MSU head coach Tom Izzo addresses the media following the Spartans NCAA Tournament run.
Second-year player who is on the verge of a breakout season ... Has worked hard during the offseason to improve his all-around game, including his defense and perimeter shooting ... Named Preseason First-Team All-Big Ten by Dick Vitale?s ESPN Magazine College Basketball Preview ... Outstanding athlete who is capable of producing many highlight-type plays ... Most effective when attacking the basket ... His athleticism makes him one of the top rebounders on the squad ... Scored a team high 20 points, grabbed a team-best five rebounds and dished out a team-best four assists as a member of the USA Men?s Select Team against the 2000 USA Dream Team ... Member of the 2000 USA Young Men?s World Championship Qualifying Team, averaging 15.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.6 steals to help Team USA to a silver medal.
1999-2000: Played 37 games to earn his first letter ... Appeared in 14 Big Ten contests ... Scored in double figures in five games, including a 16-point, 7-rebound performance against Howard (12/3) ... Turned in 14 points and seven rebounds on 7-of-9 shooting against Connecticut (2/5) ... Connected on 5-of-7 field-goal attempts to score 13 points in the regular-season finale against Michigan (3/4) ... Also scored in double figures against Mississippi Valley State (12/28) and North Carolina (12/1) ... Grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds against Minnesota (3/2) ... Recorded 10 rebounds and nine points in the opening game of the NCAA Tournament against Valparaiso (3/16) ... Scored nine points on 4-of-7 shooting and grabbed two rebounds in the NCAA Championship game against Florida (4/3) ... Averaged 3.3 points and 3.5 rebounds in six NCAA Tournament games ... Missed games against Northwestern (1/27) and Illinois (1/30) in the middle of the Big Ten season due to injury ... Recorded nine rebounds against Kentucky (12/23) ... Grabbed seven rebounds each against North Carolina (12/1), Howard (12/3), Eastern Michigan (12/4), Mississippi Valley State (12/28), Iowa (1/8) and Connecticut (2/5) ... Earned a spot on the Coca-Cola Spartan Classic All-Tournament team, averaging 12 points and seven rebounds in games against Howard (12/3) and Eastern Michigan (12/4) ... An electrifying athlete, his fast-break rebound dunk at Arizona was one of the best in the nation ... Rebound dunk off a missed free throw against Indiana was voted dunk of the week in an espn.com on-line poll ... Listed as one of the top-15 freshmen in the nation in the Dec. 13 issue of Sports Illustrated.
HIGH SCHOOL: Brought home the state of Michigan?s 1998-99 Mr. Basketball Award after leading Saginaw Arthur Hill to a berth in Michigan?s Class A title game ... Selected as a 1998-99 McDonald?s All-American ... Parade Magazine second-team All-American ... Second-team on USA Today?s All-America Team ... Averaged 25.3 points and 12.8 rebounds as a senior ... Connected on 55 percent of his field-goal attempts ... Was named MVP of the West Team in Magic Johnson?s Roundball Classic (4/3) after recording 23 points and nine rebounds ... Thrilled the Palace of Auburn Hills crowd at that event with numerous dunks ... Gained Dream Team status as selected by The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press ... No. 6-ranked cager in the country following his final year as chosen by Prep Stars Recruiter?s Handbook ... Basketball News had him ranked as the No. 8 player in the nation following his senior season ... As a junior, he averaged 18.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game in leading Arthur Hill to a 20-4 record and its first district title in 32 years ... In the summer preceeding his senior year of high school, he was named the MVP of the 220-team Adidas Big Time AAU Tournament in Las Vegas ... Three-time All-Saginaw Valley selection ... Three-time letterwinner at Saginaw Arthur Hill High School for Coach Dave Slaggert.
PERSONAL: Born Jan. 20, 1981 ... Son of Elaine Cook ... No preference major ... Was the subject of ESPN?s ?Scholastic Sports America? feature in February of 1999.