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Men's Basketball
Spartans At Ohio State For Big Ten Showdown
 
 
 
The Spartans play at Ohio State Saturday night in a match-up between the Big Ten's two best teams.
 
The Spartans play at Ohio State Saturday night in a match-up between the Big Ten's two best teams.
 
 

Feb. 10, 2012


#11/12 Michigan State (19-5, 8-3) vs. #3/3 Ohio State (21-3, 9-2)
 Date Saturday, Feb. 11
 Time 6 p.m. ET
 Location Columbus, Ohio | Value City Arena
 Television ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Dan Dakich)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Tickets Not Available
 Game Notes Michigan State | Ohio State
 Statistics  Michigan State | Ohio State
 Internet Coverage   Gametracker
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

The Opening Tip
Michigan State travels to Ohio State for a meeting between the top two teams in the Big Ten. The two teams are among the three best defensive teams, the three best offensive teams and the top two rebounding teams in the conference. The game also features Spartan senior Draymond Green and Buckeye sophomore Jared Sullinger, the top two contenders for Big Ten Player of the Year.

The Starting Five
1. Spartan Staples

Tom Izzo has built the Michigan State program on rebounding and defense, two elements at which the Spartans are exceling this season. MSU is holding teams to a .379 field-goal percentage, the lowest total of the Tom Izzo era. The previous low was .384 in 2006-07. MSU's rebounding margin of +10.8 is the third-best margin of the Izzo era, and the best since posting a +15.4 margin in 2001. MSU currently ranks 10th in the nation in field-goal percentage defense and third in rebounding margin.

2. How Valuable Is Draymond?
Draymond Green has led MSU in rebounding in 19 of 24 games, including 10 of 11 Big Ten contests. In fact, the only one he didn't lead in was at Illinois where he played just 16 minutes due to foul trouble and injury. He's led MSU in scoring in 11 games, and paced the Spartans in assists in six contests. He's the only player in the Big Ten to rank in the top 10 in scoring (8th), rebounding (1st) and assists (9th). In fact, no other player in the Big Ten ranks in the Top 15 in all three categories.

3. Dominating The Glass
Michigan State has been a dominating force on the glass all season, out-rebounding teams by a +10.8 margin, ranking third in the nation. The effort has been even more impressive recently, as the Spartans have a +20.0 margin over the last three games, out-rebounding each opponent by at least 17, including a +24 margin vs. Michigan.

4. Dawson's Emergence
Branden Dawson scored in single digits in his first six Big Ten games. He's become a much more effective scorer in the last five games, averaging 12.8 ppg, scoring in double figures in each game, and grabbing 6.2 boards per contest. He started with a 14-point effort vs. Purdue, followed with a career-high tying 16-point game vs. Minnesota, and posted a 12-point, career-high 13-rebound double-double at Illinois. He's shooting .619 (26-of-42) from the field over the last five games. He's scored in double-figures 11 times this season, and ranks third on the team in scoring at 8.9 ppg. He was named Big Ten Freshman of the Week on Jan. 30.

5. Strength of Schedule
According to ESPN.com's InsideRPI Daily (Feb. 10), Michigan State's strength of schedule ranks No. 6 in the country. The Spartans have played 12 of 24 games vs. the RPI Top 100 and 17 of 24 vs. the RPI Top 150. Six of MSU's final seven games will be against teams with an RPI of 60 or better.

MSU vs. Ohio State Notes
Series History

Michigan State leads the all-time series with Ohio State, 63-53. The Buckeyes however, own a 35-22 advantage in games played in Columbus, but MSU has won five of the last seven at Value City Arena. Overall, the Spartans have won 23 of the last 33 games in the series. Tom Izzo is 18-10 in his career against the Buckeyes.

Coach Matta
Thad Matta (Butler, `90) is 313-91 in his 12th season as a collegiate head coach, including 211-60 in his eighth season at Ohio State. Prior to his arrival in Columbus, he served as the head coach at Xavier for three seasons and at Butler for one year.

The Last Meeting
Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 71-61, on Feb. 15, 2011, in Columbus, in the only meeting between the two teams last season. The first half proved to be a back-and-forth affair with nine ties and 11 lead changes, as Ohio State held a 35-34 halftime lead. MSU took a 44-42 lead with 15:11 left on a Kalin Lucas jumper. Ohio State then rattled off seven straight points, and never trailed again. MSU committed three of its 19 turnovers during that stretch. The Spartans trailed by just five points, 64-59, with 2:46 remaining, but the Buckeyes closed the game on a 7-2 run for the final margin. William Buford led all scorers with 23 points for the Buckeyes. Kalin Lucas led MSU with 14 points, getting 10 each from Draymond Green and Adreian Payne. The Spartans dominated points in the paint, outscoring the Buckeyes, 44-26. MSU also shot a season-best 57.4 percent, but hit just 2-of-5 from 3-point range. The foul line proved to be the difference maker as MSU was just 5-of-6, compared to 23-of-29 for Ohio State.

Buckeye Notes
Jared Sullinger ranks second in the Big Ten with 10 double-doubles, trailing only Draymond Green (13) ... Ohio State has won 39 straight games at Value City Arena ... William Buford ranks sixth in Ohio State career scoring with 1,795 points ... Like MSU, Ohio State is one of the top defensive teams in the conference, ranking second in scoring defense (56.6 ppg) and third in field-goal percentage defense (.397) and 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.319) ... Aaron Craft leads the Big Ten in steals (2.2 apg) and ranks third in assists (4.8 apg).

Gm. 24 Recap
Michigan State 77 - Penn State 57

Michigan State had a slow start offensively, but was very strong defensively, not allowing Penn State to score until the 12:20 mark, taking a 9-3 lead. With 5:32 remaining, MSU pushed its lead out to 17 points at 25-8 on a Draymond Green 3-pointer. Green tallied nine points and eight rebounds in the first half. MSU shot just 26.7 percent from the field, but claimed a 30-14 edge on the glass, and held Penn State to just 20.8 percent shooting. Leading 33-19 at the break, the Spartans opened the second half on a 13-5 run to take a 46-24 lead with 16:46 remaining. Over the next seven-plus minutes, Penn State out-scored MSU 23-6, cutting the Spartan lead to five at 52-47. Green then scored six of MSU's next eight points, sparking a 23-5 run to push the advantage back to 23 points. Green finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to pace the Spartans, who held a 44-25 advantage on the glass.

MSU vs. Penn State Notes
* Draymond Green recorded his Big Ten-best 13th double-double (23 points, 12 rebounds) of the season, and his fourth 20-point, 10-rebound game of the year.
* MSU held an 18-1 advantage in second-chance points.
* The Spartans grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, compared to six for Penn State, although the Nittany Lions entered the game leading the Big Ten with 13.5 offensive rebounds per contest.
* Adreian Payne equaled his career high with 12 points, the most he's ever scored in a Big Ten game.
* Keith Appling dished out seven assists, the most since recording nine vs. Iowa on Jan. 10.
* Branden Dawson scored in double figures for the fifth straight game, adding seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals.
* MSU shot 26.7 percent in the first half, but improved to 65.2 percent in the second half, an improvement of 38.5 percent. Penn State also improved from 20.8 percent to 53.6 percent.
* Michigan State committed 14 turnovers, but just four in the second half.

MSU Basketball Notes
20-Win Seasons

With one more victory, Michigan State will record its 12th 20-win season in the last 15 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. Of the previous 19 20-win seasons in Spartan history, Izzo has been involved in 16 of them, 11 as a head coach and five as an assistant.

MSU's Ohio Connection
Michigan State's roster features two players from the Buckeye State: sophomore Adreian Payne and freshman Travis Trice. Payne led Jefferson Township High School to the 2010 Division IV state championship, earning Division IV Player of the Year honors. Trice was the 2011 Gatorade Ohio Boys Basketball Player of the Year as a senior at Wayne High School. Next season, they'll be joined by Kenny Kaminski who earned second-team all-state honors as a prep junior last year at Medina. Other Spartans from Ohio under coach Tom Izzo include Delvon Roe (Euclid), Raymar Morgan (Canton), Travis Walton (Lima), Andre Hutson (Trotwood), A.J. Granger (Findlay), Jamie Feick (Lexington), Quinton Brooks (Akron), Jason Andreas (Sugarcreek), Adam Wolfe (Westerville), Garrick Sherman (Kenton) and Doug Davis (Columbus).

Draymond In Position For Individual Honors
With an outstanding senior season, Draymond Green has put himself in position to earn a nice collection of individual accolades. One of the leading contenders for Big Ten Player of the Year, he is one of 10 finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. He's on the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25, and was recently named one of 20 players on Oscar Robertson Trophy Midseason Watch List, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Green is also on the Naismith Award Watch list. Fans can vote for Green to win the Senior CLASS Award at www.seniorclassaward.com.

Harris Named McDonald's All-American
Michigan State men's basketball signee Gary Harris was named a McDonald's All-American on Thursday, Feb. 9. The prep senior at Hamilton Southeastern High School in Fishers, Ind., is the 11th recruit under MSU head coach Tom Izzo to earn McDonald's All-America honors. Harris will suit up for the East squad in the game at Chicago's United Center on March 28, becoming the 15th McDonald's All-American to play for Michigan State dating back to 1977. Current Spartans Keith Appling (2010) and Branden Dawson (2011) were also McDonald's All-Americans.

Versus Ranked Opponents
Michigan State is 4-3 against ranked opponents this season, including road wins over #23 Gonzaga and #18 Wisconsin, and a home wins over #13 Indiana and #23 Michigan. Both Draymond Green and Keith Appling are scoring better against ranked opponents. Green raises his scoring average from 15.1 ppg vs. non-ranked to 15.3 against ranked opponents. Appling's difference is even greater, averaging 13.7 points against ranked teams, compared to 11.0 ppg vs. non-ranked squads.

Green Attacks The Glass
Draymond Green leads the Big Ten at 10.6 rebounds per game, ranking 11th in the nation (through Feb. 9), including a conference-best 11.5 rebounds per game in league contests. The 11.5 average in conference play is the best in the Big Ten since Ohio State's Brad Sellers averaged 11.5 in 1986. His 10.6 overall average is the best for a Spartan since Antonio Smith averaged 10.6 rpg as a sophomore in 1996-97. Goran Suton led the Big Ten in rebounding in 2009, and prior to that, the last Spartan to pace the conference was Smith in 1997. Green has grabbed double-figure rebounds in 16 games, including eight of the last nine and 11 of the last 14. He has led MSU in rebounding in 19 of 24 games this season. He's recorded 14 or more boards in four of the last nine games.

Strong Spartan Defense
MSU's defensive effort has been impressive this season. The Spartans are allowing just 59.0 points (ranking 19th in the nation through Feb. 9) on .379 shooting (10th in nation), including .294 from 3-point range (20th in nation). MSU also ranks 50th in the nation in blocks (4.5 bpg) and 52nd in steals (7.9 spg). The Spartans rank third in the Big Ten in scoring defense, second in field-goal percentage defense and second in 3-point field-goal percentage defense. Only two teams have shot 50 percent or better from the field, while 17 have shot under 40 percent, including three below 30 percent.

Spartan Double-Doubles
Four different Spartans have recorded a double-double this season. Draymond Green leads the way with 13 double-doubles, pacing the Big Ten and ranking 12th in the nation (through Feb. 9). Green has posted a double-double in nine of the last 14 games. Branden Dawson has posted two double-doubles, and Adreian Payne and Brandon Wood have each recorded one double-double. Green has tallied 31 career double-doubles. He (15.2 ppg, 10.6 rpg) is looking to become the first Spartan to average a double-double since Mike Peplowski in 1993 (14.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg).

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 returned to their dominant ways in 2011-12, out-rebounding 22 of 24 opponents by a +10.8 margin, including eight by 15 or more, leading the Big Ten and ranking third in the nation (through Feb. 9). 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 438 of 568 opponents (.771), posting a 345-93 (.788) mark in those games.

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 .294 from behind the arc, while ranking first in conference games (.289). MSU has held eight opponents to a .250 or lower shooting percentage from behind the arc. That happened just four times all of last season. Fourteen opponents have shot .300 or lower, including seven of the last 10.

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 18 games, however, the Spartans have been on target, connecting on .409 of their shots (105-257) from behind the arc. In league games, MSU ranks third in the conference at .382.

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 549-447 (.551) in league play, including 191-88 (.685) under Tom Izzo, who ranks sixth in league history with 191 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 191-88, 15.5 games better than second place Wisconsin (176-104).

Spartans Earn Weekly Big Ten Honors
Two Spartans were honored by the Big Ten office on Jan. 30. Draymond Green was named Big Ten Player of the Week for the second time this season, sharing the award with Nebraska's Brandon Richardson. Green was also honored on Dec. 12. Branden Dawson becomes the first Spartan to earn Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors. Keith Appling has been named player of the week twice this season.

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 (15.2 ppg), rebounding (10.5 rpg), minutes (32.7 mpg), steals (35) and blocks (24-tied), while ranking second in assists (3.6 apg). He leads the Big Ten in rebounding and defensive rebounds (8.2 drpg), while ranking fourth in offensive rebounds (2.4 orpg), eighth in scoring, ninth in steals, ninth in assists, 10th in blocks, and 13th in assist/turnover ratio.

400 Wins
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo recorded his 400th win at MSU with the Spartans' 68-52 win over Minnesota. The school's all-time winningest coach with 402 wins, he is just the fourth coach to win 400 games at a Big Ten institution, joining Bob Knight (661 wins), Gene Keady (512) and Lou Henson (423).

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."

Lending A Helping Hand
Michigan State ranks 17th in the nation and lead the Big Ten in assists with 16.2 per game (NCAA ranking through Feb. 9). The Spartans have recorded an assist on 60.9 percent of their baskets. Over the last 17 games, the Spartans are averaging 17.4 assists. Individually, Keith Appling is averaging 4.7 assists in the last 17 contests.

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 18 games, however, MSU has shown dramatic improvement, hitting .493 from the field and .409 from 3-point range. The Spartans have shot over 50 percent in nine of the last 17 games, including four contests at 60 percent or better. In Big Ten games, MSU ranks second in the conference at .479.

Consistent Starting Lineup
Michigan State has used the same starting lineup (Keith Appling, Branden Dawson, Draymond Green, Adreian Payne, Brandon Wood) for 20 of its 24 games. Appling and Dawson have started all 24 games, while Green and Payne have started 23.

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 4.3 assists in his last 22 games with a 1.9-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 4.7 assists in the last 17 games, including a career-best 9 vs. Iowa, and has seven or more assists in six of the last 17 games. He owns a 2.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio in the last 17 contests. In conference games, he ranks third in the Big Ten with 4.5 assists per game and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8).

Second-Chance Points
Michigan State is outscoring opponents, 334-217, in second chance points for the season. That's an average of +4.9 points per game (13.9-9.0). The Spartans are averaging 12.9 offensive boards per game, ranking second in the Big Ten. MSU has 314 offensive rebounds on the year compared to 468 defensive rebounds for its opponents, good for an offensive rebound percentage of .402, ranking first in the conference. The Spartans have grabbed 20 or more offensive boards four times this season.

What A Difference A Year Makes
Derrick Nix is averaging 7.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 18.7 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 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds in the last 17 games. In the first 73 games of his career, Nix scored in double figures just three times; he's done it seven times in the last 17 contests, scoring eight or more points in 11 of the last 17 games. He's been MSU's first sub in 21 of the 23 games in which he's come off the bench.

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 37.1 percent of the scoring and 40.8 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.

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 (3.3 rpg), Brandon Wood (2.8 rpg) and Branden Dawson (4.7 rpg) averages 10.8 boards per contest.

Climbing The Rebounding Charts
With 956 career rebounds, Draymond Green ranks fourth in MSU history, 60 behind Antonio Smith (1,016) in third place. He 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 (10.6 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 13th in the nation in rebounding (through Feb. 5). He also ranks 15th in the nation with 13 double-doubles.

Balanced Scoring
Seven different Spartans have led Michigan State in scoring this season. Draymond Green (11 times), Keith Appling (five times), Branden Dawson (four times), 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 13.8 per game (although just 12.6 in the last 17 games), while forcing 13.8 by its opponents. The Spartans are averaging 16.0 points per game off opponent turnovers, compared to 11.9 points by opponents off MSU turnovers. The Spartans are 10-0 when committing fewer turnovers than their opponent, but 7-5 when they have more (2-0 when turnovers are equal).

In The Paint
Michigan State has out-scored its opponents in the paint by an average of 35.2-23.2, out-scoring 20 of its 24 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 .716 over the last 19 games. For the season, MSU is shooting .696 from the foul line, averaging 22.0 attempts per game.

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 1,280 points, he ranks 24th in MSU history, needing 17 to move past Matt Steigenga (1,296 points).

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 ESPN.com's Andy Katz and ESPN's Dick Vitale. He earned his second Big Ten weekly honor on Jan. 30.

Playing The Best
Since the 1997-98 season (including 2011-12 - through Feb. 9), the year of Michigan State's first of 14 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament, the Spartans have played 152 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 (146), Connecticut (141), Kentucky (140) and Duke (138).

Toughest Start Ever
Michigan State opened 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.

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 has started 22 of 24 games for MSU, ranking fourth on the team in scoring at 8.8 ppg.

In The Rankings
Seven different Spartan opponents are ranked in at least one of the two polls, including Ohio State (3 AP/3 USA Today), North Carolina (5/5), Duke (10/9), Florida State (15/17), Wisconsin (21/22), Michigan (22/25), and Indiana (23/t-23). MSU is ranked No. 11 by the AP and No. 12 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 402-166 (.708), and 191-88 (.685) 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 fourth all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind Wisconsin's Bo Ryan (.709), 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 (.708). With 191 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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