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Spartans Back At Home Vs. Purdue

The Spartans host Purdue Saturday at noon, with the winner moving into a tie for first place in the conference.

Jan. 20, 2012

#9/9 Michigan State (15-4, 4-2) vs. Purdue (14-5, 4-2)
 Date Saturday, Jan. 21
 Time 12 p.m. ET
 Location East Lansing, Mich. | Breslin Center
 Internet Streaming ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Dan Dakich)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Tickets Available at
 Game Notes Michigan State | Purdue
 Statistics  Michigan State | Purdue
 Internet Coverage   Gametracker | Live Stats (Mobile Users)
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

The Opening Tip
After opening Big Ten play with four of its first six games on the road, Michigan State is back at home for two straight, beginning with Saturday's game vs. Purdue. The Spartans and Boilermakers both enter the contest with a 4-2 Big Ten mark, and the winner will grab a share of first place in America's best conference.

The Starting Five
1. Success At Breslin

Michigan State is 305-44 (.874) all-time since Breslin Center opened in 1989, including 157-33 (.826) in Big Ten play. Under Tom Izzo, the Spartans are 231-29 (.888) at Breslin, including a 116-20 (.852) conference record.

2. Team USA Connection
Michigan State forward Draymond Green and Purdue coach Matt Painter spent a good portion of the summer together with USA Basketball for the World University Games in China. Green averaged 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, ranking second on the squad in boards for head coach Painter. Team USA posted a 7-1 record, losing in the quarterfinals to finish fifth.

3. Strong Spartan Defense
Michigan State's defensive effort has been impressive this season. The Spartans are allowing just 60.7 points (ranking 41st in the nation through Jan. 19) on .386 shooting (24th in nation), including .301 from 3-point range (35th in nation). MSU also ranks 51st in the nation in steals (8.2 spg). The Spartans rank fifth in the Big Ten in scoring defense, second in field-goal percentage defense and second in 3-point field-goal percentage defense. In the last two games, however, MSU is allowing opponents to shoot .505 as Northwestern (.500) and Michigan (.511) are the only teams to reach .500 this season versus MSU.

4. Finding The Long Distance Connection
Through the first six games of the season, MSU was shooting just .269 from 3-point range (32-119). In the last 13 games, however, the Spartans have been on target, connecting on .441 of their shots (83-188) from behind the arc. In the last three games, MSU has shot .510 from 3-point range (26-51).

5. Spartan Double-Doubles
Four different Spartans have recorded a double-double this season. Draymond Green leads the way with 10 double-doubles in the season's first 19 games, pacing the Big Ten. Green has posted a double-double in three straight games and six of the last eight. Adreian Payne, Brandon Wood and Branden Dawson have each recorded one double-double.

MSU vs. Purdue Notes
Series History

Purdue leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 65-46. The Spartans, however, own a 28-25 advantage in East Lansing. MSU has won 17 of the last 27 games in the series. Tom Izzo is 17-13 in his career against Purdue.

Coach Painter
Matt Painter (Purdue, `94) is 177-74 in his eighth season as a collegiate head coach, including 152-69 in his seventh season at Purdue. After one year as head coach at Southern Illinois, he served as associate head coach at Purdue in 2004-05 in Gene Keady's final year as Boilermaker coach.

The Last Meeting In East Lansing
Purdue defeated Michigan State, 67-47, on Feb. 27, 2011, in East Lansing. MSU trailed 21-16 with 8:08 left in the first half. Kalin Lucas then missed a layup. In Purdue's next possession, E'Twaun Moore hit a 3-pointer after two offensive rebounds. MSU then missed its next four shots, including two missed layups, and Purdue hit two more shots, including a JaJuan Johnson 3-pointer to push the Boilermaker lead out to 13 at 29-16 with 4:44 remaining. MSU never got closer than seven points after that. Johnson led Purdue with 20 points and 17 rebounds, while Moore added 17 points and Lewis Jackson contributed 16 points and seven assists. Lucas led MSU with 23 points and was the only Spartan in double figures.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State defeated Purdue, 74-56, in the 2011 Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals on March 11 at Indianapolis' Conseco Fieldhouse. The Spartans got off to a quick start and led by 10 less than eight minutes into the game. Kalin Lucas scored 15 of his career-best 30 points in the game's first 10:33. The Spartans led 37-23 at the half, thanks to hitting 7-of-9 3-pointers. In the second half, MSU pushed the lead out to 20 points early. Purdue cut the Spartan lead to nine with 6:27 left, but an 8-0 run put the game out of reach. Lucas' 30 points were a MSU Big Ten Tournament record, while the 18-point margin of victory was MSU's largest in a Big Ten Tournament game. Keith Appling was the only other Spartan in double figures with 10 points. MSU shot 53.8 percent from 3-point range, holding Purdue to 18.8 percent from behind the arc. MSU held a 41-28 advantage on the glass, allowing just four offensive rebounds and four second-chance points.

Boilermaker Notes
Senior Robbie Hummel is the Big Ten's second-leading active rebounder with 730, trailing only Draymond Green (894) ... Purdue ranks second in the nation in turnovers per game (9.6), eighth in turnover margin (+4.9) and eighth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.44) ... Ryne Smith ranks 17th in the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage (.453), while leading the Big Ten with 2.8 made 3-pointers per contest ... Purdue is averaging 26.5 points from its bench in Big Ten action.

Gm. 19 Recap
Michigan 60 - Michigan St. 59

Michigan State found itself trailing, 13-4, just over four minutes into the contest. With 5:25 left in the first half, Michigan held a 30-20 lead. The Spartans responded with a 9-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer from freshman reserve Brandan Kearney, cutting the deficit to 30-29. UM, however, scored the final six points of the half and took a 36-29 lead into the break. In the second half, the Wolverines pushed their lead out to 47-36 with 12:18 remaining. The Spartans answered with a 16-2 run, including 3-pointers from Kearney, Brandon Wood and Austin Thornton and a 3-point play by Derrick Nix. When Keith Appling hit a jumper with 5:47 left, MSU held a 52-49 lead. About 90 seconds later, a basket by Derrick Nix gave the Spartans a 57-53 lead with 4:21 left. When Thornton hit two free throws at the 2:32 mark, MSU led 59-56. Michigan immediately answered with a basket. The Spartans then turned it over, but forced a Michigan miss. MSU had two chances to extend its lead, but missed and Trey Burke grabbed the rebound and raced down the court, finding an open Stu Douglass for a layup with 35 seconds left, taking a 60-59 lead. MSU had three chances to win the game in the final seconds, but Appling had a shot blocked and Draymond Green missed a driving jumper and the follow tip at the buzzer. Burke led all scorers with 20 points for the Wolverines, while Derrick Nix led MSU with 13 points.

MSU vs. Michigan Notes
* Derrick Nix scored a team-high 13 points, becoming the seventh different Spartan to lead the team in scoring this season.
* Michigan shot 51.1 percent from the field, the highest percentage by a Spartan opponent this season.
* MSU owned a 31-18 advantage on the glass, including holding Michigan to just two offensive rebounds, a season low for a Spartan opponent.
* Michigan hit three of its first four 3-point attempts, and just three of its next 17.
* MSU blocked a season-low one shot.
* Draymond Green passed Goran Suton for sixth in MSU career rebounding (894).
* Brandan Kearney came off the bench to score a season-high six points, knocking down two 3-pointers.
* MSU attempted a season-low five free throws, making four.

MSU Basketball Notes
Lending A Helping Hand

Michigan State ranks 16th in the nation and second in the Big Ten in assists with 16.7 per game (NCAA ranking through Jan. 19). The Spartans have recorded an assist on 61.2 percent of their baskets. Over the last 12 games, the Spartans are averaging 18.8 assists. Individually, Keith Appling is averaging 5.0 assists in the last 12 contests.

Big Ten Success
Michigan State has won 12 Big Ten Championships, including two of the last three, 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 545-446 (.550) in league play, including 187-87 (.682) under Tom Izzo, who ranks sixth in league history with 187 conference wins. Izzo has guided MSU to six of its 12 league crowns. Since Izzo's first season (1995-96), MSU has a Big Ten-best record of 187-87, 15.5 games better than second place Wisconsin (172-103).

MSU's Mr. Everything
Coach Izzo has explained that he hasn't had a player asked to do as much for a team as Draymond Green, and the numbers prove it. In addition to being the unquestioned leader of the squad, Green leads the team in scoring (15.4 ppg), rebounding (10.1 rpg), minutes (33.0 mpg), steals (30) and blocks (221), while ranking second in assists (3.4 apg). He leads the Big Ten in rebounding, defensive rebounds (7.6 drpg) and offensive rebounds (2.5 orpg), while ranking tied for sixth in scoring, tied for seventh in steals, ninth in blocks, 10th in minutes (33.0 mpg), tied for 12th in assists, and 14th in assist/turnover ratio and 3-point field-goal percentage (.403).

Mr. Spartan
While Draymond Green's statistical contributions are significant and impressive, his best quality is his leadership. Green is in his third year as a captain, becoming just the fifth three-time captain in school history. Coach Tom Izzo recently called Green "the perfect Spartan," saying that he's becoming "the face of Michigan State athletics" like Mateen Cleaves or Kirk Cousins. Said Izzo, "I have something that you don't get very often ... I've got a guy who is my voice. And he's kind of my personality, which makes it even better for me."

Appling Locks Them Up
Besides everything Keith Appling provides on the offensive end of the floor, leading the team in assists and ranking second in scoring, he is perhaps even more impressive on the defensive end where he is emerging as one of the premier defenders in the league. Named MSU's Best Defensive Player as a freshman, Appling is terrific at running through screens and not allowing his man an open look. Consider two of his more recent efforts. UMKC's Reggie Chaimberlain entered the game averaging 19.0 points, but was limited to 2 points on 1-of-8 shooting. IU's Jordan Hulls was held to 4 points on 2-of-10 shooting, after entering the contest averaging 12.1 points.

Spartans Shooting Better
Michigan State got off to a slow start in terms of field-goal percentage this season, shooting .306 from the field against North Carolina outdoors on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. Over the first six games of the season, MSU shot .423 from the field and .238 from 3-point range. In the last 13 games, however, MSU has shown dramatic improvement, hitting .505 from the field and .441 from 3-point range. The Spartans have shot over 50 percent in six of the last 12 games, including three contests better than 61 percent. In league games, MSU ranks second in the conference at .495.

Defending The Three
Last season, Michigan State ranked eighth in the Big Ten, allowing teams to shoot .364 from 3-point range. This year, the Spartans rank second in the conference, allowing opponents to shoot just .301 from behind the arc. MSU has held six opponents to a .250 or lower shooting percentage from behind the arc. That happened just four times all of last season. Ten opponents have shot under .300, including four of the last five.

It's All About Boardwork
After leading the nation in rebounding margin in both 2009 (+9.3) and 2010 (+8.6), Michigan State ranked 48th in the nation last season at +4.0. The Spartans have shown a better effort in 2011-12, out-rebounding 18 of 19 opponents by a +10.1 margin, including five by 15 or more, leading the Big Ten and ranking fourth in the nation (through Jan. 19). The Spartans have led the nation in rebounding margin in four of the last 12 seasons, ranking in the top 10 seven times and the top 25 on 10 occasions. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 11 of the last 14 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 434 of 563 opponents (.771), posting a 342-92 (.788) mark in those games.

Consistent Starting Lineup
Michigan State has used the same starting lineup (Keith Appling, Branden Dawson, Draymond Green, Adreian Payne, Brandon Wood) for 17 of its 19 games. The only changes came against Eastern Michigan when Derrick Nix started in place of Payne, and vs. Lehigh when Austin Thornton started in place of Green.

Becoming A Point Guard
Keith Appling has been asked to make the transition from the wing to point guard for Michigan State this season. As the season progresses, Appling seems more at home in his new position. While he did not have an assist in the first two games of the season, he's averaging 4.4 assists in his last 17 games with a 2.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Dec. 5 and then again on Jan. 2. He's averaging 5.0 assists in the last 12 games, including a career-best 9 vs. Iowa, and has seven or more assists in five of the last 12 games. He owns a 2.4-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last 12 contests. In conference games, he ranks second in the Big Ten with 5.0 assists per game and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.0).

Three-Headed Scoring Attack
Three Spartans have emerged as Michigan State's leading scorers, as Draymond Green (15.4 ppg), Keith Appling (12.7 ppg) and Brandon Wood (9.7 ppg) are all averaging at least 9.7 ppg. It's been more pronounced over the last 13 games as the trio is averaging a combined 40.6 points (Green-16.6, Appling-13.7, Wood-10.3). As a group, they outscored Florida State, 56-49.

Second-Chance Points
Michigan State is outscoring opponents, 270-172, in second chance points for the season. That's an average of +5.1 points per game (14.2-9.1). The Spartans are averaging 13.1 offensive boards per game, ranking second in the Big Ten. MSU has 249 offensive rebounds on the year compared to 381 defensive rebounds for its opponents, good for an offensive rebound percentage of .395, ranking first in the conference. The Spartans have grabbed 20 or more offensive boards three times this season.

What A Difference A Year Makes
Through the first 19 games of the season, Derrick Nix is averaging 7.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 18.6 minutes per contest. That's a contrast to last season when Nix averaged just 2.7 points and 2.0 rebounds for the season. Nix has even elevated his play recently, averaging 9.6 points and 4.7 rebounds in the last 12 games. In the first 73 games of his career, Nix scored in double figures just three times; he's done it six times in the last 12 contests. He's been MSU's first sub in 17 of the 18 games in which he's come off the bench.

Guard Rebounding
One of the reasons that MSU is able to rank among the nation's leaders in rebounding margin is that its guards have been strong on the glass. The Spartans' starting backcourt of Keith Appling (3.5 rpg), Brandon Wood (2.9 rpg) and Branden Dawson (4.3 rpg) averages 10.7 boards per contest.

New Faces
Six of the 11 players in the Spartan playing group are seeing their first action in a Michigan State uniform (Russell Byrd, Branden Dawson, Alex Gauna, Brandan Kearney, Travis Trice, Brandon Wood). The six are averaging 37.5 percent of the scoring and 41.1 percent of the minutes. There are just two players on the 2011-12 roster (Keith Appling and Draymond Green) who averaged more than 20 minutes per game last season for MSU.

Climbing The Rebounding Charts
With 894 career rebounds, Draymond Green ranks sixth in MSU history, 12 behind Mike Peplowski (906) in fifth place. He also has a shot at becoming just the fourth player in MSU history with 1,000 career boards, and the third player with 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds, joining Greg Kelser and Johnny Green. Given that the Spartans play 31 regular season games, at least one game in the Big Ten Tournament and possibly at least one postseason game, Green (10.1 rpg) would need to average 9.03 rebounds this season to reach 1,000 for his career. This season, Green leads the Big Ten and ranks 22nd in the nation in rebounding (through Jan. 19). He also ranks 10th in the nation with 10 double-doubles.

Balanced Scoring
Seven different Spartans have led Michigan State in scoring this season. Draymond Green (eight times), Keith Appling (five times), Branden Dawson (twice), Brandon Wood (twice), Derrick Nix, Austin Thornton and Travis Trice have each paced MSU. Adreian Payne also has scored in double figures at least once this season, making eight different players to score 10 or more in a game.

The Turnover Story
One area of concern for the Spartans has been the turnovers. MSU is committing 13.9 per game (although just 12.6 in the last 11 games), while forcing 14.3 by its opponents. The Spartans are averaging 16.7 points per game off opponent turnovers, compared to 12.6 points by opponents off MSU turnovers. The Spartans are 9-0 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponent, but 5-4 when they have more (1-0 when turnovers are equal).

In The Paint
Michigan State has out-scored its opponents in the paint by an average of 36.7-23.9, out-scoring 16 of its 19 opponents. The Spartans even out-scored No. 1 North Carolina in the paint, 34-32, despite the Tar Heels having what some consider to be the premier frontline in the country.

Getting To The Foul Line
Over the first five games of the season, Michigan State was shooting just .629 from the foul line. That has improved recently, as the Spartans are shooting .724 over the last 14 games. For the season, MSU is shooting .696 from the foul line, averaging 22.0 attempts per game.

Green's Weekly Honors
One week after Keith Appling was named Big Ten Player of the Week, Draymond Green earned the honor on Dec. 12, sharing it with Indiana's Christian Watford. Green earned the honor on the strength of his career-high 34-point effort in MSU's win at Gonzaga. For the week, he averaged 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists. He was also named National Player of the Week by's Andy Katz and ESPN's Dick Vitale.

The 1,000-Point Club
With a second-half tip-in vs. Florida State, Draymond Green became the 42nd player in MSU history to reach the 1,000 point mark for his career. With 1,208 points, he ranks 28th in MSU history, needing five to move past Kirk Manns and Ken Redfield (1,212 points) and 35 to move past Stan Washington (1,242 points).

Playing The Best
Since the 1997-98 season (including 2011-12 - through Jan. 18), the year of Michigan State's first of 14 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans have played 151 games against ranked opponents. That total ranks first among teams that have appeared in a Final Four since then. The Spartans are followed by North Carolina (145), Connecticut (139), Kentucky (139) and Duke (137).

Toughest Start Ever
Michigan State opens the season with the toughest start in the nation with back-to-back neutral-site contests vs. No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 Duke. MSU is the first team to open the season against North Carolina and Duke in back-to-back games since Wake Forest and North Carolina State did it in November 1976. Michigan State also has never opened a season with two games against ranked opponents.

Big Ten Contenders
Michigan State was picked third by a panel of media in the 2011-12 Big Ten preseason poll. Ohio State and Wisconsin were picked to finish first and second, respectively. Draymond Green found a spot on the preseason all-conference team, joining Ohio State's Jared Sullinger, Purdue's Robbie Hummel, Minnesota's Trevor Mbakwe and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor.

Draymond On Awards Lists
Senior forward Draymond Green is a familiar face among all the new ones in the Michigan State lineup. A three-year captain, Green is on the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 and the Naismith Award Watch list. He's also one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

An Experienced New Face
Although he had never played a minute for Michigan State prior to this season, senior Brandon Wood brings a wealth of college basketball experience to the Spartan lineup. A two-time All-Horizon League performer at Valparaiso the last two seasons, Wood transfered to MSU in May after receiving his sports marketing and business degree. NCAA rules allow an institution to apply for a waiver to allow a student-athlete to transfer without sitting out a season, provided the student-athlete has earned a bachelor's degree, has eligibility remaining and is enrolling in a graduate-level program. In two seasons at Valpo, Wood scored 1,117 points, including averaging 17.7 ppg as a sophomore and 16.7 ppg as a junior. He's also performed at a high level against some of the nation's best teams, scoring 30 points vs. North Carolina, 24 vs. Michigan State and 21 vs. Purdue as a sophomore, followed by 20 vs. Purdue as a junior. This year, Wood's started all 19 games for MSU, ranking third on the team in scoring at 9.7 ppg.

In The Rankings
Six different Spartan opponents are ranked in at least one of the two polls, including Duke (4 AP/4 USA Today), Ohio State (6/6), North Carolina (8/8), Indiana (11/13), Michigan (20/19) and Illinois (22/25). MSU is ranked No. 9 by the AP and No. 9 by ESPN/USA Today.

U-S-A, U-S-A
Keith Appling and Draymond Green both benefitted from their experiences with USA Basketball over the summer. Green was a member of the World University Games team, averaging 8.6 points and 6.0 rebounds, ranking second on the team in boards, and serving as a distributor from the forward position. Appling played with the FIBA U19 World Championship team, averaging 4.1 points and 10.3 minutes per contest, gaining some valuable experience at the point.

Same Name, Different Spellings
Among MSU's newcomers, three have the same first name, but it's spelled three different ways. Branden Dawson, Brandan Kearney and Brandon Wood each have a different second-to-last lettter in the first name. Pay close attention to eliminate typos.

The Book On Tom Izzo
Coach Izzo

In his 17th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 398-165 (.707), and 187-87 (.682) 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 16 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 .685 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks third all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind Wisconsin's Bo Ryan (.708), former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700) and former Purdue coach Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Ryan (.728), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), Lambert (.709) and Izzo (.707). With 187 conference victories, Izzo ranks sixth all-time.

Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 16 seasons, Tom Izzo won 383 games, ranking sixth in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 16 years.

Izzo's Coaching Tree
Five current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Tom Izzo, including Tom Crean (Indiana), Brian Gregory (Georgia Tech), Stan Heath (South Florida), Mark Montgomery (Northern Illinois) 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. Jim Boylen was head coach at Utah for four years.



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