Jan. 1, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
#11/11 Michigan State (10-3, 0-0)
vs. #25/- Northwestern (10-2, 0-1)
Jan. 2, 2010
6:30 p.m. EST
Radio: Spartan Sports Network - Will Tieman (Play by Play),
Gus Ganakas and Matt Steigenga (Color), Adam Ruff (Host)
Flagship - WJIM 1240 AM/WMMQ 94.9 FM;
TV: Big Ten Network - Tom Hamilton (Play by Play), Jim Jackson (Color)
Michigan State Game Notes
Northwestern Game Notes
The Opening Tip
Michigan State opens Big Ten play at Northwestern as the Spartans begin their quest for a second-consecutive league title. MSU will look to start this season with a road win like it did last year, winning road games at Minnesota and Northwestern to open league play en route to a school-best 8-1 league road record. Northwestern is the third ranked opponent MSU has played on the road this year.
The Starting Five
1. Big Ten Openers
In its 59 seasons playing basketball in the Big Ten Conference, Michigan State has compiled a 26-33 record in Big Ten openers, including an 11-24 record on the road. Tom Izzo is 8-6 in Big Ten openers, including 3-6 on the road. The Spartans are no strangers to opening conference action on the road, as this marks the seventh time in the last nine years that Michigan State has tipped off Big Ten play away from East Lansing.
2. MSU In Big Ten Play
3. Summers, Allen Bounce Back
Michigan State has won 11 Big Ten Championships since joining the league prior to the 1950-51 season. The Spartans' first ever league game was at Northwestern, where MSU claimed a 67-62 victory on Jan. 6 ,1951. All-time, MSU is 518-432 (.545) in league play, including 160-72 (.690) under Tom Izzo, who ranks eighth in league history with 160 conference wins. Izzo has guided MSU to five of its 11 league crowns.
is averaging 15.5 points in his last two games, shooting .462 from the floor. In the previous four games, Summers failed to score in double figures, averaging just 4.3 points and shooting .222 from the field. He opened the season with six double-figure scoring efforts in the first seven games. On a similar note, Allen is averaging 13.0 points in the last two games on .563 shooting, including .600 (6-of-10) from behind the arc, after three straight games in single digits.
4. Big Ten Strength
Eight different league schools (Michigan State, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin) have been ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 this season, including five in the current poll (PU-No. 4, MSU-No. 11, OSU-No. 15, UW-No. 23, NU-No. 25). The last time that MSU played five different ranked schools during league play came during the 1999 season when the Spartans played six different ranked league opponents.
5. Turnovers, Defense Make A Difference
Two key factors have emerged as a difference between winning and losing for Michigan State: turnovers and field-goal percentage defense. The Spartans are averaging 18.7 turnovers in their three losses, including 23 vs. Florida and 22 vs. Texas, leading to 19.3 points for the opponent per game. In 10 wins, MSU is averaging just 13.5 turnovers, leading to just 14.7 opponent points. Defensively, MSU is 9-0 when holding teams below 40 percent shooting, but 1-3 when an opponent shoots above 40 percent. With North Carolina (.579) and Texas (.561) both shooting well above 50 percent, the Spartans are allowing opponents to shoot .514 in their losses, compared to .365 in victory.
MSU vs. Northwestern Notes
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Northwestern, 77-37, including a 30-29 advantage in games played in Evanston. The Spartans have won 19 of the last 21 and 39 of the last 42 contests. Tom Izzo is 22-3 in his career against Northwestern.
Bill Carmody (Union College, `75) is 222-176 in his 14th season as a collegiate head coach, including 130-151 in 10 seasons at Northwestern. He served as head coach at Princeton from 1996-2000.
The Last Meeting
Northwestern defeated Michigan State, 70-63, on Jan. 21, 2009, in East Lansing, recording the school's first-ever win at the Breslin Center. Kevin Coble scored 31 points and Michael Thompson added 20 points to pace the Wildcats. Michigan State had battled back from a five-point deficit to take a 49-48 lead on a pair of Durrell Summers free throws. Northwestern answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Craig Moore and Thompson to take a 54-49 lead. NU hit just 9-of-28 3-pointers, but hit four of its last five in the final 7:09. MSU committed 18 turnovers, leading to 27 points for the Wildcats. After totaling 22 points and 13 boards in the first meeting of the season, Morgan scored one points in 18 minutes off the bench while battling illness.
The Last Meeting In Evanston
Michigan State defeated Northwestern, 77-66, on Jan. 3, 2009, in Evanston. The Wildcats held a 33-32 halftime lead, but the Spartans opened the second half on a 12-0 run. NU cut the lead to five midway through the second half, but MSU held a double-digit lead for the final 7:20. Raymar Morgan led the Spartans with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while Kalin Lucas and Chris Allen each added 17. Kevin Coble led NU with 17 points. The Spartans held a 47-28 advantage on the glass, and shot a blistering 56.3 percent (9-of-16) from 3-point range, while holding the Wildcats to 31.0 percent shooting from behind the arc.
Northwestern is ranked No. 25 in The Associated Press Top 25, marking its first ranking since Jan. 1969 ... The Wildcats opened the season with a 10-1 record before losing to Illinois, marking the best start since the 1982-83 season ... Northwestern leads the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made (121) and attempted (335) ... The Wildcats pace the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.70) ... Michael Thompson leads the Big Ten in minutes per game (37.92) ... NU records an assist on 75.0 percent of its baskets ... Five different Wildcats have made 18 or more 3-pointers.
Game 13 Recap - MSU 87 - UT Arlington 68
* MSU closed the non-conference portion of its regular-season schedule with its 47th straight home win over a non-league opponent.
* MSU's three leading scorers came off the bench, contributing to the Spartans' 60-18 edge in bench points.
* MSU shot 50 percent or better in both halves, while UTA shot just 36 percent in the second half after hitting 50 percent of its first-half attempts.
* Draymond Green tied his career high with 19 points and dished out a team-best and career-best seven assists.
* The win was MSU's first on a Wednesday in 2009-10, giving the Spartans a win on each day of the week this season.
* Durrell Summers led MSU with 20 points, his best scoring effort since tallying 21 vs. Gonzaga in the second game of the season.
* UT Arlington committed 22 turnovers, a season high for a Spartan opponent.
MSU Basketball Notes
Spartans Draw Big On The Road
Not only has every Michigan State home game been a sellout, the Spartans also prove to be a big draw on the road. The Spartans have played three true road games, and each contest has been the biggest home attendance for their opponent, including games at North Carolina (21,346), The Citadel (5,194) and Texas (16,734).
Attacking The Offensive Glass
Michigan State is averaging 14.5 offensive rebounds per contest, leading to 16.9 second chance points per game. The Spartans are grabbing 42.1 percent of their misses. Against Florida, MSU grabbed 60 percent of its misses, collecting 18 offensive boards, compared to just 12 defensive boards for the Gators. Michigan State also grabbed more offensive boards than its opponent had defensive boards in games against Wofford and The Citadel. MSU has totaled 18 or more offensive rebounds in three games. The Spartans are paced in offensive rebounds by Delvon Roe with 2.9 per contest.
Through 13 games, Michigan State has proven it has several different offensive weapons as five Spartans currently average in double figures. Kalin Lucas paces the Spartan offense at 15.7 points per game, followed by Draymond Green (11.0 ppg), Durrell Summers (11.0 ppg), Chris Allen (10.6 ppg) and Raymar Morgan (10.1 ppg). MSU has had four or more players score in double figures in 10 of the 13 different games, as eight different players have scored 10 or more points at least once this season, and six different players have led the team in scoring in a single game.
Sophomore Draymond Green is proving to be one of the most versatile players in the Big Ten and one of the conference's premier sixth men, coming off the bench in 10 of 13 games. Through 13 games, he is averaging a team-best 8.2 boards per game. He's recorded double-figure rebounds in four games, and trails only Korie Lucious and Kalin Lucas with his 42 assists. Further demonstrating his versatility, he ranks first in steals (21), second in blocks (8) and field-goal percentage (.600), and tied for second in scoring (11.0 ppg). He's recorded three double-doubles on the season. And despite coming off the bench in a majority of the contests, he ranks third on the squad in minutes per game.
Lucas On Target
Kalin Lucas has elevated his shooting accuracy as a junior. Having entered the season with a career field-goal percentage of .410, Lucas is shooting .497 from the field this year, including a team-best .405 from behind the 3-point arc.
Better At The Foul Line
Michigan State has struggled at the foul line this season, converting at a .672 percentage. The Spartans, however, are showing improvement recently, hitting .761 percent of their attempts in their last three games, raising the team's average from .644 to its current mark.
One of Tom Izzo's early concerns about his team was the defense, having lost 2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Travis Walton and outstanding post defender Goran Suton. For the most part, however, the Spartans have responded early, limiting opponents to 39.9 percent on the season, as only two opponents (UNC and Texas) have shot better than 44 percent. MSU has been equally stingy on its 3-point defense, holding teams to 31.9 percent shooting behind the arc, holding five opponents to 25 percent or lower.
It's All About Boardwork
Last season, Michigan State led the nation in rebounding margin at +9.3, marking the third time in the last 10 years the Spartans have paced the nation. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 11 of the last 13 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 380 of 486 opponents (.782), posting a 302-78 (.795) mark in those games. This season, MSU has out-rebounded its opponents by a margin of +10.2, ranking sixth in the nation (as of Dec. 21), bettering 11 of 13 teams, and tying one. The Spartans are 10-1 when out-rebounding an opponent, but 0-2 when failing to do so.
On The Mark
As a team, MSU is shooting .502 from the floor, ranking second in the Big Ten and 11th in the nation (as of Dec. 21). Individually, seven Spartans are connecting on better than 50 percent of their shots, led by Tom Herzog at .800 (8-of-10). Among players with more than 30 attempts, Delvon Roe paces the way at .613 (38-62).
Lending A Helping Hand
According to the most recent NCAA statistics (as of Dec. 21), Michigan State ranks fourth in the nation in assists. With a current average of 19.2 assists per game, the Spartans have recorded an assist on 63.0 percent of their baskets.
At least one Spartan has recorded a double-double in eight of MSU's 13 games, as five different Spartans have posted a double-double. Draymond Green (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Florida, 15 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Oakland, 19 pts., 12 reb.) leads the way with three, while Delvon Roe (vs. Toledo, 10 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Valparaiso, 10 pts., 17 reb.) and Raymar Morgan (vs. Wofford, 19 pts., 11 reb.; vs. The Citadel, 11 pts., 10 reb.) each have two. Derrick Nix (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 14 reb.) and Durrell Summers (vs. Gonzaga, 21 pts., 11 reb.) each have tallied one.
Finding Their Shooting Touch
After shooting .454 from the field in the first three games of the season, including .278 from 3-point range, the Spartans shot better in the next three contests, connecting on 55.6 percent of its shots, including 46.9 percent from 3-point range. The Spartans are shooting 51.8 percent over the last 10 games, including 37.6 percent from behind the arc. For the season, MSU is shooting .502 from the floor, ranking second in the Big Ten.
Moving Up The Scoring Chart
With 20 points against Florida, Kalin Lucas became the 40th Spartan to record 1,000 career points. The Spartan junior ranks 33rd in MSU history with 1,132 points, standing 14 behind Pete Gent (1,146 points) and 23 behind Lindsay Hairston (1,155 points). Lucas has scored in double figures in 24 straight games, dating back to last season. His teammate, Raymar Morgan, currently ranks 20th in MSU history with 1,311 points. He needs 67 points to pass Julius McCoy (1,377 points) and move into 19th place on MSU's all-time scoring list.
Taking Care of the Ball
Korie Lucious has posted impressive numbers in his role as a reserve point guard. He leads the team with 4.3 assists per game and his 2.80 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks fifth in the Big Ten. Last season, he averaged just 1.2 assists with a 1.12 assist-to-turnover ratio. Raymar Morgan has also improved his ball handling. Entering the season with a career 0.57 assist-to-turnover ratio, he has improved to 1.65 (28 assists, 17 turnovers) this season.
Life Away From Home
Michigan State is 2-3 away from home this season, including 1-2 on an opponent's home court, with losses at Texas and North Carolina. Last season, MSU was 19-5 away from East Lansing, including 10-4 on a neutral court, while also establishing a school record with eight Big Ten road wins.
MSU's All-Time Leader
With MSU's 106-68 win over UMass, Tom Izzo became the winningest coach in Michigan State history with his 341st career victory, passing his mentor Jud Heathcote. Izzo began working for Heathcote in the 1983-84 season, and was elevated to associate head coach in July 1990. On March 30, 1993, Izzo was named Heathcote's hand-picked successor following the 1994-95 season. Following the game, Izzo said "I do feel like, because Jud has been so instrumental on my behalf and got me the job, that I'll just look at it as we have 681 wins between us."
Hall of Famers
Former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote and Spartan All-American Earvin "Magic" Johnson were inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday night (Nov. 22) in Kansas City. In fact, following MSU's 90-60 win over Valparaiso on Sunday, Tom Izzo boarded a private plane to fly to Kansas City for the ceremony. Heathcote finished his 19-year coaching career as Michigan State's all-time winningest coach with 340 victories, capturing three Big Ten titles and the 1979 NCAA Championship. He coached seven All-Americans, 15 All-Big Ten honorees and 23 NBA Draft picks. Overall, he posted a 420-273 record in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Johnson was a member of the 1979 NCAA Championship team and a two-time All-American. Despite playing just two seasons at MSU, he totaled 1,059 points and 491 assists. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002.
Nine different Spartans are averaging 8.5 minutes or more, including seven at 20.9 minutes or more. Kalin Lucas leads Michigan State with 29.9 minutes per contest after averaging a team-best 31.9 minutes per game last season. The Spartans have also used nine different starting lineups through the first 13 games, as nine different Spartans have started a game, and no one has started every game. Last season, MSU used 14 different starting lineups, including nine in the first 12 games.
Center Derrick Nix had one of the top freshman debuts in Michigan State history. Nix's 14 rebounds set an MSU freshman debut record, besting the previous mark of 10 held by Matt Steigenga and Ben Tower. Nix (11 points, 14 rebounds) also became just the second freshman in MSU history to debut with a double-double, joining Steigenga (15 pts., 10 reb.). Nix is the 2009 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball honoree, having led Detroit Pershing to a Michigan Class A State Championship.
MSU's Three-Guard Attack
Michigan State features one of the best backcourts in the nation. In fact, Lindy's College Basketball Magazine ranked it the best. The foundation of the backcourt is the junior trio of Chris Allen, Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, giving MSU one of the most athletic and offensively potent attacks in the country. Through 13 games, the trio is averaging a combined 37.3 points (Lucas-15.7, Summers-11.0, Allen-10.6). Korie Lucious adds 5.9 points off the bench.
Big Ten Favorites
After winning the 2009 Big Ten regular-season title by four games, Michigan State was selected as the preseason conference favorite for the 2009-10 men's basketball season, as voted upon by a 24-member media panel. Purdue and Ohio State were chosen to finish second and third, respectively. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas was tabbed as Preseason Player of the Year.
Experience At Many Positions
Michigan State returns seven of its top nine scorers from last year's Final Four squad, and five players that averaged 17.9 minutes or more per game last season. Eight current Spartans enter the season having started at least one game for Michigan State.
Not So Much At One
The position of concern for the Spartans will be at center. Michigan State must replace Goran Suton, Idong Ibok and Marquise Gray, three five-year players that appeared in 380 games (starting 162), playing a combined 5,808 minutes over the course of their careers. Their void must be filled by the trio of red-shirt junior Tom Herzog, and true freshmen Derrick Nix and Garrick Sherman. Herzog entered the season with 29 games of experience (starting 1), for a combined 100 minutes of action. The trio of Gray, Ibok and Suton combined for 13.9 points and 12.1 rebounds per contest.
Another Strong Non-Conference Schedule
Michigan State was tested often during its 2009-10 non-conference schedule. The Spartans played true road games at North Carolina and Texas. The last time MSU played two ranked non-conference teams on the road was 2003-04 (No. 6 Kansas, No. 17 Syracuse). In addition, MSU hosted Gonzaga and played Florida on a neutral court in the Legends Classic in Atlantic City.
Junior Kalin Lucas and senior Raymar Morgan have been named preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. In addition, Lucas earned a spot on Dick Vitale's Preseason All-Rolls Royce Team and was named the nation's best point guard by Lindy's College Basketball. He was also named preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Lindy's and Athlon Sports College Basketball. Morgan was named a fourth-team preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He also earned all-league accolades from Lindy's and Athlon. Delvon Roe earned all-league honors from Athlon, while Durrell Summers was recognized by Lindy's.
Honors For Spartan Backcourt
Lindy's College Basketball selected Michigan State as having the nation's best backcourt. Villanova, California, Kansas, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi and Purdue round out the top 10.
Spartans In The NBA
Five former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies) and Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns).
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 14th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 346-140 (.712), and 160-72 (.690) in the Big Ten, as the coach of the Michigan State basketball program. He ranks as the winningest coach in Michigan State history, having passed his mentor Jud Heathcote with a 106-68 win over UMass for his 341st career victory. In his 14 seasons as a head coach, Izzo has won National Coach of the Year honors four times, including the Clair Bee Award in 2005 and NABC honors in 2001. In 1999, Izzo was named National Coach of the year by Basketball Times, while earning similar honors from The Associated Press, Basketball News and the USBWA in '98. He earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and 2009.
Among The Big Ten's Best
Tom Izzo's .690 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks second all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700) and just ahead of Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Izzo (.712), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712) and Lambert (.709). With 160 conference victories, Izzo ranks eighth all-time.
Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 14 seasons, Tom Izzo won 336 games, ranking seventh in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 14 years.
Izzo's Coaching Tree
Five current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Tom Izzo, including Jim Boylen (Utah), Tom Crean (Indiana), Brian Gregory (Dayton), Stan Heath (South Florida) and Doug Wojcik (Tulsa). Gregory is in his seventh year as head coach, after leaving MSU in the spring of 2003. Crean directed Marquette to the 2003 Final Four, while Heath directed Kent State to the Elite Eight in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Wojcik is in his fifth season at Tulsa. Mike Garland served as head coach at Cleveland State for three seasons after leaving Izzo's staff in 2003. He is now back as an assistant coach at MSU. Most recently, Jim Boylen left MSU following the 2007 season, and is in his third season with Utah. Stan Joplin, an assistant during Izzo's first season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Toledo.