March 2, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
#8/8 Michigan State (23-5, 13-3)
vs. Indiana (6-22, 1-15)
March 3, 2009
7 p.m. EST
Radio: Spartan Sports Network - Will Tieman (Play by Play),
Gus Ganakas and Matt Steigenga (Color), Adam Ruff (Host)
Flagship - WJIM 1240 AM/WMMQ 94.9 FM
TV: ESPN - Brent Musburger (Play by Play), Steve Lavin (Color)
Michigan State Game Notes
The Opening Tip
Michigan State will attempt to clinch its first outright Big Ten Championship since 1999 as it plays Indiana in the final road game of the season for the Spartans. MSU boasts a Big Ten-best 7-1 record in league road contests. The Spartans are coming off an impressive road win at Illinois, and are getting closer to full strength as Raymar Morgan played 20+ minutes for the first time since Jan. 17.
The Starting Five
1. Big Ten Champs
With a win at Illinois, Michigan State clinched at least a share of its first league title since 2001. It is the fifth regular-season Big Ten Championship for head coach Tom Izzo, as he directed the Spartans to four-straight league crowns from 1998-2001. The Spartans are looking to secure their first outright Big Ten title since 1999.
2. MSU In March
Michigan State is 47-20 in March since the 1998-99 season. For his career, Tom Izzo is 54-27 in March.
3. Big Ten Road Wins
4. Morgan Battles Back From Illness
Michigan State is a Big Ten-best 7-1 in league road games, tying the 1999 and 1978 Spartan squads for the school record for most league road wins. In eight Big Ten road games, the Spartans are averaging 69.5 points, led by Kalin Lucas at 18.4 ppg, while Durrell Summers (11.6 ppg) and Raymar Morgan (10.3 ppg) also average double figures. MSU is dominating the glass, out-rebounding opponents by a +11.8 margin. In the seven road wins, MSU averaged just 12.1 turnovers per game, but committed 22 in the loss at Purdue.
scored 14 points in a Spartan win at Illinois, the most he's scored in a game since Jan. 14 against Penn State. After the game against the Nittany Lions, Morgan battled walking pneumonia/mild form of mononucleosis for more than a month, playing limited minutes in eight games and missing three. A healthy Morgan is a key to MSU's long-range hopes, as he was averaging 15.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 27.1 minutes prior to the first Illinois contest, including 15.5 points and 9.5 rebounds in league play, leading the Spartans in scoring and shooting 60.0 percent from the field. MSU is 15-2 with Morgan in the starting lineup and 17-1 when he plays 20 minutes or more.
5. Beating The Best
According to the ESPN.com InsideRPI Daily (March 2), Michigan State leads the nation with 11 wins against the RPI top 50, including six away from East Lansing. Connecticut has nine wins against the RPI top 50, while Illinois and Kansas have eight. The Spartans are ranked No. 4 in the RPI, and their strength of schedule is ranked No. 4.
MSU vs. Indiana Notes
Indiana leads the all-time series with Michigan State, 64-44, including a 42-10 advantage in Bloomington. The home team has won the last nine games in the series. Tom Izzo is 14-10 in his career against Indiana.
Tom Crean (Central Michigan, `89) is 196-118 in his 10th season as a Division I head coach, including 6-22 in his first season at Indiana. Prior to his arrival in Bloomington, Crean spent nine seasons as head coach at Marquette. In 2002-03, he guided Marquette to a 27-6 record, a Conference USA regular-season championship and a Final Four appearance. 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. Before working for Coach Izzo, Crean coached one season at Pittsburgh (1994-95) and four seasons at Western Kentucky (1990-94) as an assistant. 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
Michigan State defeated Indiana, 75-47, on Feb. 7, 2009, in East Lansing. MSU used a 10-0 run early in the second half to turn a three-point lead into a comfortable 13-point margin. Draymond Green established season highs with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Chris Allen led MSU with 16 points. Verdell Jones III led IU with 13 points. Defensively, MSU held IU to just 3-of-16 shooting from 3-point range.
The Last Meeting In Bloomington
Indiana defeated Michigan State, 80-61, on Feb. 16, 2008, in Bloomington. The Spartans held an 18-8 lead midway through the first half, but the Hoosiers responded with a 10-0 burst to spark a 29-8 run. Indiana shot 55.4 percent from the field. MSU committed 19 turnovers, including 12 in the first half. After shooting 60.0 percent in the first half, Michigan State shot just 36.0 percent in the second half. Drew Neitzel scored 21 points to pace the Spartans, while Eric Gordon led all scorers with 28 points for Indiana.
Indiana entered the season as the least experienced team in Big Ten history, returning just 19 points and 185 minutes of experience from last year's squad ... True freshmen have accounted for 71 percent of the team's minutes and 71 percent of its scoring ... Tom Pritchard was a high school teammate of Delvon Roe's at St. Edward.
Game 28 Notes - Michigan State 74 - Illinois 66
* Michigan State clinched a share of its first Big Ten title since 2001.
* After Illinois tied the game at 58 with 7:19 left on the clock, the Spartan defense held the Illini without a field goal until Chester Frazier hit a 3-pointer with 33 seconds left to trim MSU's lead to 69-64.
* Mike Tisdale scored 13 second-half points for Illinois, but did not score after Idong Ibok entered the game defensively at 7:08 and the score tied at 58.
* With the score tied at 58, Kalin Lucas scored five of MSU's next nine points and assisted on another basket.
* Raymar Morgan scored 14 points, his first double-figure game since a Jan. 14 win at Penn State, a span of 11 team games without scoring in double figures.
* Michigan State became one of just three teams, including just two in the Big Ten to score 70 points against Illinois.
* MSU out-scored Illinois, 42-16, in the paint, and 14-6 in fast-break points.
* In the second half, MSU turned 11 Illinois turnovers into 14 Spartan points.
* Tom Izzo recorded his 158th Big Ten win, moving into a tie for eighth place in league history.
MSU Basketball Notes
Despite undergoing two knee surgeries since December 2007, including microfracture surgery last December, Delvon Roe is showing flashes of the skills that had him ranked among the elite high school players in his class nationally. In the fall, Coach Izzo explained that it might be February before Roe could really start to produce on a more consistent basis. Prior to the month of February, he was averaging 5.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 16.5 minutes. Since the start of February, he is averaging 8.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 22.1 minutes. He recorded his first career double-double at Michigan (14 points, 10 rebounds) and was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Feb. 16. Recently, he scored a season-best 16 points vs. Iowa.
Goran Suton leads the Big Ten in rebounding in conference games (8.5 rpg) and ranks second overall (7.8 rpg). In conference play, Suton has recorded double-figure boards against Minnesota (12), Penn State (14), Northwestern (14), Iowa (11), Wisconsin (10) and Illinois (10). In league action, he leads the conference in offensive rebounds (3.06 orpg) and ranks fourth in defensive boards (5.44 drpg). His efforts are a large reason MSU owns an impressive +11.4 rebounding margin in league games. With 789 rebounds for his career, Goran Suton ranks ninth in MSU history, 14 behind Lindsay Hairston (803) in eighth place.
Life Away From Home
Michigan State is a league-best 7-1 in league road games after winning its first six conference road games for the first time since joining the Big Ten in 1950-51. Prior to this season, the Spartans had never won their first four league road games. MSU is 8-1 in true road games, winning at No. 21 Minnesota, Penn State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan, No. 20 Illinois and IPFW. The Spartans have also played six neutral site games, the most by a Michigan State squad in the regular season since the 2005-06 season. MSU is 12-3 away from the Breslin Center. Only Connecticut (13), Niagara (13) and Gonzaga (13) have more wins away from home. MSU played nine of its first 13 games away from home.
MSU's Defensive Stopper
Travis Walton is asserting himself as the best defender in the Big Ten. A two-time All-Big Ten Defensive Team member, he plays a solid defense that, while occasionally resulting in a steal, will hardly ever allow a perimeter player an open look. Consider some of the following games by the players he has guarded: A.J. Abrams (Texas) 8 points - 3-10 FG, 0-4 3FG; Jon Diebler (Ohio State) 7 points - 2-8 FG, 1-6 3FG; Sherron Collins (Kansas) 6-14 FG, 2-8 3FG, 8 turnovers; Jake Kelly (Iowa) 6 points, 3-6 FG, 5 turnovers; Trent Meacham and Demetri McCamey (Illinois) 6 combined points, 1-16 FG, 1-14 3FG; Craig Moore (Northwestern) 11 points, 3-11 FG, 2-10 3FG; Lawrence Westbrook (Minnesota) 6 points, 2-7 FG; Devan Dumes (Indiana) 5 points, 2-5 FG; Manny Harris (Michigan) 7 points 2-10 FG, 1-6 3FG; Demetri McCamey (Illinois) 3-9 FG, 5 turnovers. He split his responsibilities against Wisconsin, holding Joe Krabbenhoft to two points and no rebounds in the first half and Trevon Hughes to two points and just two shots in the second half. In league games, he ranks tied for third in the conference in steals at 1.75 spg, including four steals against Wisconsin and Minnesota and three against Illinois (both games).
It's All About Boardwork
Michigan State ranks second in the nation in rebound margin at +9.9 (as of March 1). MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in nine of the last 11 years. This season, the Spartans are 21-4 when out-rebounding their opponent. MSU has out-rebounded 18 straight opponents. It's a group effort for MSU, as seven different players have led the team or shared the team lead in rebounding in a single game. In Big Ten play, the Spartans own a +11.8 rebounding margin.
Juggling The Lineup
Due to injuries to Goran Suton and Delvon Roe early in the year, and Raymar Morgan's illness as of late, Michigan State has used 13 different starting lineups this season, including nine in the first 12 games. Eleven different Spartans have started a game this season. The Spartans are a perfect 5-0 when Morgan, Roe and Suton are all in the starting lineup.
Izzo Moves Up Conference Win Chart
With 158 conference victories, Tom Izzo ranks tied with Ohio State's Fred Taylor and Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell for eighth place in league history. Izzo's .687 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks second all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind only former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700).
Walton In A Sharing Mood
With 523 career assists, Travis Walton ranks sixth in Michigan State history. Over the last five games, he has totaled 22 assists and just three turnovers, including averaging 5.7 assists in his last three contests. His 3.94 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the Big Ten in conference games, while his 2.57 ratio paces the league overall. He needs 39 assists to pass current Spartan assistant Mark Montgomery (561 assists) for fifth place.
Working On The Defense
In the first six games of the year, MSU's defense allowed opponents to score 72.5 points on 44.7 percent shooting. In the last 22 games, the Spartans are allowing just 60.5 points on 40.6 percent shooting, including just 30.4 percent from 3-point range.
Lucas Dials Up His Scoring
Kalin Lucas has established himself as a top contender for Big Ten Player of the Year honors. He has ranked among the league and national leaders in assists all season, but he's recently elevated his scoring. Over the last 17 games, Lucas is averaging 16.6 points, ranking second in the Big Ten in scoring in conference games at 16.3 ppg. During the last 17 games, he is averaging 5.6 free-throw attempts per game, shooting 85.3 percent from the foul line. He's led MSU in scoring in 10 of the last 17 games.
Defending The Three
Michigan State ranks third in the Big Ten in 3-point field-goal percentage defense in league contests, allowing opponents to hit just 30.4 percent of their shots from behind the arc. Over the last seven games, opponents have made just 25.4 percent of their 3-pointers (33-of-130).
Suton Closing In On 1,000-800 Club
Senior center Goran Suton is closing in on joining an exclusive club, as he looks to become the eighth player in Michigan State history to record 1,000 career points and 800 career rebounds. He currently has 968 points and 789 rebounds, needing 32 points and 11 rebounds to join Greg Kelser (2,014 pts., 1,092 reb.), Paul Davis (1,718 pts., 910 reb.), Andre Hutson (1,393 pts., 835 reb.), Mike Peplowski (1,185 pts., 906 reb.), Lindsay Hairston (1,155 pts., 803 reb.), Bill Kilgore (1,099 pts., 814 reb.) and Johnny Green (1,062 pts., 1,036 reb.).
70 Is The Magic Number
The 70-point mark is an important number for Michigan State's success, both offensively and defensively. The Spartans are 16-0 when scoring 70 or more points, but just 7-5 when scoring fewer than 70. Defensively, MSU is 21-0 when allowing fewer than 70 points, but 2-5 when allowing more than 70.
The Turnover Story
Michigan State is 14-1 when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent, and 3-0 when turnovers are equal, but just 6-4 when committing more. The Spartans are 17-1 when committing fewer than 15 turnovers, but just 6-4 when committing 15 or more. In their wins, the Spartans average just 13.1 turnovers per game, compared to 17.8 turnovers in losses. Last season, the Spartans averaged 13.6 turnovers, which was the lowest average of the Tom Izzo era.
Hitting The Offensive Glass
Michigan State leads the Big Ten in offensive rebounds, grabbing 14.00 per game. The Spartans are grabbing 40.9 percent of their missed shots, collecting 392 offensive rebounds compared to 567 defensive boards for the opponent. In three games this season (Wichita State, Minnesota, Northwestern), MSU has grabbed more offensive boards than the opponent has grabbed defensive rebounds. In Big Ten play, MSU has totaled 230 offensive rebounds compared to 307 defensive boards for the opponents, averaging 14.38 offensive boards per game. The 23 offensive rebounds MSU collected at Minnesota were the most by a Spartan team against a Big Ten opponent since 1998.
Michigan State's Balanced Attack
Through the first 28 games, Michigan State has proven to have great depth. Eight Spartans average 11.0 minutes or more, while 10 average 9.2 minutes or more, although Kalin Lucas is the only player to average more than 29. Three players average double figures in scoring, while two more Spartans average 9.0 points or better for the highest scoring team in the Big Ten. Eight different players have led MSU in scoring in a single game this season. On the boards, three Spartans average 5.5 boards per contest, as MSU paces the league in rebounding margin.
After missing six straight games with a left knee injury in November and December, Goran Suton has appeared in the last 20 games, averaging 10.4 points and 8.0 boards in 26.5 minutes. Suton injured his knee in the second game of the season against IPFW on Nov. 19. After his knee did not respond to rest, he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Dec. 4. His first full practice came on Monday, Dec. 15. He returned to action against The Citadel on Dec. 17. In a win over No. 5 Texas, Suton played 26 minutes off the bench, scoring a team-best 18 points. Against Oakland, Suton led MSU in both scoring (16 points) and rebounding (9 rebounds). He posted a double-double against Minnesota (11 pts., 12 reb.), Penn State (13 pts., 14 reb.), Northwestern (15 pts., 14 reb.) and Iowa (16 pts., 10 reb.). MSU is 19-3 with Suton in the lineup.
MSU's Detroit Duo
Spartan sophomores Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers have been playing with each other since middle school and were AAU teammates in the Detroit area. Over the last nine games, they have combined to average 26.5 points as Lucas is averaging 15.5 and Summers is averaging 11.0 points per game. Lucas ranks second in the Big Ten in scoring in league games at 16.3 ppg. Summers has elevated his play over the last 11 games, averaging 11.0 points and shooting 46.4 percent from the field (45-of-97).
With a win at Michigan, Michigan State recorded its 10th 20-win season in the last 12 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. Of the 18 20-win seasons in Spartan history, Izzo has been involved in 15 of them, 10 as a head coach and five as an assistant.
The Free Throw Story
Traditionally a strong free-throw shooting team, Michigan State is shooting just .689 from the charity stripe. MSU is averaging 23.0 free-throw attempts per game, compared to just 17.8 attempts for Spartan opponents. In league play, the Spartans are shooting better, connecting on 71.4 percent of their attempts, ranking sixth in the league.
MSU's bench has out-scored the opponent's bench in 20 of 28 games this season. The Spartan reserves have out-scored the opponent subs, 738-473, an average of 26.4-16.9.
MSU's Sixth Man
Chris Allen has been Michigan State's sixth man for most of the season. He has come off the bench in 23 of the Spartans' 28 games, and has been the first sub off the bench in 14 of the last 20 games in which he's come off the bench.
Lending A Helping Hand
Michigan State is recording an assist on 63.7 percent of its baskets (462-of-725). The Spartans average 16.50 assists per game, ranking second in the Big Ten, and 14th in the nation. Against Alcorn State, MSU established a new school record with 35 assists. Individually, Kalin Lucas ranks fourth in the conference with 4.61 assists per contest, while freshman Korie Lucious dished out 11 against Alcorn State, the most by any Spartan this season.
Morgan Reaches 1,000
With eight points against Oakland, Raymar Morgan became the 38th player in MSU history to score 1,000 career points. Now at 1,114 points for his career, he ranks 32nd on the MSU all-time scoring chart. He needs 33 points to pass Pete Gent for 31st place.
Spartans Hit The Mark
After leading the Big Ten in field-goal percentage for the last five seasons, the Spartans currently rank third in the league in field-goal percentage (.459). Individually, Raymar Morgan ranks third in the conference, connecting on 54.8 percent of his shots.
Lucas Dishes It Out
Kalin Lucas ranks second in the Big Ten with a 2.43-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, while ranking fourth in the conference at 4.61 helpers per contest. Lucas has recorded one or no turnovers in 16 of 28 games. Against Oklahoma State, Lucas recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and a career-best 10 assists. As a freshman, Lucas ranked fifth in the Big Ten in assists (3.81 apg) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.88), while his 137 assists were the fourth most ever by a Spartan freshman.
Lucas Earns Wooden Midseason Honors
Kalin Lucas is one of the top 30 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, as selected by the Los Angeles Athletic Club's John R. Wooden Award Committee. Lucas is one of nine players who were not on the 50-name preseason list. He is also one of just two Big Ten players to appear on the list, as he is joined by Michigan's Manny Harris. Approximately 20 players will make the national ballot in early March. More than 1,000 voters, comprised of sports media members and college basketball experts from across the nation, will then cast their votes to determine both the 10-member All American Team and Player of the Year. In late March, the 10-player Wooden Award All American Team will be announced.
Finding A Shooting Touch
Travis Walton worked hard in the offseason to improve his offensive game, but was unable to find the range during the first two games of the season, making just one of his first six shots. He quickly found the shooting touch in the first two games of the Old Spice Classic, scoring a career-high 16 points in each contest, while shooting a combined 15-of-20 (.750) from the field. On the season, Walton is shooting .436, averaging 5.3 points per game, scoring in double figures in four games.
Marquise Gray is a real X-factor for the Spartans in the sense that when he is productive, Michigan State almost always wins. Gray has scored in double figures 17 times in his career, and the Spartans are 16-1 in those games. The lone loss came against North Carolina in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, where Gray tallied 11 points. In addition, MSU is 4-0 when Gray grabs 10 or more rebounds and 3-0 when he posts a double-double.
Spartans Earn Player of the Week Honors
Kalin Lucas was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Jan. 12 after averaging 21.0 points in a pair of Spartan victories over Ohio State and defending national champion Kansas. In addition, Lucas was named National Player of the Week by ESPN.com's Andy Katz. Raymar Morgan was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Jan. 5 after averaging 16.0 points and 11.5 rebounds in a pair of Spartan road victories at No. 21 Minnesota and at Northwestern. Most recently, Delvon Roe was honored on Feb. 16 after a double-double at Michigan.
In The Rankings
Michigan State is ranked No. 9 in The Associated Press poll and the USA TODAY/ESPN coaches' poll. Four Spartan opponents are also ranked, including North Carolina (#4 AP/#5 USA Today/ESPN), Kansas (#15/15), Purdue (#16/16), Illinois (#20/20) and Texas (#25/24). MSU is 3-2 against ranked opponents this season.
An Impressive Streak
Michigan State made its 11th straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008. It is the longest current streak among Big Ten schools and fifth longest in the nation. Only Arizona (24), Kansas (19), Kentucky (17) and Duke (13) have longer current streaks. It is also the second-longest streak in Big Ten history. Indiana appeared in 18 consecutive tournaments between 1986 and 2003.
Spartans In The NBA
Seven former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Maurice Ager (New Jersey Nets), Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (Los Angeles Clippers), Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns) and Eric Snow (Cleveland Cavaliers).
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 14th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 328-135 (.708), and 158-72 (.687) in the Big Ten, as the coach of the Michigan State basketball program. In 2005, he passed Benjamin Van Alstyne to become the second-winningest coach in MSU history, trailing only Jud Heathcote (340) in total wins. In his 14 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.
Among The Big Ten's Best
Tom Izzo's .687 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks second all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700) and just ahead of Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), Lambert (.709) and Izzo (.708). With 158 conference victories, Izzo ranks tied for eighth all-time.
Izzo Against Ranked Opponents
In his 14 years of coaching, Tom Izzo is 69-66 against ranked opponents.
Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 13 seasons, Tom Izzo won 305 games, ranking seventh in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 13 years.
In Tom Izzo's 13 full years directing the Spartan program, 83 percent of his players who completed their eligibility also left with a degree. In the last nine years, 29 Spartans have received their undergraduate degrees, including five each in 2001, 2003 and 2007.
Izzo's Coaching Tree
Five current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Tom Izzo, including Jim Boylen (Utah), Tom Crean (Indiana), Brian Gregory (Dayton), Stan Heath (South Florida) and Doug Wojcik (Tulsa). Gregory is in his sixth year as head coach, after leaving MSU in the spring of 2003. Crean directed Marquette to the 2003 Final Four, while Heath directed Kent State to the Elite Eight in the 2002 NCAA Tournament. Wojcik is in his fourth season at Tulsa. Mike Garland served as head coach at Cleveland State for three seasons after leaving Izzo's staff in 2003. He is now back as an assistant coach at MSU. Most recently, Jim Boylen left MSU following the 2007 season, and is in his second season with Utah. Stan Joplin, an assistant during Izzo's first season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Toledo.
Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 191-24 (.888) at home, including 168-15 (.918) since the start of the 1997-98 season.
Coaches Vs. Cancer
During the 2007-08 season, Tom and Lupe Izzo launched the Michigan State chapter of the Coaches Vs. Cancer program. Now in its second season, the Izzos are looking for an even better year. Signature events for 2009 include the Suits and Sneakers Fundraising Challenge, where employees donate funds for the right to wear sneakers in the work place, an NCAA Final Four Reception (April 3, 2009), and Izzo Goes To Broadway (May 6, 2009), a cabaret style show featuring special guests and professional talent, directed by Broadway director and East Lansing native Greg Ganakas at the Wharton Center on the MSU campus. For more information on any of these initiatives contact Kate Follett from the American Cancer Society at 517-664-1370.