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MSU Travels To Indiana For Meeting Of One-Loss Big Ten Teams

Michigan State plays Indiana in Bloomington on Sunday afternoon.

Jan. 25, 2013

##13/11 Michigan State (17-3, 6-1) vs. #7/8 Indiana (17-2, 5-1)
 Date Sunday, Jan. 27
 Time 1 p.m. ET
 Location Bloomington, Ind. | Assembly Hall
 Television CBS (Kevin Harlan, Greg Anthony)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Tickets Not Available
 Game Notes Michigan State
 Statistics  Michigan State | Indiana
 Internet Coverage   Gametracker
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

The Last Meeting
Michigan State55
February 28, 2012
Bloomington, Ind.
No. 5 Michigan State Falls to No. 18 Indiana, 70-55
Cody Zeller scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo added 13, leading No. 18 Indiana past No. 5 Michigan State 70-55 on Tuesday night, its third victory over a top five team this season.

Michigan State's difficult stretch continues as the Spartans travel to Indiana. The Spartans and Hoosiers are two of the three teams in a virtual tie for first place in the Big Ten standings with one conference loss. They are the top two teams in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense, but also rank in the top three in field-goal percentage. MSU has won three of four conference games on the road this season.

1. Spartans From The Hoosier State
Three players on the Michigan State roster are from the Hoosier state. Red-shirt sophomore Russell Byrd earned 2010 second-team all-state honors becoming the first ever Indiana All-Star from Blackhawk Christian High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. Sophomore Branden Dawson was an all-state selection and 2011 McDonald's All-American from Gary's Lew Wallace High School. Freshman Gary Harris was the 2012 Indianapolis Star Indiana Mr. Basketball winner and the Indiana Gatorade Player of the Year. A 2012 McDonald's All-American, Harris averaged 25.4 points in leading Hamilton Southeastern High School to the Class 4A sectional final.

2. Spartans In Tough Stretch
Michigan State is in the early stages of a tough stretch of games. Beginning with the home game vs. Ohio State, Michigan State will face seven opponents currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Jan. 21) in a span of 11 games, and nine in the top 27 in the next 12 contests. The Indiana game is just the third in a string of 12 games that will see the Spartans play 10 games against teams that currently own a .500 or better conference record.

3. Limiting Turnovers In Conference Play
One area of concern for Michigan State is the number of turnovers, as the Spartans are averaging 14.1 per game, including four games with 19 or more. In Big Ten play, however, MSU has done a much better job, averaging 11.3 per conference game, including 10.8 in the last six games.

4. Winning the Close Ones
In the Big Ten where the margin between winning and losing can be so slim, it's important to come through in late game situations. That's been a strength for a Spartan team that is 6-1 in games decided by five points or less, including 3-0 in conference games. In the last three minutes of conference games, MSU is shooting .500 (13-26) from the field, and a remarkable .839 (26-31) from the foul line, averaging just 0.7 turnovers per game (five in seven games).

5. Appling On Cousy List
Keith Appling is one of 20 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, honoring the nation's top point guard. Appling is one of four Big Ten point guards on the list as he is joined by Michigan's Trey Burke, Ohio State's Aaron Craft and Minnesota's Andre Hollins. In conference games, Appling ranks tied for second in the Big Ten in assists (4.7 apg), second in steals (2.3 spg), and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.2). Overall, he ranks sixth in assists (4.3 apg) and sixth in steals (1.7 spg).

Series History
Indiana leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 65-48, including a 43-12 advantage in Bloomington. The Spartans, however, have won two of the last three games in Assembly Hall. Tom Izzo is 18-11 in his career against Indiana. MSU has won six of the last seven games in the series and seven of the last nine.

Coach Crean
Tom Crean (Central Michigan, '89) is 262-173 in his 14th season as a Division I head coach, including 72-77 in his fifth season at Indiana. Prior to his arrival in Bloomington, Crean spent nine seasons as head coach at Marquette, guiding the Golden Eagles to the 2003 Final Four. Prior to becoming the head coach at Marquette, Crean was an assistant for four years (1995-99) under Coach Tom Izzo at Michigan State. While Crean was at MSU under Izzo, the Spartans went 88-41, won two Big Ten regular-season titles and appeared in the 1999 Final Four. Crean's first assistant position came at MSU in 1989-90, when he worked under Jud Heathcote as the Spartans won the Big Ten Championship and advanced to the Sweet 16.

The Last Meeting
Indiana defeated Michigan State, 70-55, on Feb. 28, 2012, in Bloomington, Ind., snapping a six-game win streak in the series by the Spartans. Indiana used a late first-half push to take a 14-point lead into halftime. In the second half, IU extended the lead to 16 points. MSU trimmed the deficit to six points at 55-49 with seven minutes left. On IU's next possession, Cody Zeller hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Christian Watford grabbed the rebound on the second free throw. The Hoosiers then grabbed a second offensive board on the possession, and ended it with Watford banking in a 3-pointer, pushing the lead back up to 10 points and stopping the Spartan surge. Draymond Green led MSU with a Big Ten-personal best 29 points, but he was the only Spartan in double figures. Zeller led the Hoosiers with 18 points, and Watford posted a double-double (10 points, 14 rebounds). MSU grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, but did not score a single second-chance point.

Hoosier Notes
Indiana leads the nation in scoring differential (+23.8), free throws made (393) and free throws attempted (538) and rank second in scoring (83.7 ppg) ... The Hoosiers are the only team in the nation to rank in the Top 10 nationally in field goal percentage (.500, 6th) and field goal percentage defense (.369, 7th) ... Indiana is one of just seven teams in the country with five players averaging double figures in scoring ... Victor Oladipo leads the Big Ten in field-goal percentage (.660) and steals (2.3 spg) ... Preseason All-American Cody Zeller ranks fourth in the conference in scoring (16.4 ppg) and second in rebounding (8.2 rpg).

Michigan State won its second straight game at the Kohl Center, defeating the Badgers, 49-47, on Jan. 22. The Spartans got off to a cold start and did not score until the 15:11 mark. Twice in the first half, the Badgers pushed their lead up to seven points, but MSU managed to maintain contact and trailed by just a single point at the half, 28-27. Branden Dawson had a big first half with 11 points and eight rebounds, and Keith Appling added 10 points, hitting three 3-pointers, including one four-point play. Six of the Badgers' 10 first-half field goals were from 3-point range. MSU held the lead through most of the second half, but UW took a brief 39-37 lead on a shotclock buzzer-beating 3-pointer by George Marshall at the 11:49 mark. The Spartans quickly scored six points and never gave up the lead, despite scoring just two points in the final 6:55. MSU was 0-of-6 from the field and 2-of-4 from the foul line in the final 6:55, while the Badgers were 1-of-7 from the field and 1-of-7 from the foul line.

* MSU's 49 points were the fewest it had scored in a victory since beating Michigan, 43-32, on Feb. 17, 1951.
* Keith Appling (19 points) and Branden Dawson (18 points) combined to score 37 of MSU's 49 points.
* Dawson scored a career-high 18 points, and equaled his career high with 13 rebounds.
* MSU out-scored Wisconsin, 20-10, in the paint.
* MSU took a 41-39 lead with 10:03 remaining, and never lost it, despite just scoring eight points in the rest of the game. The Spartans scored just two points in the final 6:55, but never relinquished the lead.
* Michigan State won its second straight game at Kohl Center after losing eight straight in Madison.
* Michigan State won its fourth straight game against Wisconsin, equaling the longest Big Ten streak against Bo Ryan.
* MSU hit 9-of-12 free throws, while Wisconsin made just 7-of-18.

Dawson's Recovery
Given the fact that Branden Dawson had ACL surgery just last March (two days after suffering the injury in the regular-season finale vs. Ohio State), it's remarkable that he has not missed even a single practice this season. Over the last six games, he seems to have elevated his play to another level, averaging 12.5 points and 8.2 rebounds in six Spartan wins, including career highs in both scoring (18 points) and rebounding (13 rebounds) at Wisconsin. On the season, he ranks third on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg), third in rebounding (6.6 rpg), and third in minutes played (26.6 mpg). Still, it's tough to make up for missing the entire summer both in terms of conditioning and skill development.

MSU's Center Tandem
Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne combine to give Michigan State a steady inside presence. Although they often will take the floor together, at least one of them is usually in the game. Combined, they average 18.1 ppg and 13.7 rpg, with both ranking among the top six in the Big Ten in rebounding. Both of them are also shooting over 52 percent from the field.

Payne's Improved Play
Over the last five games, Adreian Payne is averaging 12.0 points, shooting 23-of-33 (.697) from the field, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range. A look at the Big Ten stats shows that Payne is one of the premier big men in the Big Ten, ranking sixth in the conference in rebounding (6.8 rpg), fourth in field-goal percentage (.602) and eighth in blocks (1.2 bpg). He also ranks fifth on the Spartans in scoring at 9.0 points per contest. The main thing limiting Payne's production is foul trouble, as he's played 20 minutes or more in just 10 games. In six games, Payne picked up two first-half fouls, limiting his playing time. He's recorded three double-doubles this season, each one of them in 22 minutes or less. He recently played a career-high 33 minutes against Wisconsin.

Dawson Gets Defensive
Branden Dawson has recorded a team-best 35 steals (1.8 spg), ranking fifth in the Big Ten, and 22 blocks (1.1 bpg), ranking second on the team and 12th in the Big Ten. He is the only player 6-foot-6 or taller to rank in the Top 13 in steals, and the only one 6-foot-6 or shorter in the Top 14 in blocks. As a freshman, Dawson collected 29 steals in 31 games. Keith Appling ranks second on the team and sixth in the Big Ten with 34 steals (1.7 spg), while Adreian Payne leads the team and ranks eighth in the Big Ten with 23 blocks (1.2 bpg).

In The Paint
Michigan State has out-scored its opponents in the paint by an average of +11.2 points (34.9-23.7), out-scoring 17 of its 20 opponents. At times, MSU has dominated the paint, including out-scoring Texas Southern (46-10), Oakland (40-16), Miami (30-14), Nicholls State (52-20), Tuskegee (42-26), Bowling Green (42-24), Texas (30-16), and Ohio State (34-14).

It's All About Boardwork
Michigan State has led the nation in rebounding in four of the last 13 seasons (2000, 2001, 2009, 2010), ranking in the Top 10 eight times and the Top 25 on 11 occasions. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding in 12 of the last 15 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 463 of 601 opponents (.770), posting a 369-94 (.797) mark in those games. The Spartans have out-rebounded 18 of 20 opponents this season, losing the only game in which they were out-rebounded (Minnesota). They rank 4th in the Big Ten and 18th in the nation with a +7.6 rebounding margin.

Big Ten Win No. 200
Tom Izzo recorded his 200th Big Ten victory with MSU's 81-72 win at Penn State. He joins Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) and Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) as the only coaches in a power six conference with 200 conference wins at their current school. Mike Montgomery (California) has more than 200 Pac 12 wins, but a majority of those came in a previous stint with Stanford. With 202 Big Ten wins, Izzo trails Bob Knight (353), Gene Keady (265), Ward Lambert (228), Lou Henson (214), and Branch McCracken (210).

Big Ten Success
Michigan State has won 13 Big Ten Championships, including three of the last four, 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 560-451 (.554) in league play, including 202-91 (.689) under Tom Izzo, who ranks sixth in league history with 202 conference wins. Izzo has guided MSU to seven of its 13 league crowns. Since Izzo's first season (1995-96), MSU has a Big Ten-best record of 202-91, 17.5 games better than second-place Wisconsin (184-108).

Harris' Immediate Impact
Gary Harris ranks second on the team and among Big Ten freshmen in scoring at 12.3 points per contest. If you only consider games in which he played more than a minute, he's averaging 13.0 ppg. He opened his Spartan career by becoming just the third freshman in MSU history to score in double figures in each of his first three games. He suffered a shoulder sprain in the first defensive possession of the fourth game of the season against Boise State, and missed the two games following that one. He is a two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, earning the honor on Nov. 19 and Dec. 10. He's averaging 12.1 in Big Ten play, ranking second among conference freshmen. Harris leads MSU in 3-pointers made (29) and attempted (75), and has made 50 percent (14-of-28) of his shots from behind the arc in conference action.

Playing The Best
Since the 1997-98 season, the year of Michigan State's first of 15 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans have played 166 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 (153), Kentucky (148), Duke (147) and Connecticut (139). (Through Jan. 24)

Another Izzo Milestone
Tom Izzo became the third-winningest coach in Big Ten history with Michigan State's win vs. Purdue. The victory was win No. 424, passing Lou Henson (423 wins; 1975-96). Izzo (429 wins) now trails just Bob Knight (662; 1971-2000) and Gene Keady (512; 1980-2005).

Spartan Double-Doubles
Four different Spartans have posted a double-double this season. Adreian Payne (Nicholls State, Loyola, Tuskegee) and Branden Dawson (Connecticut, Purdue, Wisconsin) lead the way with three. Derrick Nix (Tuskegee and Texas) has two, while Denzel Valentine (Oakland) has one.

Spartan Defense
The 2011-12 season was one of Michigan State's best defensive efforts on record. The Spartans ranked second in the nation, allowing opponents to shoot .379 from the field, the lowest percentage by Spartan opponents since 1957-58 (.343). In addition, MSU ranked No. 15 in the nation in scoring defense (59.3 ppg) and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.299). This season, MSU is allowing opponents to shoot .378 from the field, ranking second in the Big Ten, including .308 from 3-point range, ranking third. MSU also ranks second in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 57.8 points per contest. In MSU's lone conference loss, it had one of its weaker defensive efforts, allowing Minnesota to score 76 points on 56.6 percent shooting, both of which were season highs for Spartan opponents.

There's An App For That
Keith Appling leads the Spartans in scoring (14.1 ppg - 10th Big Ten) and assists (4.3 apg - 6th Big Ten), having led MSU in scoring in 11 games, and scoring 20 or more points three times. In addition, he's establishing himself as one of the premier defenders in the nation. His play has not gone unnoticed by his head coach, as Tom Izzo remarked "I'm not an easy guy to please. But I'm really excited for him and proud of him for what he's doing right now in an incredible way."

Improved 3-Point Shooting
Since the start of Big Ten play, Michigan State has been shooting better from 3-point range. Over the last seven games, the Spartans are shooting .382 (34-of-89) from behind the arc, ranking fourth in the Big Ten. The high percentage can be directly attributed to prolific shooting from Gary Harris (.500; 14-of-28) and Travis Trice (.400; 8-of-20) in conference action.

Spartans Shooting Better
Michigan State got off to a cold shooting start this season, failing to shoot better than 39 percent in either half in the opener against Connecticut. In the 38 halves of basketball that have followed, the Spartans have shot 50 percent or better 16 times. Through 19 games, MSU is shooting .464 from the field, ranking third in the Big Ten.

Nix Attacks The Glass
Derrick Nix ranks fifth in the Big Ten in rebounding, averaging 6.9 caroms per contest. Nix grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds in his Spartan debut three seasons ago, but did not record double figures in rebounds again until the 2012-13 season opener when he collected 11 boards against Connecticut. He has four double-figure rebounding games this season, and has recorded two double-doubles this season. They were his first double-doubles since his Spartan debut. Following a career-high 25-point, 11-rebound effort against Texas, he was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Dec. 24.

Searching For A Rotation
Michigan State has used five different starting lineups this year, as the Spartans returned to the lineup it used to open the season in the last two games. Eight current Spartans are averaging nine minutes or more per game, and 10 are averaging 4.9 minutes or more. Finding a rotation was difficult early in the season due to injuries to Travis Trice, Matt Costello and Gary Harris. In fact, the game at Miami (No. 7 of the season) was the first game in which all non-redshirting scholarship players saw action, and even then, Trice and Harris were just coming off injuries.

Appling At Winning Time
In several of Michigan State's wins, Keith Appling has made key plays down the stretch to secure a Spartan victory. Against Kansas, Appling scored five points in the final 1:36, first hitting a 3-pointer to give MSU a four-point lead, and then connecting on an acrobatic driving layup with 14 seconds left to give MSU a 67-64 win. He scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half against the Jayhawks. Against Boise State, with MSU leading by two points in the final minute, Appling hit another driving layup with 14 seconds left, this time converting on a three-point play to give MSU a 73-68 advantage. Against Oakland, with the Golden Grizzlies having cut the lead to four points with under seven minutes left, Appling knocked down a 3-pointer to spark a 15-1 run to close the game. At Iowa, he scored six of his 12 points in the final 1:49, including hitting all four free throw attempts in the final 20 seconds of a three-point Spartan win. Against Ohio State, he had a direct hand in MSU's final nine points, including scoring the Spartans' final six points in the last 41 seconds; assisting on Adreian Payne's three-point play, driving past Aaron Craft for a go-ahead layup, scoring on a breakaway dunk and sealing the game with two free throws with 7.9 seconds left. After the OSU victory, Coach Tom Izzo remarked "Appling at winning time has been as good as anybody."

Freshman Contributions
Freshmen Gary Harris and Denzel Valentine have made key contributions early in their Spartan careers. Harris ranks second on the squad in scoring (12.3 ppg) and minutes (28.4 mpg). Valentine also has made his mark, ranking second in assists (2.7 apg), fourth in rebounds (4.1 rpg) and sixth in minutes (21.2 mpg). Matt Costello has seen limited action, averaging 4.9 minutes in the 14 games in which he's played.

Second-Chance Points
Michigan State is outscoring opponents, 239-170, in second-chance points for the season. That's an average of +3.4 points per game (11.9-8.5). The Spartans are averaging 11.5 offensive boards per game, with an offensive rebound percentage of .354.

Big Ten Strength
Once again, the Big Ten makes a strong claim as the toughest conference in college basketball. Michigan (No. 2), Indiana (No. 7), Minnesota (No. 12), Michigan State (No. 13), and Ohio State (No. 14) are all ranked in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 (Jan. 21). To make matters more difficult for MSU, the Spartans will play a combined eight games against those four teams during conference play. Michigan State's single plays are at Iowa and Penn State, and hosting Illinois and Northwestern. Last season, eight of the 12 league teams participated in the postseason, including five teams in the NCAA Tournament.

Payne's Block Party
Junior center Adreian Payne ranks tied with Goran Suton for sixth in Michigan State history with 90 career blocks. Ken Johnson ranks fifth with 96, while Matt Steigenga ranks fourth with 97. Earlier this season, Payne equaled his career high with four blocks against Kansas.

Spartan Captains
Senior Derrick Nix and red-shirt sophomore Russell Byrd will serve as team captains during the 2012-13 season. They were chosen by a vote of their teammates, and Tom Izzo made the announcement at MSU Men's Basketball Media Day on October 9.

Spartan Strong
Michigan State has a reputation for being a strong, physical team and the numbers back it up. Twelve players on MSU's roster can leg press over 700 pounds, with Derrick Nix leading the way with 1100 pounds. Since his arrival on campus, Keith Appling has increased his leg press by 315 pounds under the direction of Strength and Conditioning Coach Mike Vorkapich. Collectively, the Spartans can leg press 6 tons - the equivalent of three cars or one African elephant. In terms of upper body strength, Nix leads the way once again, bench pressing the NBA testing standard of 185 pounds 22 times. Gary Harris is the strongest of the guards, ranking tied with Alex Gauna for second on the team with 19 repetitions.

Athletes Too
In addition to their strength, the Spartans have also proven to be incredibly athletic, leading to the up-tempo pace Michigan State desires to play this season. When Coach Izzo recruited Adreian Payne, he called Payne the most athletic big man he's ever coached. He wasn't exaggerating as Payne holds the Izzo-era record for a standing vertical jump (no step) at 38 inches. Given a running start, three players can elevate greater than 40 inches: Keith Appling (42"), Adreian Payne (41"), and Travis Trice (40.5").

Coach Izzo
In his 18th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 429-172 (.714), and 202-91 (.689) 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 17 seasons as a head coach, Izzo has captured eight National Coach of the Year awards, including the Clair Bee Award in 2005 and NABC honors in 2001 and 2012. 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 also earned National Coach of the Year accolades from in 2012. He earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1998, 2009 and 2012.

Among The Big Ten's Best
Tom Izzo's .689 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 (.712), and former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700), and ahead of former Purdue coach Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Ryan (.724), Izzo (.714), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), and Lambert (.709). With 201 conference victories, Izzo ranks sixth all-time.

Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 17 seasons, Tom Izzo won 412 games, ranking tied for second in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 17 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 (College of Charleston). 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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