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Spartans And Wolverines Battle On Sunday

The Spartans travel to Ann Arbor for Sunday's game against Michigan.

Feb. 28, 2013

#9/10 Michigan State (22-6, 11-4) vs. #4/4 Michigan (23-5, 10-5)
 Date Sunday, March 3
 Time 4 p.m. ET
 Location Ann Arbor, Mich. | Crisler Center
 Television CBS (Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery)
 Radio Spartan Sports Network (Will Tieman, Gus Ganakas, Matt Steigenga)
 Tickets Sold out
 Game Notes Michigan State
 Statistics  Michigan State | Michigan
 Internet Coverage   Gametracker
 Social Media @MSU_Basketball   |  Facebook

The Last Meeting
Michigan State75
February 12, 2013
East Lansing, Mich.
No. 8 MSU Grabs Rivalry Win Over No. 4 Michigan, 75-52
Michigan State turned a highly anticipated, historic matchup into a showcase of what its proud program is capable of doing this season.

The closing gauntlet of Michigan State's schedule continues as the Spartans play at Michigan on Sunday following a week without a game. The Michigan game will be the 11th game in a span of 12 that will see MSU play 10 of 12 contests against teams likely to make the NCAA Tournament. It will also be MSU's third-straight game against a ranked opponent.

1. The Closing Gauntlet
Beginning with the Feb. 19 game against Indiana, the Spartans will play four straight games against ranked opponents, including two on the road (if the current rankings hold). MSU will be the only team in the nation to play four straight conference games against ranked opponents this season. The last time a Spartan team played four straight Big Ten games against ranked opponents came in 1993.

2. MSU Against Ranked Opponents
Michigan State is 4-4 this season against teams that were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 at the time of the contest. The Spartans have played 12 of their 28 games against teams that have been ranked at some point this season, posting a 6-6 mark in those contests. In fact, MSU has played 10 games against teams that have been ranked in the Top 10 at some point this season, going 5-5.

3. Payne's Improved Play
Over the last 13 games, Adreian Payne is averaging 12.1 points, shooting 57-of-95 (.600) from the field, including 10-of-19 from 3-point range. In the last three games, he's averaging 14.7 points and 12.0 rebounds, including grabbing 14 boards at Nebraska and a career-high 15 at Ohio State. A look at the Big Ten stats shows that Payne is one of the premier big men in the Big Ten, ranking fourth in the conference in rebounding (7.3 rpg), second in field-goal percentage (.583) and eighth in blocks (1.3 bpg). He also ranks fourth on the Spartans in scoring at 9.9 points per contest. Early in the season, he was limited by foul trouble, averaging just 20.1 minutes in the first 18 games, playing 30 or more minutes just once. However, he is averaging 31.2 minutes over the last 10 games, recording seven of the eight 30-minute games of his career.

4. Harris Paces Big Ten Freshmen
In Big Ten games, Gary Harris leads conference freshmen in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per contest. Harris leads Big Ten freshmen in 3-point percentage in conference games at .500 (37-of-74), ranking second among all players, and 3-point field goals made (2.5), which leads all players. Defensively, he leads Big Ten freshmen with 1.6 steals per game, ranking fifth among all players. He also leads conference freshmen in overall scoring at 13.2 ppg. Following a week in which he averaged 15.5 points, including 17 against No. 4 Michigan, he earned his third Big Ten Freshman of the Week honor on Feb. 18, having also been honored on Nov. 19 and Dec. 10.

5. 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 171 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 (155), Kentucky (150), Duke (147) and Connecticut (142). (Through Feb. 27)

Series History
Michigan leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 94-76, including a 58-29 advantage in games played in Ann Arbor. MSU has won 20 of the last 26 games overall. Tom Izzo is 20-11 in his career against the Wolverines.

Coach Beilein
John Beilein (Butler, `90) is 665-400 in his 35th season as a collegiate head coach, including 114-82 in his sixth season at Michigan. His coaching career also includes stints at West Virginia, Richmond, Canisius, LaMoyne, Nazareth and Erie Community College.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State defeated Michigan, 75-52, on Feb. 12, 2013, in East Lansing. The Spartans scored the game's first four points and never trailed or were even tied. Leading 15-12 midway through the first half, the Spartans used a 20-7 run over nearly 10 minutes to take a commanding 35-19 lead. The lead never dipped below 12 points in the second half as a 10-2 run early in the stanza gave MSU a 52-31 lead, putting the game out of reach. At one point in the second half, the Spartans led by as many as 31 points. The story of the game was MSU's energy, both defensively, holding UM to 39.6 percent shooting, and on the glass, out-rebounding Michigan, 41-30. Gary Harris led four Spartans in double figures with his 17 points. Trey Burke led all scorers with 18 points, but was one of just two Wolverines to score more than five points.

The Last Meeting In Ann Arbor
Michigan defeated Michigan State, 60-59, on Jan. 17, 2012, in Ann Arbor. Leading by seven points at the half, the Wolverines pushed their lead out to 47-36 with 12:18 remaining. The Spartans answered with a 16-2 run, and when Keith Appling hit a jumper with 5:47 left, MSU held a 52-49 lead. When Austin Thornton hit two free throws at the 2:32 mark, MSU led 59-56. Michigan then scored four straight points, 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. Trey Burke led all scorers with 20 points for the Wolverines, while Derrick Nix led MSU with 13 points. MSU held a 31-18 edge on the glass, but Michigan shot 51.1 percent from the field.

Wolverine Notes
Michigan is one of the top offensive teams in the Big Ten, ranking second in scoring offense (76.0), field-goal percentage (.495) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.393) ... Three different Wolverines (Nik Stauskas-65, Trey Burke-55, and Tim Hardaway Jr.-53) have made 53 or more 3-pointers on the season, each shooting better than 39 percent from behind the arc.

Ohio State defeated Michigan State, 68-60, on Feb. 24, in Columbus. The Spartans went on a late run, scoring the final six points of the first half to take a 31-25 lead into halftime. In the first half, MSU out-shot OSU, 50.0 percent to 34.5 percent, out-scoring the Buckeyes, 24-14, in the paint. Gary Harris hit a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second half, and after the teams exchanged baskets, MSU held a 36-27 lead with 18:11 remaining. Ohio State then exploded on a 24-5 run to take a 51-41 lead at the 9:41 mark. During the stretch, the Buckeyes hit 9-of-12 shots, compared to just 2-of-8 with four turnovers for the Spartans. MSU made one final push, scoring seven straight points to trim the OSU lead to two points at 61-59 with 2:41 left, but the Spartans could not get any closer. The Buckeyes shot 57.1 percent in the second half.

* MSU held a 24-14 advantage in points in the paint in the first half, but was out-scored, 14-10, in the paint in the second half.
* MSU's defense held Ohio State to 34.5 percent shooting in the first half, but the Buckeyes shot 57.1 percent in the second half.
* Adreian Payne grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, recording his fifth double-double of the season.
* The Spartans made just two 3-point field goals, matching their season low.
* Gary Harris dished out a season-high five assists.

Harris Ranks Among Best MSU Freshmen Ever
Gary Harris is on his way to turning in one of the best freshman campaigns in Michigan State history. His 13.2 ppg overall scoring average ranks third in school history behind just Earvin Johnson (17.0) and Shawn Respert (15.8). With 52 made three-pointers he also ranks third, trailing Chris Hill (66) and Shawn Respert (60), while ranking third with 121 3-point attempts. As the season progresses, look for Harris to move into the top five in other MSU freshman records.

Balanced Scoring
Michigan State presents a balanced scoring attack, especially in Big Ten games, where all five Spartan starters average double-figures in scoring. Keith Appling, Branden Dawson, Gary Harris, Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne have all led the Spartans in scoring during Big Ten play, and all five have scored 20 points in at least one game this season, including four of them doing it in Big Ten games.

Appling Joins 1,000-Point Club
With his 16 points at Nebraska, Keith Appling became the 43rd player in Michigan State history to record 1,000 career points, and just the 29th player to reach the milestone in three seasons. With 1,012 career points, he is 17 points away from passing Kevin Smith (1,028 points) for 42nd place in Michigan State history.

Improved 3-Point Shooting
Since the start of Big Ten play, Michigan State has been shooting better from 3-point range. Over the last 15 games, the Spartans are shooting .377 (81-of-215) from behind the arc, ranking third in the Big Ten. The high percentage can be directly attributed to prolific shooting from Adreian Payne (.526; 10-of-19) and Gary Harris (.500; 37-of-74) in conference action.

Limiting Turnovers In Conference Play
One area of concern for Michigan State is the number of turnovers, as the Spartans are averaging 13.5 per game, including five games with 19 or more. In Big Ten play, however, MSU has done a much better job, averaging 11.7 per conference game, including five games with 10 or fewer. On the season, MSU is 12-1 when committing the same number or fewer turnovers than its opponent.

Valentine Bounces Back
After appearing to have hit a "freshman wall" in mid-late January, Denzel Valentine has bounced back recently, averaging 7.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists over the last seven games. He's also shooting .543 from the field and .385 from 3-point range during this stretch.

Assists From The Post
One of the reasons Michigan State has been shooting well from the perimeter in conference play has been the inside-outside combination, and many well placed passes from the post hitting the Spartan shooters at the right time. Among the best at it is senior center Derrick Nix. In conference games, he ranks third on the team with 27 assists. He's been especially effective lately, totaling 26 assists and just 12 turnovers in the last 11 games, including collecting a career-best six assists at Indiana.

Spartans In Tough Stretch
Michigan State is in the late stages of a tough stretch of games. Beginning with the home game vs. Ohio State, Michigan State will play eight games against opponents currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Feb. 25) in a span of 12 games, and nine in the top 31 in the next 12 contests. The Michigan game is the 11th in a string of 12 games that will see the Spartans play eight games against teams that currently own a .500 or better conference record.

There's An App For That
Keith Appling leads the Spartans in scoring (13.4 ppg - 14th Big Ten) and assists (3.8 apg - 6th Big Ten), having led MSU in scoring in 13 games, and scoring 20 or more points four times, all coming in Spartan wins. He's also shown a knack to elevate his play in the final minutes of games. 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." He was named captain on Jan. 20. Following his 24-point, 8-rebound, 7-assist game against Illinois, he was named Co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 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 7-3 in games decided by five points or less, including 3-2 in conference games. In the last three minutes of conference games, MSU is shooting .460 (23-50) from the field, and .729 (62-85) from the foul line (although just 2-of-6 in a home loss to Indiana), averaging just 0.8 turnovers per game (12 in 15 games).

Takeaway Kings
Michigan State leads the Big Ten in steals in Big Ten games (8.0 spg) and overall (8.3 spg). The Spartans have led the conference in steals just once since the Big Ten first started crowning a steals champion in 1986 (conference games only), recording 8.3 per game in 1998.

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 470 of 609 opponents (.772), posting a 373-97 (.794) mark in those games. The Spartans have out-rebounded 25 of 28 opponents this season, having been out-rebounded just twice (Minnesota both times). They rank 3rd in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation with a +6.9 rebounding margin.

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 14 games, he seems to have elevated his play to another level, averaging 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds, including career highs in both scoring (20 points at Purdue) and rebounding (13 rebounds at Wisconsin). On the season, he ranks third on the team in scoring (10.4 ppg), second in rebounding (6.0 rpg), and third in minutes played (27.1 mpg).

Payne's Block Party
Junior center Adreian Payne ranks fourth in Michigan State history with 102 career blocks. Delvon Roe ranks third with 106. Earlier this season, Payne equaled his career high with four blocks against Kansas.

Appling On Cousy List
On Feb. 7, Keith Appling made the cut to one of 12 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, honoring the nation's top point guard. Appling is one of three Big Ten point guards on the list as he is joined by Michigan's Trey Burke and Ohio State's Aaron Craft. In conference games, Appling ranks seventh in the Big Ten in assists (3.7 apg), tied for sixth in steals (1.5 spg), and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.5). Overall, he ranks sixth in assists (3.8 apg) and tied for eighth in steals (1.4 spg).

Dawson Gets Defensive
Branden Dawson has recorded a team-best 47 steals (1.7 spg), ranking fourth in the Big Ten, and 29 blocks (1.0 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 15 in steals, and the only one 6-foot-6 or shorter in the Top 15 in blocks. As a freshman, Dawson collected 29 steals in 31 games. Keith Appling ranks second on the team and tied for eighth in the Big Ten with 40 steals (1.4 spg), while Adreian Payne leads the team and ranks eighth in the Big Ten with 35 blocks (1.3 bpg).

In The Paint
Michigan State has out-scored its opponents in the paint by an average of +9.9 points (34.3-24.4), out-scoring 23 of its 28 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), Ohio State (34-14), and Michigan (36-22). On the season, the Spartans have scored 49.3 percent of their points in the paint (960 of 1949).

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 207 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 565-454 (.554) in league play, including 207-94 (.688) under Tom Izzo, who ranks sixth in league history with 207 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 207-94, 16 games better than second-place Wisconsin (191-110).

20-Win Seasons
With its victory at Purdue, Michigan State recorded its 13th 20-win season in the last 16 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. Of the 21 20-win seasons in Spartan history, Izzo has been involved in 18 of them, 13 as a head coach and five as an assistant.

Harris' Immediate Impact
Gary Harris ranks second on the team and leads Big Ten freshmen in scoring at 13.2 points per contest. If you only consider games in which he played more than a minute, he's averaging 13.7 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 three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, earning the honor on Nov. 19, Dec. 10 and Feb. 18. He's averaging a team-best 13.8 ppg in Big Ten play, leading conference freshmen. Harris leads MSU in 3-pointers made (52) and attempted (121), and has made 50.0 percent (37-of-74) of his shots from behind the arc in conference action.

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 19.4 ppg and 13.3 rpg. Both of them are also shooting better than 52 percent from the field.

Spartan Double-Doubles
Four different Spartans have posted a double-double this season. Adreian Payne (Nicholls State, Loyola, Tuskegee, Nebraska, Ohio State) leads the way with five, while Derrick Nix (Tuskegee, Texas and Nebraska) and Branden Dawson (Connecticut, Purdue, Wisconsin) each have three. 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 .392 from the field, ranking fourth in the Big Ten, including .318 from 3-point range, ranking fourth. MSU also ranks third in the conference in scoring defense, allowing just 59.9 points per contest. In MSU's four conference losses, the Spartans have allowed 72.8 points on .488 shooting.

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 54 halves of basketball that have followed, the Spartans have shot 50 percent or better 21 times. On the season, MSU is shooting .468 from the field, ranking third in the Big Ten. In conference games, the Spartans rank third, shooting .459.

Nix Attacks The Glass
Derrick 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 five double-figure rebounding games this season, and has recorded three double-doubles. 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. Eight current Spartans are averaging 8.5 minutes or more per game, and 10 are averaging 5.7 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.

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 (13.2 ppg) and minutes (29.0 mpg). Valentine also has made his mark, ranking second in assists (2.6 apg), fourth in rebounds (4.3 rpg) and sixth in minutes (21.5 mpg). Matt Costello has seen limited action, averaging 5.7 minutes in the 22 games in which he's played, although he's averaging 3.6 points and 9.0 minutes in his last five games.

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." Against Illinois, Appling scored 19 of his game-high 24 points in the second half, scoring or assisting on 11 of MSU's 14 second-half field goals. He scored nine points in the game's final 4:22.

Big Ten Strength
Once again, the Big Ten makes a strong claim as the toughest conference in college basketball. Indiana (No. 1), Michigan (No. 4), Michigan State (No. 9), Ohio State (No. 16), and Wisconsin (No. 17) are all ranked in the most recent Associated Press Top 25 (Feb. 25), while Illinois has the sixth-highest point total among unranked teams. 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.

Second-Chance Points
Michigan State is outscoring opponents, 314-247, in second-chance points for the season. That's an average of +2.4 points per game (11.2-8.8). The Spartans are averaging 11.1 offensive boards per game, with an offensive rebound percentage of .350.

Another Izzo Milestone
Tom Izzo became the third-winningest coach in Big Ten history with Michigan State's win vs. Purdue on Jan. 5. The victory was win No. 424, passing Lou Henson (423 wins; 1975-96). Izzo (434 wins) now trails just Bob Knight (662; 1971-2000) and Gene Keady (512; 1980-2005).

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. On Jan. 20, Izzo announced that Keith Appling was added as a team captain.

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 434-175 (.713), and 207-94 (.688) 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 .688 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 (.711), 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 (.725), Izzo (.713), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), and Lambert (.709). With 207 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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