Spartans Open Tough Week At Illinois
 
 
 
Michigan State travels to Illinois for a Tuesday night contest.
 
Michigan State travels to Illinois for a Tuesday night contest.
 
 

Jan. 17, 2011


No. 17/18 Michigan State (12-5, 4-1) vs. No. t-23/22 Illinois (13-5, 3-2)
 Date Tuesday, Jan. 18
 Time 7 p.m. ET
 Location Champaign, Ill. | Assembly Hall
 Televison ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Dan Dakich, Jill Montgomery)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Listen Live)
(Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Satellite Radio SIRIUS 123; XM 143 (ILL Broadcast)
 Tickets Available at www.fightingillini.com
 Game Notes Michigan State
 Statistics  Michigan State | Illinois
 Internet Coverage Gametracker
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

The Opening Tip
After a pair of home overtime victories, Michigan State takes to the road to face Illinois. The game features two strong defensive teams, as both the Spartans and Illini are holding opponents under 40 percent shooting in conference play. The last 11 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less.

The Starting Five
1. Big Ten Defense

In conference games, MSU ranks third in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense, holding opponents to .393 shooting from the field. The Spartans also rank third in the conference in scoring defense in league games, allowing 63.6 points per contest. MSU ranks second in the league in blocks (6.6 bpg) and third in steals (6.2 spg) in league games.

2. Becoming A Defensive Stopper
Delvon Roe has turned himself into one of the premier defenders in the Big Ten and an early favorite for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year honors. A combination of strength and great feet and quickness allow him to defend on the interior or the perimeter. In the Big Ten, he's drawn the assignment against two of the league's top four scorers, Jon Leuer and John Shurna. In two games, he's held Shurna to 8.5 ppg on 3-of-21 shooting, including blocking five shots in the second meeting. Against Leuer, Roe limited the talented Badger to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Earlier in the year, he showed the same skills, helping limit Duke All-American Kyle Singler to 5-of-14 shooting and 15 points, three below his average.

3. Big Ten Road Success
One key to Michigan State's back-to-back Big Ten Championships in 2009 and 2010 was its play on the road. Over the last two-plus seasons, the Spartans are 16-4 away from East Lansing. MSU established a school record with eight road wins in 2009, and followed with a 7-2 mark in 2010. Nine of the 16 wins were by double-figures, while five were by five points or less, including back-to-back one-point wins at Minnesota and Michigan in 2010.

4. 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 eight games, averaging 11.6 in that stretch. MSU is averaging just 11.8 turnovers in conference action. Michigan State is 7-0 when the opponent commits more turnovers or turnovers are equal and 5-5 when it has more turnovers than the opponent.

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 26-3 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 88-35 (.715) in January.

MSU vs. Illinois Notes
Series History

The all-time series between Michigan State and Illinois is tied at 54, although the Illini own a 35-17 advantage in Champaign. MSU has won five of the last six against Illinois and seven of the last nine. The last 11 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less. Tom Izzo is 17-12 in his career against the Illini.

Coach Weber
Bruce Weber (Wisconsin-Milwaukee, '84) is 289-131 in his 13th season as a collegiate head coach, including 186-77 in eight seasons at Illinois. Prior to his arrival in Champaign, Weber posted a 103-54 mark at Southern Illinois.

The Last Meeting
Illinois defeated Michigan State, 78-73, on Feb. 6, 2010, in Champaign. The Illini jumped out to a 14-4 lead, but MSU pulled within one point at halftime, 35-34. Illinois tried to put the game away a couple times in the second half, but with 1:44 remaining, MSU tied the contest on a pair of Raymar Morgan free throws. A Brandon Paul layup gave Illinois a 70-68 lead. Morgan then turned the ball over and Demetri McCamey hit a 3-pointer late in the shot clock to give Illinois a five-point lead. Draymond Green posted a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds, the most boards by a Spartan in a Big Ten game since 2001. The Spartans were also playing without All-Big Ten performer Kalin Lucas, who injured his ankle in the previous game. MSU shot 54.5 percent, but allowed Illinois to shoot 52.5 percent. McCamey led Illinois with 22 points and 11 assists.

Illini Notes
Illinois is shooting an impressive .522 from the field in league contests, including .513 from 3-point range ... The Illini are also the best defensive team, statistically, holding teams to a conference low .381 field-goal percentage, including .291 from behind the arc ... Illinois, however, has struggled with turnovers, committing a conference-high 14.6 in league games ... According to the most recent NCAA statistics (through games of Jan. 13), Illinois ranked third in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage, while Demetri McCamey ranked fifth in th nation in assists ... Three different Illini (Mike Davis, Mike Tisdale, Demetri McCamey) have posted double-doubles this season ... Illinois ranks second in the conference in rebounding margin (+5.6) in league games.

Gm. 17 Notes • Michigan St. 71 - Northwestern 67, OT
* For the first time in program history, Michigan State played back-to-back home overtime games. It is just the fourth instance of back-to-back overtime games in school history and the first since November 2005. MSU previously played back-to-back Big Ten overtime games in 2004.
* The win over Northwestern marked the 1,500th victory in program history. MSU's all-time record is 1,500-1,012.
* MSU, led by Delvon Roe, held Northwestern's John Shurna to a season-low six points on 2-of-10 shooting. Shurna entered the game averaging 20.1 points.
* Keith Appling registered career highs in points (19), field goals (6), 3-pointers (5) and minutes (35).
* In the first half, MSU scored a season-low 18 points on 26.1 percent shooting, but improved to score 42 second-half points on 50.0 percent shooting.
* MSU forced 16 Northwestern turnovers, a season high for the Wildcats. NU had been ninth nationally with an average of only 10.9 turnovers per game.
* Draymond Green made a career-high 10 free throws in 10 attempts. It marks the 31st time in Spartan history a player has made all 10 or more of his free throws in a game.
* Delvon Roe tied his career high with five blocks.
* Michigan State shot a season-best .857 from the foul line (24-of-28).

MSU Basketball Notes
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 62-6 (through Jan. 16) 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 five 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 1,668 points. The Spartan senior needs 50 points to pass Mike Robinson (1,717 points) for ninth place and 51 points to pass Paul Davis (1,718 points) for eighth place in MSU history.

Holding Down Top Scorers
Michigan State has done a solid job defensively on three of the league's top scorers. In two games, MSU has held Northwestern's John Shurna, currently averaging 19.3 ppg, to 8.5 ppg on 3-of-21 shooting. MSU held Penn State's Talor Battle, averaging 20.5 ppg, to 13 points on 3-of-14 shooting. The Spartans limited Wisconsin's Jon Leuer, averaging 19.2 points, to 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting. Delvon Roe deserves much of the credit, as he was the primary defender on both Shurna and Leuer. In the second game vs. Northwestern, Roe tied his career high with five blocks. On the perimeter, freshman Keith Appling has emerged as a defensive force.

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 39.6 percent from the field, including 34.9 percent from 3-point range. MSU has held seven opponents below 40 percent and just five have topped 45 percent. No Spartan opponent has shot better than 50 percent, as MSU has out-shot its opponent in 13 of 17 contests. Statistically, MSU ranks second in blocks (5.24 bpg) and fifth in the conference in steals (7.59 spg), while Draymond Green paces the league in steals (1.88 spg).

He's Back
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 team bests in both scoring (14.7 points) and minutes (30.6 minutes). 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) and steals (1.9 spg), ranks second in assists (3.9 apg) and blocks (1.4 bpg), tied for second in 3-point field-goal percentage (.415), and third in scoring (12.8). Green leads the conference in steals and ranks third in rebounding, 11th in blocks and assists and 14th in 3-point field-goal percentage. In six games this season, Green has led MSU in both rebounding and assists. Green is MSU's active leader with 13 double-doubles in his career, including five this season. He's led MSU in rebounding in 13 games, assists in seven games, and scoring in three games. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Jan. 17, after averaging 21.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg in two overtime victories.

Lucas In Exclusive Club
With 1,668 career points and 506 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.).

Block Party
Michigan State ranks second in the Big Ten in all games with 5.24 blocks per game. In conference action, MSU also ranks second with 6.6 blocks per game through the first five 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 in the first game against the Wildcats, equaling the fourth-best single-game total in school history, and the best ever for a Spartan guard, while Delvon Roe blocked five shots in the second game vs. NU. Delvon Roe leads the Spartans with 24 blocks, followed by Draymond Green with 23.

Spartans From Distance
Michigan State is shooting .380 from 3-point range this season, ranking fifth 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 17 or more 3-pointers led by Durrell Summers with 38. Keith Appling is shooting a team-best .452 from 3-point range, as four of the five Spartans hitting 17 or more threes are shooting 40 percent or better (Lucas - .415, Green - .415, Summers - .404). As a team, MSU ranks seventh in the Big Ten with 7.18 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 407 of 526 opponents (.774), posting a 323-84 (.794) mark in those games. This year, MSU has out-rebounded 11 of 17 opponents, including 10 of the last 13, posting a +4.4 margin. The Spartans are 9-2 when out-rebounding their opponent, and 3-3 when failing to do so.

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. Lucas (14.7 ppg) and Summers (14.2 ppg) combine to average 28.9 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 (94), while ranking fourth in percentage (.409). Summers has made four or more three pointers in five of the last 10 games and three or more in six of the last 10. He ranks tied for seventh in the Big Ten in 3-point field goals made per game (2.24). Summers needs just seven more 3-pointers to tie his single-season high of 45, established as a sophomore.

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.

Spartan Depth
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 8.2 minutes or more. MSU's bench is out-scoring opponents' reserves by 8.8 points per game (21.7 ppg-12.9 ppg), out-scoring the opponents' bench in 13 of 17 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.

Quite A Class Already
Although they have played just three-plus seasons, Spartan seniors Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Mike Kebler have won 98 games in their careers. That total ties for the seventh winningest class in school history with the 2008 class. With three more wins, the 2011 class will tie the 2003 class for sixth with 101 wins. If the Spartans win 29 games this season, they will equal the 2001 class (115) as the most successful group in school history.

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 1,160 points for his career, he ranks 32nd in MSU history, needing 17 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 6.9 points and 5.6 rebounds on the season.

Award Candidates
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.

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
Coach Izzo

In his 16th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 376-151 (.713), and 178-77 (.698) 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 178 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.