515)
FT SHOOTING AT HOME:                    65.1% (553 of 849)
FT SHOOTING ON ROAD:                    64.3% (415 of 645)
SHOOT 50% OR BETTER FROM FLOOR:         17-2
SHOOT LESS THAN 50% FROM FLOOR:        26-30
MSU OUTREBOUNDS OPPONENT:              38-20
OPPONENT OUTREBOUNDS MSU:               3-12
REBOUNDS ARE EQUAL:                      2-0
MSU WHEN TURNOVERS ARE EQUAL:            5-0     
MSU POINT AVG. AT BRESLIN:              68.7 (2747 pts/40 gms)
MSU POINT AVG. ON THE ROAD:             65.4 (2291 pts/35 gms)
OPP POINT AVG. AT BRESLIN:              60.5 (2420 pts/40 gms)
OPP FG% AT BRESLIN:                     40.1% (869 of 2163)
MSU IN GAMES DECIDED BY 1-5 PTS:       12-10
MSU IN GAMES DECIDED BY 6-10 PTS:        5-6
MSU IN GAMES DECIDED BY 11-15 PTS:      13-8
WHEN SCORING 80-PLUS POINTS:            11-1
WHEN SCORING 75-79 POINTS:               5-0
WHEN SCORING 70-74 POINTS:               4-4
WHEN SCORING LESS THAN 70 PTS:         23-27
WHEN ALLOWING 60 OR FEWER PTS:          29-4
WHEN ALLOWING 61-64 PTS:                 4-3
WHEN ALLOWING 65-70 PTS:                 7-8
WHEN ALLOWING 71-75 PTS:                 1-5
WHEN ALLOWING 76-80 PTS:                 2-7     
WHEN ALLOWING 80-PLUS PTS:               0-5                             

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