Jan. 14, 2011
The Opening Tip
Michigan State and Northwestern are meeting for the second time in less than two weeks, as the Spartans previously defeated the Wildcats on Jan. 3 in Evanston (65-62). In fact, this is the third straight year that MSU and NU will play twice before the end of January. In conference games, MSU is holding opponents to 62.8 points, while NU is scoring 75.4 ppg in league games.
The Starting Five
1. Big Ten Defense
In conference games, MSU ranks second in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to .379 shooting from the field. The Spartans also rank second in the conference in scoring defense in league games, allowing 62.8 points per contest. MSU leads the league in blocks (6.75 bpg) and ranks third in steals (6.25 spg) in league games.
2. A Rare Commodity
Draymond Green is one of just 15 players on the 345 Division I teams to lead his squad in both scoring and rebounding. In fact, he is one of just three players in the six major conferences to lead his team in both categories, joining Georgia Tech's Iman Shumpert (5.5 rpg, 3.5 apg) and Florida's Chandler Parsons (6.7 rpg, 3.5 apg). Green currently averages 8.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists. (Through games of Jan. 12).
3. Limiting Turnovers
One of Michigan State's issues this season has been turnovers, as the Spartans average 14.9 per contest. It's an area, however, where MSU has shown improvement lately as the Spartans have committed 11 turnovers or fewer in five of the last seven games, averaging 11.1 in that stretch. MSU is averaging just 11.0 turnovers in conference action. MSU opponents are averaging 15.2 points per game off turnovers, compared to just 13.9 points for the Spartans. Michigan State is 6-0 when the opponent commits more turnovers or turnovers are equal and 5-5 when it has more turnovers than the opponent.
4. Holding Down Top Scorers
Michigan State has done a solid job defensively on three of the league's top scorers. First, MSU held Northwestern's John Shurna, currently averaging 20.4 ppg, to 11 points on 1-of-11 shooting. Next, MSU held Penn State's Talor Battle, averaging 20.9 ppg, to 13 points on 3-of-14 shooting. Most recently, the Spartans limited Wisconsin's Jon Leuer, averaging 18.8 points, to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting.
5. Spartans In January
Over the last few years, Michigan State has been extremely successful in the month of January. Since 2007-08, the Spartans are 25-2 in the first month of the calendar year. Michigan State was a perfect 9-0 in 2010 and 7-1 in 2008 and 2009. For his career, Tom Izzo is 87-35 (.713) in January.
MSU vs. Northwestern Notes
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Northwestern, 80-37, including a 45-8 advantage in games played in East Lansing. The Spartans have won 22 of the last 24 and 42 of the last 45 contests. Tom Izzo is 25-3 in his career against Northwestern.
Bill Carmody (Union College, `75) is 243-192 in his 15th season as a collegiate head coach, including 151-167 in 11 seasons at Northwestern. He served as head coach at Princeton from 1996-2000.
The Last Meeting
Michigan State defeated Northwestern, 65-62, on Jan. 3, 2011, in Evanston, holding off a late NU rally. MSU held a 63-50 lead with 3:09 left and Korie Lucious at the foul line. Lucious missed the front end of a 1-and-1, starting a 12-0 Northwestern run, during which Michael Thompson scored nine points and assisted on another 3-pointer. With MSU leading 63-62, Kalin Lucas went to the foul line with 14 seconds left. He missed MSU's third straight front end, but Draymond Green grabbed the offensive rebound, and scored for a 65-62 lead. MSU's defense then forced two NU misses before time expired. Green led MSU with 15 points and 11 boards, while Delvon Roe added 10 boards, as the Spartans out-rebounded the Wildcats, 45-33. Drew Crawford led Northwestern with 17 points. Spartan freshman guard Keith Appling recorded five blocks, the most ever for a MSU guard, leading to a team total of 12, the second-greatest single-game total in school history.
The Last Meeting In East Lansing
Michigan State defeated Northwestern, 79-70, on Jan. 30, 2010, in East Lansing. The Spartans shot just 37.5 percent from the field in the first half, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range, and held a slim 30-28 lead at the break. The second half proved to be a different story as MSU connected on 15-of-20 attempts (75.0 percent). The Spartans opened the second stanza on a 18-4 run over the first 7:13. Durrell Summers led the Spartan attack with a double-double (24 points, 10 rebounds), and Kalin Lucas added 23 points. John Shurna led all scorers with 31 points. MSU out-rebounded NU, 37-27, while the Spartans committed just nine turnovers.
After averaging 64.6 points in their first three Big Ten games (all losses), Northwestern has averaged 91.5 ppg in their last two wins ... Forward John Shurna leads the Big Ten in 3-point field-goal percentage (.575), while ranking second in the conference in scoring (20.1) ... Northwestern leads the Big Ten overall in assists (18.27 apg), steals (8.33 spg) and 3-point field goals made (9.60 per game) ... 41.2 percent of Northwestern's field-goal attempts are from 3-point range; by comparison, 32.8 percent of Michigan State's attempts come from beyond the arc ... Five different Wildcats average more than two assists per game.
Gm. 16 Notes Michigan State 64 - Wisconsin 61, OT
* Michigan State recorded its first overtime win since a 62-59 double overtime victory at Ohio State on Jan. 15, 2006, and its first home overtime win since Jan. 13, 2001, a 69-59 decision over the Badgers.
* Eleven years earlier to the date, MSU defeated Indiana, 77-71, in overtime in Breslin Center. Morris Peterson forced overtime with a game-tying 3-pointer just feet from where Korie Lucious' triple tied the Badgers in regulation.
* The Spartans handed Wisconsin just its second loss when leading or tied with four minutes left in regulation since the 2009-10 season (34-2).
* MSU's 64 points were the fewest in a Spartan win since scoring 59 against Northern Iowa in the Sweet 16 of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
* With six assists against Wisconsin, Kalin Lucas became the fourth Spartan to record 1,500 career points and 500 career assists.
* Draymond Green scored a career-high 26 points, including the first eight of overtime.
* MSU's defense held Jon Leuer to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Leuer entered the game averaging 19.3 points.
* MSU and UW each committed 11 turnovers. The Badgers had committed just 13 in the three previous Big Ten games.
MSU Basketball Notes
Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 215-27 (.888) at home, including 192-18 (.914) over the last 14 years.
Tough Non-Conference Slate
During the non-conference schedule, Michigan State played five teams that have been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 at some point this year. MSU's four non-conference losses have come to teams with a combined record of 58-6 (through Jan. 12) and that are all currently ranked in the top 12 of the AP Top 25.
Starting Lineup Shakeups
Michigan State has used five different starting lineups this season, compared to 19 last season. The lineup of Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas, Keith Appling, Draymond Green and Delvon Roe has started all four Big Ten games. Lucas and Summers are the only two Spartans to start every game this season.
Moving Up The Scoring Chart
Kalin Lucas ranks 10th in MSU career scoring with 1,650 points. The Spartan senior needs 68 points to pass Mike Robinson (1,717 points) for ninth place and 69 points to pass Paul Davis (1,718 points) for eighth place in MSU history.
Solid Defensive Effort
Michigan State is turning in a strong defensive effort this season, holding teams to 65.6 points per game and allowing opponents to shoot just 39.3 percent from the field, including 35.2 percent from 3-point range. MSU has held seven opponents below 40 percent and just four have topped 45 percent. No Spartan opponent has shot better than 50 percent, as MSU has out-shot its opponent in 13 of 16 contests. Statistically, MSU ranks second in blocks (5.19 bpg) and fourth in the conference in steals (7.87 spg), while Draymond Green paces the league in steals (1.88 spg).
Kalin Lucas tore his left Achilles in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He then put off surgery for a week to attend the Midwest Regional, cheering on his teammates to the Final Four. Since then, he spent the summer rehabbing daily for hours on end. Lucas has started the season on a strong note, averaging 14.5 points in 30.2 minutes, ranking second on the team in both categories. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 29.
MSU's Mr. Everything
Junior Draymond Green is one of the nation's most versatile players. He leads the team in rebounding (8.9 rpg), assists (4.0 apg), steals (1.9 spg), blocks (1.4 bpg) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.425), and ranks third in scoring (12.6). Green leads the conference in steals and ranks third in rebounding, 10th in blocks and assists and 12th in 3-point field-goal percentage. In six games this season, Green has led MSU in both rebounding and assists. Green has stated a goal of trying to become just the third player in school history to record a triple-double (Earvin Johnson, Charlie Bell). Green is MSU's active leader with 13 double-doubles in his career, including five this season.
Lucas In Exclusive Club
With 1,650 career points and 502 career assists, Kalin Lucas is part of an exclusive club. He is just the fourth Spartan to total 1,500 career points and 500 career assists, joining Scott Skiles (2,145 pts., 645 asts.), Mateen Cleaves (1,541 pts., 816 asts.) and Drew Neitzel (1,534 pts., 582 asts.).
Michigan State ranks second in the Big Ten in all games with 5.19 blocks per game. In conference action, MSU leads the conference with 6.75 blocks per game through the first four contests, thanks to a 12-block effort at Northwestern. The 12 blocks rank as the second-greatest single-game total in school history. Freshman guard Keith Appling blocked five shots against the Wildcats, equaling the fourth-best single-game total in school history, and the best ever for a Spartan guard. Draymond Green leads the Spartans with 22 blocks, followed by Delvon Roe with 19.
MSU's Detroit Duo
Michigan State's senior duo of Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas, both from Detroit, rank one-two on the Spartans in scoring. Summers (14.8 ppg) and Lucas (14.5 ppg) combine to average 29.3 points per game. The two guards have been AAU teammates since middle school.
Durrell From Downtown
Durrell Summers leads the Spartans in 3-point field goals made (38) and attempted (93), while ranking third in percentage (.409). Summers has made four or more three pointers in five of the last nine games and three or more in six of the last nine. He ranks sixth in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made per game (2.38). Summers needs just seven more 3-pointers to tie his single-season high of 45, established as a sophomore.
Spartans From Distance
Michigan State is shooting .381 from 3-point range this season, ranking sixth in the Big Ten. The Spartans' best 3-point percentage under Tom Izzo is .401, established by the 2003-04 squad. Five different Spartans have knocked down 14 or more 3-pointers led by Durrell Summers, with 38. Draymond Green is shooting a team-best .435 from 3-point range, as four of the five Spartans hitting 14 or more threes are shooting 40 percent or better (Appling - .412, Summers - .409, Lucas - .400). As a team, MSU ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 7.19 3-pointers per game, after finishing last in the conference last season (5.1).
It's All About Boardwork
Michigan State has led the nation in rebounding margin in each of the last two seasons, posting a +9.3 margin in 2009 and a +8.6 margin in 2010. The Spartans have led the nation in rebounding margin in four of the last 11 years. 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 406 of 525 opponents (.773), posting a 322-84 (.793) mark in those games. This year, MSU has out-rebounded 10 of 16 opponents, including nine of the last 12, posting a +4.0 margin. The Spartans are 8-2 when out-rebounding their opponent, and 3-3 when failing to do so.
Big Ten Strength
Six different Big Ten teams are currently ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25, including Ohio State (No. 2), Purdue (No. 8), Illinois (No. 16), Wisconsin (No. 21), Michigan State (No. 24) and Minnesota (No. 25). The Big Ten (6) trails only the BIG EAST (7) for number of ranked teams. 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. Last season, MSU played six games against four ranked league opponents.
In 2009-10, seven Spartans averaged more than 20 minutes per game, while nine averaged 7.2 minutes per contest. This season, 10 different Spartans have averaged 8.3 minutes or more. MSU's bench is out-scoring opponents' reserves by 9.4 points per game (22.5 ppg-13.1 ppg), out-scoring the opponents' bench in 13 of 16 games this season.
Dealing With Injury
One of the early storylines for the 2010-11 Spartans will be how they deal with injuries and how different players battle back from injury. Many different players missed significant time in the offseason due to injury. Most notably, Kalin Lucas is attempting to come back from an Achilles injury suffered in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament against Maryland. Shortly after the season concluded in April, Delvon Roe had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Garrick Sherman had screws removed from his foot, left over from a high school injury. Freshman center Adreian Payne separated his shoulder late in his high school senior season and missed several months. Fellow freshman Russell Byrd suffered a broken foot in May, and when the foot never fully healed, he underwent a second surgery in early October. Austin Thornton suffered a back injury that kept him out of action for several weeks. Even Durrell Summers suffered a mild knee sprain and missed an opportunity to work with the USA Basketball Select Team. Korie Lucious missed a couple weeks in early October after surgery to fix a torn meniscus.
Big Ten Even Stronger
While MSU's non-conference slate is rough, the Big Ten schedule is even tougher, as the conference will feature its strongest lineup in decades. Five different league schools (Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Minnesota and Wisconsin) are ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25, while Michigan State received votes.
Summers Reaches 1,000
Durrell Summers became the 41st player to top 1,000 career points with his 21-point effort vs. Tennessee Tech. With 1,156 points for his career, he ranks 32nd in MSU history, needing 21 to pass Lee Lafayette (1,176 points) for 31st.
Big Ten Favorites
Michigan State was selected as the preseason conference favorite for the 2010-11 season, as voted on by a panel of media. Ohio State and Purdue were picked to finish second and third, respectively. 2009 Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas was tabbed as Preseason Player of the Year.
In The Rankings
Michigan State is currently ranked No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll. Ten different Spartan opponents are ranked in at least one of the two polls, including Duke (1 AP/1 USA Today), Ohio State (2/2), Syracuse (4/4), Purdue (8/8), Connecticut (10/9), Texas (12/14), lllinois (16/16), Washington (17/18) Wisconsin (20/21) and Minnesota (-/25).
Sherman Hits The Mark
Garrick Sherman is shooting a strong .667 from the field this season. Since opening the season with a 3-of-6 effort, Sherman has hit 29 of his last 42. At one point, he connected on 10 straight shots this season.
Acting The Part
November 16 proved to be an especially busy day for Delvon Roe. At 7:30 p.m., the theatre major played the role of "Charles the Wrestler" in William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" put on by the MSU Department of Theatre at the Wharton Center. At 10 p.m., he resumed his normal role of starting power forward for the Spartans, playing one of his best games at MSU, recording 15 points, five rebounds and six assists. Roe also performed on stage on Nov. 17 and 18 prior to leaving for Maui. Feeling his healthiest since before injuring his knee in the first game of his senior year of high school, Roe is averaging 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds on the season. Roe's increased movement has also benefited him on the defensive end, where he's able to play some on the perimeter. For example, he helped hold Duke All-American Kyle Singler to 5-of-14 shooting. Roe has grabbed nine or more rebounds in three of the last five games.
Seniors Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers have been named preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden and Naismith Awards. Lucas is also a candidate for the Cousy Award, presented to the nation's top point guard.
Quite A Class Already
Although they have played just three-plus seasons, Spartan seniors Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Mike Kebler have won 97 games in their careers. That total already ranks as the eighth winningest class in school history. With their next win, they'll tie the 2008 class for seventh with 98 wins. If the Spartans win 29 games this season, they will equal the 2001 class (115) as the most successful group in school history.
Michigan State's roster features four freshmen: Keith Appling, Russell Byrd, Alex Gauna and Adreian Payne. Appling was a high school teammate of Derrick Nix at Pershing High School, capturing the Class A state title in 2009. Individually, he was a 2010 McDonald's All-American and winner of the 2010 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award. Byrd is an outstanding perimeter shooter from Fort Wayne, Ind., who averaged 23.2 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior. However, he broke his foot in May, and when it did not heal fully, he underwent a second surgery in October. Gauna is a skilled big man from Eaton Rapids, Mich. Gauna was a 2010 Class B All-State honoree after averaging 21.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks as a senior. Payne led Jefferson Township High School to the 2010 Ohio Division IV state championship, averaging 15.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots as a senior. An extremely talented and athletic forward, Payne was one of the top 25 players in America as a senior.
Spartans In The NBA
Five former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Charlie Bell (Golden State Warriors), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Morris Peterson (Oklahoma City Thunder), Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies) and Jason Richardson (Orlando Magic). Brown is a key reserve guard for the Lakers and has been a major contributor on back-to-back NBA Championship squads. Randolph was selected as a reserve for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Richardson has averaged more than 18 points per game over the course of his 10-year career.
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 16th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 375-151 (.713), and 177-77 (.697) 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 his 341st career victory on Nov. 28, 2009 . In his 15 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 .697 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 ahead of Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Izzo (.713), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712) and Lambert (.709). With 177 conference victories, Izzo ranks seventh all-time.
Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 15 seasons, Tom Izzo won 364 games, ranking seventh in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 15 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). Mike Garland served as head coach at Cleveland State for three seasons and Stan Joplin, an assistant during Izzo's first season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Toledo.