Feb. 2, 1998
MSU Men's Cagers Face Road Test at Ohio StateGAME No. 20-- vs. Ohio State Wed. Feb. 4 8:05 p.m. (EST) Columbus, OH
MICHIGAN STATE PROBABLE STARTERS (15-4 overall; 8-1 Big Ten) (subject to change) F -- #13 ANTONIO SMITH (Jr., 6-8, 7.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg) F -- #44 JASON KLEIN (Jr., 6-7, 10.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg) F -- #34 ANDRE HUTSON (Fr., 6-8, 7.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) G -- #14 CHARLIE BELL (Fr., 6-3, 8.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg) G -- #12 MATEEN CLEAVES (So., 6-2, 17.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 7.7 apg) NORTHWESTERN PROBABLE STARTERS (8-9 overall; 1-6 Big Ten) F -- #33 JON SANDERSON (Fr., 6-6, 7.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg) C -- #23 JASON SINGLETON (Fr., 6-6, 12.2 ppg, 5.2 rpg) G -- #32 KEN JOHNSON (So., 6-11, 6.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg) G -- #22 MICHAEL REDD (Fr., 6-5, 21.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.6 apg) G -- #21 CARLOS DAVIS (Sr., 6-4, 8.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg)
GAME INFORMATION -- The Michigan State men's basketball team looks to retain sole possession of first place in the Big Ten Conference on Wednesday evening when it battles the Buckeyes of Ohio State. St. John Arena (13,276), now in its 42nd and final year as home to OSU basketball, serves at the site of the 92nd meeting between the Spartans and Buckeyes and tipoff is slated for 8:05 p.m.
COVERAGE -- The MSU-Ohio State clash will be televised locally on WLAJ-TV (Ch. 53). Handling the play-by-play will be Tim Staudt while former Spartan cager Greg Kelser contributes analysis. All MSU basketball games can be heard on WJIM Radio (1240 AM/97.5 FM). Describing the play-by-play is Terry Braverman while former Spartan head coach Gus Ganakas serves as analyst.
THE RECORDS -- MSU, ranked No. 19 in this week's USA Today/ESPN Poll (up from #25 last week), is riding a six-game winning streak that has boosted its overall mark to 15-4, 8-1 in the Big Ten, good for first place. MSU is coming off a 72-66 overtime win at Northwestern last Saturday, MSU's 21st win over NU in the last 22 contests. MSU used another second-half rally in posting the win, sparked by a 32-point scoring outburst in the second half by sophomore guard Mateen Cleaves. Cleaves, who had just two points at intermission, started his heroics by hitting four straight three-point field goals in a 2:39 span, igniting a 14-3 Spartan run that lifted the Spartans out of a seven-point deficit (25-32) with 16:47 remaining to a four-point lead (39-35) with 14:08 to go. Cleaves also came up with the basket that forced overtime as his driving layup with 10 seconds left tied the game at 55-55. In the overtime, Cleaves tallied nine of the Spartans' 17 points giving him a career-best 34 points. In addition, he finished with nine assists and six steals, tying his career best in that category.
Ohio State entertains MSU with an overall record of 7-13, 0-7 in the Big Ten. The Wednesday encounter against the Spartans will represent the Buckeyes first game since a 66-62 loss at home to Illinois on Jan. 28.
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 48-32. In games at the Breslin Center, Izzo has posted a record of 32-11, 16-21 on the road. Izzo has directed the Green and White to appearances in the NIT in each of his first two years. He is 4-0 vs. OSU.
Ohio State is directed by Jim O'Brien (Boston College '71), who is in his first season as the head man of the Buckeyes. Prior to his appointment at OSU, O'Brien served as the head coach at Boston College for 11 seasons where he compiled a 168-166 record. In 16 seasons of head coaching, O'Brien has a career mark of 242-230.
THE SERIES -- In a series that originated in 1910, MSU holds a 48-43 lead over Ohio State. In games played at Columbus, the Bucks own a 30-16 advantage, however the Spartans have captured the last four meetings played at St. John Arena. MSU has been victorious in the last eight meetings between the two schools including 69-66 (at East Lansing) and 67-65 (at Columbus) decisions last year.
MSU QUICK HITTERS -- MSU's six-game winning streak is the longest during Tom Izzo's tenure as head coach ... Mateen Cleaves' 34-point night at Northwestern was the first time that a Spartan cager had 30 or more points in a game since March 11, 1995, when Shawn Respert tallied 31 points against Wisconsin ... Evan Eschmeyer's 30 points for Northwestern marked the first time that an individual opponent had scored 30 or more points vs. an MSU team since March 9, 1994, when Alan Henderson of Indiana tallied 41 points ... The Spartans' overtime win at Northwestern ended a nine-game losing streak in OT affairs ... Prior to last Saturday, MSU's last overtime win came on March 15, 1990, when it topped Murray State, 75-71, in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament .... MSU is 12-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points ... The Spartans have scored 70 or more points in six league contests already this year compared to 1996-97's entire total of three ... Since the 1996-97 season, MSU has an 11-1 record when it has shot 70 percent or better from the charity stripe (3-0 in 1997-98) ... The Spartans' have six wins on the road this year, bettering last year's season total of four.
MSU APPROACHING BEST BIG TEN START -- If MSU is able to post a win at Ohio State on Wednesday, it would enable this year's squad to lay claim to a distinction that no other MSU team has done in Big Ten play since joining the conference in 1950-51. A victory would give the Spartans a 9-1 league mark, the best 10-game start by an MSU club. The 1994-95 team posted an 8-1 record after nine outings, but dropped its 10th contest. MSU's current 11-1 record over its last 12 outings is the best for a Spartan team since 12/12/94-2/4/95 when that team won 14 of 15 games.
SPARTAN DEFENSE PAYING DIVIDENDS -- Michigan State's athleticism and quickness has been manifesting itself on the defensive end of the floor over the last five games with MSU forcing a total of 102 opponent turnovers (20.4 tpg) while losing possession a total of 78 (15.6 tpg) times. Entering the Ohio State tilt, MSU has recorded 12 or more steals in the last four games including 14 against Indiana (1/28) and 13 vs. Northwestern (1/31). After 19 games, MSU has a total of 168 steals, equal to last season's 29-game total. In conference outings, MSU leads the Big Ten in steals (10.1 spg).
SPARTANS CONTINUE STRONG SECOND-HALF PLAY -- After falling behind, 26-25, at halftime, Michigan State chalked up a 47-40 second half/overtime scoring advantage in the second half against Northwestern, the 15th straight contest that it had enjoyed a scoring advantage over the final half of action. On seven of those 15 occasions, the Spartans have enjoyed a scoring advantage of 10 or more points including against Iowa (40-23), Minnesota (50-34), Illinois (41-29) and Penn State (42-32). In nine Big Ten games, MSU posts a 42.4-30.7 second half scoring advantage (42.7 vs. 31.5 in the last four affairs).
MSU AND THE BOARDS -- Entering the Ohio State affair, MSU stands 13-1 this year in games where it has enjoyed an advantage on the glass. At the start of the week, the Spartans are No. 1 in the Big Ten in rebound margin (+9.6) in overall play (No. 3 in league action, +5.4). The Green and White have outrebounded their opponents by 10 or more boards 10 times this season (eight of 15 or more). Since Tom Izzo has been head coach, the Spartans have outrebounded 62 of 80 opponents and hold a 42-20 record when enjoying an edge on the boards.
MSU BIG TEN 10-GAME STARTS IN THE 1990s
MSU AND THE BRESLIN CENTER -- MSU's win over Indiana upped its all-time record at the Breslin Center to 106-26 (.803) since the facility opened in 1989 (49-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 57-19 in Big Ten contests). MSU has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 72 games at the Breslin Center while allowing opponents to reach that mark on just 18 occasions.
QUICK FACTS -- After 19 games, MSU is shooting 41.1 percent (241-of-586) from the floor in the first half and 49.7 percent (268-of-539) in the second half ... Opponents are shooting 37.9 percent (189-of-498) from the field in the first half and 40 percent (206-of-515) over the final 20 minutes of action ... In MSU's last six home games, it posts a 77.0-58.3 per-game scoring advantage (71.5-57.3 in four Big Ten home encounters) ... MSU is averaging 30.5 points in the first half of play (27.2 for opponents) and 43.1 points in the second half (33.7 for opponents) ... In Big Ten games, MSU is shooting 38.7 percent from three-point range (No. 4 in the league) vs. its's opposition's effort of 28.3% (No. 1 in 3 pt. FG% defense) ... In its four losses, MSU has shot 38.8 percent from the floor (87-of-224) vs. 46.9 percent (425-of-906) in the 15 victories.
MOST POINTS BY IZZO-COACHED TEAMS
FEWEST POINTS ALLOWED BY IZZO-COACHED TEAMS
BEST FG% SHOOTING GAMES BY IZZO-COACHED TEAMS
BEST DEFENSIVE FG% EFFORTS BY IZZO-COACHED TEAMS
MORSELS FOR MUSING -- MSU has won 20 of its last 21 games when holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points (9-1 in 1997-98) ... During Izzo's stint as head coach, the Spartans post a 31-4 mark in such games ... Since last season, the Spartans are 12-1 when scoring 80-plus points (6-0 in 1997-98) ... Under Izzo, MSU is 41-6 when leading at halftime (12-0 this year) ... MSU has averaged 18.8 turnovers in its four losses ... Through 19 games last season, MSU had recorded 86 three-point field goals compared to this year's effort of 117 ... After 19 contests in '96-97, the Spartans had a rebound margin of +5.4 vs. this season's +9.6 ... MSU has allowed just 10 halves of 40 percent or better from the floor in its last 28 halves ... The Spartans have outscored the opposition in 29 out of 38 halves of basketball ... MSU has given up 50 percent or better from the floor in eight halves of action while reaching that mark on 15 occasions ... Since Izzo has taken over as head coach, MSU is 37-4 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 10 occasions this year .. After 19 outings, MSU is averaging 15.4 offensive rebounds vs. the opposition's average of 10.5.
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 ... Totaled five points (most since a 12-point night against Cleveland State on 1/26) and six boards in 13 minutes vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Six rebounds vs. in 17 minutes vs. Penn State (1/24) ... Tallied a career-high 12 points vs. Cleveland State (12/6) and his five field goals tied his career high ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in eight games ... 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 (5.1 rpg).
#12 -- Sophomore Mateen Cleaves leads the team in minutes (33.7 mpg), scoring (17.4 ppg), assists (7.7 apg) and steals (2.42 spg) ... Leads the Big Ten in assists in overall and league (8.1 apg) action ... No. 4 among Big Ten scorers in overall action and holds down the No. 2 spot in league outings (20.2 ppg) ... Has 18 straight contests of double-figure scoring ... Scored 32 of his career-high 34 points in the second half/overtime against Northwestern (1/31) while also racking up nine assists ... Established career bests in field goals (10) and three-point FGs (6) against the Wildcats ... 10 points along with a career-high 13 assists (tying the second-highest total in MSU history) vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Has four games of 10-plus assists this season and five during his career ... Averaging 23.0 points and 9.3 assists over his last three contests ... Game-high 25 points vs. Penn State (1/24) ... Has four games of 20-plus points this year ... 14 points and 10 assists at Iowa (1/21) ... Named Big Ten Co-Player of the Week after helping MSU to wins vs. Minnesota (1/14) and Illinois (1/17) ... Totaled a then career-high 27 point (24 in the second half) against Illinois (1/17) ... Hit nine-of-16 field goal attempts vs. the Illini including a then career-best five treys ... Game-high 19-point performance, along with seven assists, at Minnesota (1/14) ... Dished out a game-high nine assists, vs. Wisconsin (1/8) ... Totaled 25 points and and doled out a game-high eight assists against Purdue (12/30) ... Hit nine FGs against the Boilermakers ... Game-high 15 points vs. South Florida (12/20) and doled out 10 assists ... 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 10 of the last 15 and in a total of 12 contests ... No. 2 on squad in treys with 35 ... Coca-Cola Classic MVP after scoring 29 points and doling out 19 assists against Central Michigan and Gonzaga ... A then 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 eight contests ... Has 293 assists in 48 career contests (6.1 apg) ... Has led or shared for MSU's lead in assists in 43 of 48 career outings (all 19 this season) ... Scored in double figures in 34 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 (9.1 rpg) in overall play ... No. 4 in the Big Ten in rebounds in league contests (9.4 rpg) ... Came up with his fourth double-double of the season (11th of his career) with a 10-point, game-high 10 rebound effort vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Game-high 10 rebounds, eight points and a career-best four steals vs. Penn State (1/24) ... Has double-figure rebounding in seven of last 11 and in a total of nine games this year ... 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 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 five 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 nine of last 10 and in a total of 14 games ... Notched first double-double of the year vs. ETSU (11/17) with 11 points and 10 boards ... 29 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 (8.6 ppg) ... Exploded for a game-high 17 points (tying career high), hitting eight-of-15 field goal attempts vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Has seven outings of double-figure scoring to his credit ... Seven points in 25 minutes at Northwestern (1/31) ... Shooting team-high 82.6% (19-of-23) from the foul line in league games ... Totaled 11 points and five rebounds, in 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 11 contests this year ... 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 then 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 14 games ... Nine-minute stint vs. Penn State (1/24) tied his longest in a league contest ... Hit a trey with 8:35 left, giving MSU its first double-digit lead, and finished with three points in seven minutes at Iowa (1/21) ... 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 8.0 minutes per game ... 13 minutes off the bench vs. ETSU (11/17) and scored eight points while dishing out three assists.
#34 -- Freshman Andre Hutson is averaging 21.1 minutes per game ... Is the team's No. 2 shooter from the floor, hitting 63.3% (57 of 90) of his attempts ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the field in eight of last nine games -- 67.8% (19-of-28) in his last seven appearances ... Hit six (tying career best)-of-eight from the floor and finished with 13 points, tying his career high, and also pulled down eight (second on the team) rebounds vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Started the last 17 MSU contests ... 11 points and seven boards at Michigan (1/10) ... Seven games of double-figure scoring effort this season ... 12 points vs. Wisconsin (1/8) and hit eight-of-nine charity tosses against the Badgers ... Shooting 86.9 percent (20 of 23) from the foul line in the last eight games ... Shooting 80.8 percent (21-of-26) from the foul line in league affairs ... Fine effort vs. Purdue (12/30), hitting six-of nine field goals and tying his personal best with 13 points, good for No. 2 on the team, while chipping in eight rebounds ... 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 at Cleveland State (12/6) ... Has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 15 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 (5.4 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 has scored in double figures in four of last six games and is shooting 53.1 percent (25-of-47) from the floor in that stretch ... Eight points and a career-best three assists at Northwestern (1/31) ... Five-of-seven from the floor and finished with 11 points against Indiana (1/28) ... Tallied a career-high 20 points, hitting a career-best eight-of-11 field goal attempts at No. 10 Iowa (1/21) ... Connected on a season-high three treys vs. the Hawkeyes ... Has scored in double figure in six games this year ... Missed three games (Temple, Cleveland State and Detroit) with a fractured bone in his right wrist ... Connected on four-of-eight from the field en route to 12 points vs. Illinois (1/17) ... Has three-point goals in seven of last eight performances and is shooting 52 percent (13-of-25) from beyond the arc in that stretch ... 11 points vs. Minnesota (1/14) and finished with a season-high six caroms ... 11 points against Wright State, hitting five-of-seven from the floor ... Five-of-seven field goal attempts en route to a 10 points against Gonzaga (11/29) ...
43 -- Sophomore A.J. Granger has come off the bench in all 19 games and is averaging 11.9 minutes ... Went two-for-two and finished with five points (two rebounds) vs. Indiana in 12 minutes ... Hit a pair of field goals, including one trey, and finished with five points (four rebounds) against Illinois (1/17) ... 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 13 and has rebounds in 14 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.
MATEEN CLEAVES HIGH-SCORING GAMES
#44 -- Junior Jason Klein is No. 2 on the team in scoring (10.6 ppg) ... No. 6 in the Big Ten in three-point shooting percentage (.412) in overall action ... Came up with a team-high nine boards vs. Northwestern (1/31) ... Has scored 15 points in his last three games ... Shooting 21.4 percent (6-of-28) from the floor in his last two games ... Totaled 14 points at Iowa (1/21) ... 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. 4 in the league in treys made (2.47 pg) in overall action and holds down the No. 6 spot in league contests (2.22 pg) ... Posted a then career-high 16 points vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) which included four treys ... Has 11 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 43.5 percent (27 of 62) from three-point range in home contests ... No. 1 on the squad in treys with 47, good for ninth place on MSU's seasonal list ... Coca-Cola Classic All-Tournament Team pick after scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 boards in the two games ... Has three or more treys in 10 outings ... Has two or more treys in 16 contests this year ... Twenty-four 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 83.
#55 -- Senior DuJuan Wiley is shooting 76.0 percent (19-of-25) from the floor and averaging 10.8 points in his last four games ... Five-of-seven from the floor in finishing with 10 points, along with three blocked shots, in 22 minutes vs. Northwestern (1/31) ... No. 5 in Big Ten in blocked shots in overall play (1.53 bpg) ... Nine games of two or more blocks ... Four-of-six from the field and finished with eight points and five rebounds vs. Indiana (1/28) ... Big game vs. Penn State (1/24) with a career-best 15 points, hitting five (tying career best)-of-seven from the floor and all five from the foul line, along with six boards in a career-long 23 minutes ... Sank five-of-five from the floor at Iowa (1/21) and finished with 10 points ... Six double-figure scoring efforts this season (MSU 6-0 in those games) ... Notched 10 points vs. Eastern Illinois (12/27) ... Totaled a then career-high 12 points vs. South Florida (12/20) ... Played 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 ... No. 1 on the team in field goal shooting, hitting 66.7 percent (54 of 81) of his attempts ... Tied career high in blocked shots with four vs. Cleveland State (12/6) ... First career start came vs. 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 his last six and in 14 contests this season.
SPARTANS IN THE 1990s -- At the start of this week, Michigan State is tied with Michigan for the third-best Big Ten record during the decade of the 1990s. Heading into the Ohio State game, both the Spartans and Wolverines stand 94-59 (.614) in league contests behind Indiana (104-49, .679) and Purdue (.667). Heading into this conference year, MSU, Indiana, Purdue and Michigan were the only teams to have recorded nine or more wins in Big Ten play in seven of the last eight seasons.
MSU YEAR-BY-YEAR RECORD AT THE BRESLIN CENTER
ROAD WARRIORS CONTINUE SUCCESS -- MSU's 4-1 mark after five Big Ten road games in the best effort by a Spartan squad since the 1994-95 season when that team bolted to a 5-1 mark on enemy courts (finished 6-3). The four conference road victories are the most by an Izzo-coached team with his first two teams each winning three games on the road.
CAN IT BE COINCIDENCE ??? -- Both Morris Peterson and DuJuan Wiley have scored in double figures in six games this year with MSU posting a 6-0 record when either one has reached double digits ... That the Spartans are a perfect 9-0 this year when finishing with 15 or fewer turnovers ... That part of the reason that MSU is in first place in the Big Ten at a little past the midway point is that it ranks first in steals (10.1 spg) and is tied for the No. 5 spot in blocked shots (3.33 bpg) among Big Ten squads after ranking 11th and 10th, respectively, last year in those categories ... That MSU is averaging +9.4 more points in nine league games this year vs. 1996-97 because it has 58 three-point field goals this season compared to 36 a year ago.
BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW THAT -- MSU is 8-0 this year when the opposition has more turnovers, 20-5 during Izzo's tenure as head coach ... The Spartans are 3-2 this season against Associated Press Top 25 teams ... MSU has allowed just 28 of its last 168 opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field ... Through games played Feb. 1, the Spartans' four losses have come to teams with a combined record of 64-18 (.780) (Illinois-Chicago 18-3, Temple 12-6, Detroit 18-3) and Michigan 16-6) ... Through Feb. 1, MSU's non-conference opponents had a combined record of 118-85 (.581) ... Mateen Cleaves has started the last 43 Spartan contests while Antonio Smith has drawn the starting nod in the last 46 ... Smith has 608 career boards in 80 contests (7.6 rpg) ... That MSU ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring defense in overall (60.9 ppg) play and is No. 2 in conference action (60.9 ppg) ... The Spartans are No. 2 in field goal percentage defense (.391) in overall action and league (.406) tussles ... MSU has allowed just four opponents to shoot 50 percent or better from the field this season while 13 have been held to 40 or less percent ... The Spartans are No. 2 in the Big in three-point field goal percentage defense (.306) in overall play ... That after nine Big Ten games a year ago, MSU was averaging 63.2 points per outing vs. this year's effort of 72.6 ... MSU has scored 40 or more points in the second half in eight of its nine Big Ten contests.
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.
SPARTAN "D" CLAMPING DOWN ON OPPONENTS
Michigan State's 11-1 record over the last 12 games has been fueled in part by a defense that ranks at or near the top in a number of league statistical catgories. The following is a chart indicating how the last 11 opponets have fared vs. MSU in scoring and field goal percentage prior to and following its game vs. MSU.
1997-98 BIG TEN STANDINGS
GAMES ON FEB. 4
GAMES ON FEB. 5
MSU SEASONAL 3PT FIELD GOAL LEADERS
MSU AND THE RATINGS -- Through games played Jan. 31, Michigan State held down the No. 11 spot in the Sagarin Ratings. The Spartans had a rating of 87.88, second among Big Ten squads -- Purdue (6th, 90.85). Of the three non-conference teams that defeated MSU, Detroit had the highest ranking (27th, 84.96) and was followed by Illinois-Chicago (37th, 83.67) and Temple (38th, 83.62).
SPARTAN RESERVES PRODUCING -- Michigan State's bench has played a key role in the team's six-game winning streak, outscoring the opposition reserves by a 142-52 margin (23.7-vs. 8.7). The Spartan reserves have enjoyed a scoring advantage in the last eight contests and have recorded a scoring margin of +10 in the last six (21-4 vs. Northwestern)... In the last 12 contests, MSU's bench enjoys a scoring edge on 10 occasions with the team showing an 9-1 mark in those outings.
MSU AP RANKING FIRST SINCE 1995 -- Michigan State's No. 22 showing in last week's Associated Press Poll represented the first time since the final 1995 rankings which had MSU No. 11. MSU was ranked among the Top 25 teams throughout the 1994-95 campaign with the Green and White being ranked as high as No. 7.
CLEAVES A FINALIST FOR USBWA AWARD -- Sophomore guard Mateen Cleaves is one of 25 finalists for national player of the year as picked by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA). Cleaves is one of three Big Ten players to be among the final 25 with Chad Austin (Purdue) and Evan Eschmeyer (Northwestern) the other league representatives. The present list of 25 will be pared down to 10 in February with the winner being announced at the NCAA Final Four.
MSU TICKET INFO -- The Michigan State-Michigan game on Tuesday, Feb. 17 (7:30 p.m.) is sold out. There are balcony bleacher seats priced at $11 remaining for the Iowa (Feb. 7), Minnesota (Feb. 14) and Purdue (Mar. 1) games. For ticket information, please call 517/355-1610.
MSU CAREER SCORING
MSU ALL-TIME THREE-POINT FG LEADERS
BIG TEN LEAGUE RECORDS IN THE 1990s
THE SPARTANS UNDER IZZO
at the official