March 3, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
#11/12 Michigan State (22-7, 12-4)
vs. Penn State (11-17, 3-13)
March 4, 2010
7 p.m. EST
East Lansing, Mich.
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: ESPN2 - Dave O'Brien (Play by Play), Steve Lavin (Color)
Michigan State Game Notes
Penn State Game Notes
The Opening Tip
With the calendar changing to March, Michigan State knows it is now "one-and-done" time. The Spartans enter the final week of the season needing two wins to earn a share of a second-straight Big Ten championship. Michigan State hosts Penn State on Thursday in a battle of the top two rebounding teams in the conference. The game also features two of the premier point guards in the conference: MSU's Kalin Lucas and PSU's Talor Battle.
The Starting Five
1. Morgan Set To Join Elite Company
Raymar Morgan needs 16 points to become just the fifth player in Michigan State history with 1,500 career points and 700 career rebounds. Currently standing at 1,484 points and 717 rebounds, Morgan is set to join Steve Smith (2,263 pts., 740 reb.), Greg Kelser (2,014 pts., 1092 reb.), Jay Vincent (1,914 pts., 709 reb.) and Paul Davis (1,718 pts., 910 reb.). Additionally, Morgan is just 23 rebounds shy of Steve Smith (740) for 10th place all-time at Michigan State.
2. Senior Stretch Run
3. MSU In March
College athletics is full of stories of seniors putting a team on their back down the stretch run of their final season. While Raymar Morgan doesn't need to put the Spartans on his back, his play will go a long way in determining how successful the final month of his career will be. Over the last two games, Morgan is averaging 12.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. In his most recent outing at Purdue, Morgan led MSU with 16 points and grabbed a team-high tying 11 rebounds, en route to his fourth double-double of the season. For his efforts, he was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week.
Michigan State is 54-21 in March since the 1998-99 season. For his career, Tom Izzo
is 61-28 in March. Last season, MSU was 8-1 in what Coach Izzo calls his favorite month of the year. Izzo is 14-3 at home in March as head coach.
4. Go Green
Sophomore Draymond Green is proving to be one of the most versatile players in the Big Ten and one of the nation's premier sixth men, coming off the bench in 26 of 29 games. He is averaging a team-best 8.0 boards per game, recording double-figure rebounds in nine games. Further demonstrating his versatility, he ranks first on the team in steals (39), second in field-goal percentage (.545) and blocks (23), third in assists (3.0 apg) and fourth in scoring (10.2 ppg). He's recorded a team-best six double-doubles on the season. And despite coming off the bench in a majority of the contests, he ranks fifth on the squad in minutes per game (25.4 mpg).
5. Defense Tightens Up
The Spartans have tightened up their defense down the stretch run. After allowing three straight opponents to shoot better than 50 percent from the field in early February, Michigan State is holding opponents to .372 shooting and 57.5 points in the last four games.
MSU vs. Penn State Notes
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Penn State, 27-5, including a 16-1 advantage in games played in East Lansing. The Nittany Lions' five wins in the series have been by a combined 20 points. The Spartans have won 11 of the last 13 games in the series. Tom Izzo is 20-4 in his career against Penn State.
Ed DeChellis (Penn State, '82) is 200-213 in his 14th season as a collegiate head coach, including 95-120 in seven seasons at Penn State. He served as head coach at East Tennessee State from 1996-2003.
The Last Meeting
Michigan State defeated Penn State, 65-54, at University Park on Feb. 13, 2010. The Spartans took a 31-25 lead into the half and pushed the margin to nine in the early moments of the second half. Penn State answered and a David Jackson 3-pointer gave the Nittany Lions a 46-44 lead with 12:24 left in the contest. MSU responded with a 13-0 run over the next 6:12, starting with seven straight points from Durrell Summers and ending with six straight from Delvon Roe. The real story of the run, however, was the Spartan defense that forced PSU into 0-of-5 shooting and four turnovers including two shot-clock violations. Kalin Lucas led MSU with 24 points and six assists, hitting 10-of-15 shots. Chris Allen added 14, connecting on 4-of-6 3-pointers. Talor Battle led all scorers with 30 points for Penn State.
The Last Meeting In East Lansing
Penn State recorded its first ever win at the Breslin Center with a 72-68 decision on Feb. 1, 2009. Michigan State led by 13 points with 6:11 left in the first half, but Penn State closed the stanza on a 22-8 run, led by 18 first-half points from Talor Battle. The Nittany Lions hit their first eight shots in the second half and led by 12 with 6:54 remaining. Kalin Lucas had two free throws to tie the game at 69 with 12 seconds left, but missed the second, and after one PSU free throw, Lucas missed a game-tying jumper with five seconds left. Lucas led the Spartans with 23 points, 17 of which came in the second half, while Raymar Morgan played just three minutes due to illness. Battle finished with a game-high 29 points, including hitting 6-of-12 3-pointers. PSU shot 56.3 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from 3-point range.
Nittany Lion Notes
Penn State has had seven league contests decided by six points or less (only Illinois has more) ... Talor Battle is second in the Big Ten in scoring, averaging 19.0 points per contest and is the only player in a BCS conference to lead his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals ... PSU ranks second in the league in rebound margin (+4.0).
Game 29 Recap - MSU 53 - Purdue 44
* Michigan State's win at No. 3 Purdue was the highest-ranked Big Ten opponent the Spartans have ever beaten on the road.
* Michigan State's defense held Purdue to Spartan opponent season lows for points (44), second-half points (16), field-goal percentage (.300), 3-point field goals made (2)and attempted (9), and field goals (15).
* Draymond Green (12 pts., 11 reb.) and Raymar Morgan (16 pts., 11 reb.) recorded double-doubles vs. Purdue, marking just the second game all season that two Spartans have posted a double-double and the first since the season opener.
* Michigan State grabbed 16 offensive rebounds vs. Purdue, compared to just 14 defensive boards for the Boilermakers as the Spartans held a remarkable 46-20 edge on the glass.
* Purdue grabbed just six offensive rebounds, including only one in the second half and two in the final 32 minutes of the game.
* Grabbing 46 rebounds and allowing just 44 points at Purdue, it marked the first time MSU has had more rebounds than the opponent has had points since Dec. 19, 2007 (vs. San Jose State).
* In the first meeting of the season, JaJuan Johnson (19) and E'Twaun Moore (25) combined for 44 points on 16-of-29 shooting. At Purdue, they combined for 23 points on 7-of-27 shooting as the team totaled just 44 points.
MSU Basketball Notes
Spartans On Big Ten Road
Michigan State leads the Big Ten with seven conference road wins, while Purdue and Ohio State both rank tied for second with six. Over the last two seasons, Michigan State is 15-3 away from East Lansing, good for the best two-year road record in school history. In 1997-98 and '98-99, the Spartans were 13-3 on the road.
Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 206-26 (.888) at home, including 183-17 (.915) over the last 13 years (1997-98 to present). MSU has defeated 47 consecutive non-conference opponents at the Breslin Center, dating back to a Dec. 3, 2003, loss to Duke. MSU is 14-3 at home in March under Tom Izzo.
Reducing The Turnovers
Turnovers have been an issue for Michigan State for much of the year, especially in Spartan losses. MSU, however, is getting better in that area of the game, committing 10 turnovers or fewer in four of the last five games. Despite comitting 23 turnovers at Purdue, MSU is averaging 11.9 turnovers in the last five games. In fact, Michigan State has committed 10 turnovers or fewer in five of the last eight contests.
It's All About Boardwork
Last season, Michigan State led the nation in rebounding margin at +9.3, marking the third time in the last 10 years the Spartans have paced the nation. Including 2009-10, MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 11 of the last 13 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 391 of 502 opponents (.779), posting a 311-80 (.795) mark in those games. This season, MSU has out-rebounded its opponents by a margin of +9.1, ranking third in the nation (as of March 1), bettering 22 of 29 teams, and tying two. The Spartans are 19-3 when out-rebounding an opponent, but 3-4 when failing to do so.
Allen Heating Up
In the first 23 games of the season, Chris Allen made four 3-pointers in a game on three occassions. In the last six games, he's made four triples three times, connecting on 17-of-30 (.567) attempts from behind the arc. In league play, Allen ranks second in the Big Ten in 3-point field-goal percentage (.450).
With its up-tempo style of basketball, it's no surprise that Michigan State is among the most productive offensive teams in the Big Ten. The Spartans currently rank second in the Big Ten in scoring offense at 73.3 points per game. It's a team effort as just one player (Kalin Lucas, 9th-15.1 ppg) ranks in the top 20 in scoring.
Nine different Spartans are averaging 7.5 minutes or more, including seven at 20.9 minutes or more. Kalin Lucas leads Michigan State with 31.3 minutes per contest after averaging a team-best 31.9 minutes per game last season. The Spartans have also used 15 different starting lineups, as 10 different Spartans have started a game, and no one has started every game. Last season, MSU used 14 different starting lineups, including nine in the first 12 games.
A Program First
Michigan State recently completed a stretch that saw it play six of eight conference games away from East Lansing for the first time in 60 years of playing Big Ten basketball. Twice before (1955 & 1975), the Spartans have played six of eight games on the road in the middle of the conference season, but in both cases, at least one of the road games was a non-conference tilt. While it's unusual to have a stretch like this, it's not unheard of, as this is the sixth occurrence by a Big Ten squad since the 1999-2000 season, joining Purdue (1999-2000), Indiana (2002-03), Ohio State (2002-03), Iowa (2003-04) and Michigan (2003-04). In 2001, MSU did play five of six games on the road during its Big Ten championship season.
Green Among Best On The Boards
One year after Goran Suton paced the Big Ten in rebounding, another Spartan is among the best on the boards in conference play. Draymond Green ranks fourth in the league with 7.9 rebounds per Big Ten contest. He's recorded double-figure rebounds in five of 16 league games, including a career-high 16 rebounds at Illinois. The 16 boards were the most by any Spartan in a Big Ten game since Andre Hutson grabbed 16 at Penn State in 2001.
Appling Named McDonald's All-American
Keith Appling, who signed his National Letter of Intent to attend Michigan State in Nov. 2009, was named to the 2010 McDonald's All-American Team on Feb. 11. Appling is the ninth McDonald's All-American to sign with Michigan State under Tom Izzo, and the first since 2003. Appling is currently averaging 27 points per game for Detroit Pershing High School. The game will be played on March 31 at Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
Getting To The Foul Line
Michigan State has done a good job getting to the foul line this season, averaging 20.4 attempts per game, including 18.8 attempts in Big Ten games. In league action, the Spartans have made nearly as many free throws (210) as their opponents have attempted (240), averaging 3.8 more free throw attempts per contest.
Morgan On Target
Raymar Morgan leads the Big Ten in field-goal percentage in league games, shooting .558 (67-of-120). Throughout the conference, just 10 players are hitting 50 percent or better in league play.
Turnovers, Defense Make A Difference
Two key factors have emerged as a difference between winning and losing for Michigan State: turnovers and field-goal percentage defense. The Spartans are averaging 15.1 turnovers in their seven losses, including 23 vs. Florida and 22 vs. Texas, leading to 16.4 points for the opponent per game. In 22 wins, MSU is averaging just 13.6 turnovers, leading to just 13.6 opponent points. Defensively, MSU is 18-0 when holding teams below 41 percent shooting, but 4-7 when an opponent shoots above 41 percent. The Spartans are allowing opponents to shoot .508 in their losses, compared to .373 in victory.
Michigan State's bench is averaging 25.1 points per game, including 20.4 points in Big Ten play. On average, MSU's bench is out-scoring Big Ten opponents' benches by a 20.4-11.0 margin, including a remarkable 27-3 edge in the first meeting with Minnesota. Draymond Green (10.2 ppg) averages in double figures off the bench, while he is also MSU's leading rebounder.
Big Ten Defense
Michigan State's defense has been effective in league play, holding opponents to 61.9 points per game, ranking fifth in the Big Ten. MSU's conference opponents are shooting .411 from the field, ranking third in the league, including .326 from 3-point range, ranking second. Overall, MSU ranks fourth in the Big Ten in field-goal percentage defense (.405).
A Touch Of Green In Big Ten Stats
Overall, Draymond Green ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding (8.0 rpg), fourth in field-goal percentage (.545) and ninth in steals (1.3 spg). His 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks seventh in the league, and first among non-guards. He and Ohio State's Evan Turner are the only players in the league 6-foot-6 or taller to average more than three assists per game.
Attacking The Offensive Glass
Michigan State is averaging a Big Ten-best 13.4 offensive rebounds per contest, leading to 13.7 second chance points per game. The Spartans are grabbing 40.2 percent of their misses. Michigan State grabbed more offensive boards than its opponent had defensive boards in games against Florida, Wofford, The Citadel and Purdue. The Spartans are paced in offensive rebounds by Draymond Green with 2.48 per contest.
On The Mark
As a team, Michigan State is shooting .477 from the floor, ranking second in the Big Ten and 24th in the nation (as of March 1). In league play, MSU is shooting .454, ranking third. Individually, six Spartans are connecting on better than 50 percent of their shots, led by Tom Herzog at .818 (9-of-11). Among players with more than 75 attempts, Delvon Roe paces the way at .560 (70-125).
Better At The Foul Line
Michigan State has struggled at the foul line this season, converting at a .686 percentage. The Spartans, however, are showing improvement recently, hitting .712 percent of their attempts in the last 19 games, raising the team's average from .644 to its current mark. Individually, Kalin Lucas ranks ninth in the Big Ten (.792), including .817 in league play, ranking tied for sixth. As a team, MSU is shooting .700 in conference action, ranking ninth.
Allen Rounds Out His Game
Chris Allen entered Michigan State with the reputation of being a great shooter. Through his first two years, he struggled with consistency, but has elevated his level of play as a junior. Allen leads the squad in 3-point field goals made (50), attempted (120) and percentage (.417). He's also shooting .444 from the floor. His previous career high percentages were .385 from the floor and .360 from 3-point range, both established last season. As his offense improves so has the rest of his game as he is averaging career best in rebounds (3.1 rpg), assists (2.1 apg) and steals (0.4 spg). He's also emerged as one of MSU's best perimeter defenders.
Lending A Helping Hand
According to the most recent NCAA statistics (as of March 1), Michigan State ranks sixth in the nation in assists. With a current average of 17.1 assists per game, the Spartans have recorded an assist on 62.7 percent of their baskets. It's a team effort as four different Spartans average at least two assists per game.
At least one Spartan has recorded a double-double in 14 games, as five different Spartans have posted a double-double. Draymond Green (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Florida, 15 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Oakland, 19 pts., 12 reb.; vs. Iowa, 14 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Illinois, 17 pts., 16 reb.; vs. Purdue, 12 pts., 11 reb.) leads the way with six, while Raymar Morgan (vs. Wofford, 19 pts., 11 reb.; vs. The Citadel, 11 pts., 10 reb., vs. Illinois, 14 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Purdue 16 pts., 11 reb.) has four, Durrell Summers (vs. Gonzaga, 21 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Michigan, 10 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Northwestern, 24 points, 10 reb.) has tallied three and Delvon Roe (vs. Toledo, 10 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Valparaiso, 10 pts., 17 reb.) has two. Derrick Nix (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 14 reb.) has one.
Moving Up The Scoring Chart
With 20 points against Florida, Kalin Lucas became the 40th Spartan to record 1,000 career points. The Spartan junior ranks 21st in MSU history with 1,352 points, standing 25 behind Julius McCoy (1,377 points). His teammate, Raymar Morgan, currently ranks 15th in MSU history with 1,484 points. He needs 51 points to pass Drew Neitzel (1,534 points).
With a 65-54 win at Penn State, Michigan State recorded its 11th 20-win season in the last 13 years, all under head coach Tom Izzo. Of the 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.
Kalin Lucas knocked down a jumper with 3.5 seconds left to give MSU a 57-56 win at Michigan. Just three days earlier, Lucas hit a 3-pointer with 1:30 left at Minnesota to snap a 62-62 tie in MSU's 65-64 victory. This isn't the first time in his career that Lucas has hit a clutch shot in the game's final moments. In the 2009 Sweet 16 vs. Kansas, Lucas converted on a three-point play with 48 seconds left, snapping a 60-60 tie in MSU's 67-62 victory.
For the first time in Michigan State basketball history, the Spartans have recorded back-to-back one-point road victories (at Minn. 65-64, at Mich. 57-56). Previously, MSU's last one-point Big Ten win came at Minnesota in 2004. The Spartans have not won two Big Ten games by a single point since 1995. The last time MSU won consecutive one-point games came in 1937 (at Geneva, vs. Kentucky).
Lucas On Target
Kalin Lucas has elevated his shooting accuracy as a junior. Having entered the season with a career field-goal percentage of .410, Lucas is shooting .460 from the field this year, including .348 from behind the 3-point arc.
Michigan State has proven it has several different offensive weapons as four Spartans currently average in double figures. Kalin Lucas paces the Spartan offense at 15.1 points per game, followed by Raymar Morgan (10.5 ppg), Durrell Summers (10.4 ppg) and Draymond Green (10.2 ppg). Chris Allen is just outside that group at 9.6 ppg. MSU has had four or more players score in double figures in 14 games, as eight different players have scored 10 or more points at least once this season, and six different players have led the team in scoring in a single game.
Winning In Different Fashions
A sign of a great team is the ability to win different kinds of basketball games. Michigan State showed that trait in the first two games of the Big Ten season, winning at Northwestern with a 91-point offensive outburst, and defeating Wisconsin, 54-47, with a stifling defensive effort, holding the Badgers to 33.3 percent shooting. It's reminiscent of the 2000 NCAA Championship team that defeated Wisconsin, 53-41, in the National Semifinal and then sprinted by Florida, 89-76, in the title game. Just last year, MSU defeated Louisville in the Elite Eight with 64 points, and beat Connecticut in the Final Four with 82 points.
Hot Start In League Play
For the first time in 60 seasons of Big Ten basketball, Michigan State opened league play with an 9-0 record. The previous best conference start was 7-0, established in 1977-78, when Earvin "Magic" Johnson was a Spartan freshman.
One of Tom Izzo's early concerns about his team was the defense, having lost 2009 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Travis Walton and outstanding post defender Goran Suton. For the most part, however, the Spartans have responded, limiting opponents to 40.5 percent on the season, as only six opponents have shot better than 44 percent. MSU has been equally stingy on its 3-point defense, holding teams to 32.3 percent shooting behind the arc, limiting 10 opponents to 25 percent or lower.
Lucas On Watch Lists
Kalin Lucas is one of 11 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, recognizing the nation's top point guard. He is also one of 31 midseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, while also being placed on the Naismith Award preseason watch list.
Taking Care of the Ball
Korie Lucious has posted impressive numbers in his role as a reserve point guard. He ranks second on the team with 3.4 assists per game and his 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio ranks sixth in the Big Ten. Last season, he averaged just 1.2 assists with a 1.12 assist-to-turnover ratio. Raymar Morgan has also improved his ball handling. Entering the season with a career 0.57 assist-to-turnover ratio, he has improved to 1.02 (50 assists, 49 turnovers) this season.
Senior forward Raymar Morgan and junior guard Kalin Lucas were unanimous selections for team co-captains as voted on by their Spartan teammates. Right after Christmas, the MSU coaching staff added Draymond Green and Isaiah Dahlman as captains, rewarding them for their leadership.
Big Ten Strength
Eight different league schools (Michigan State, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin) have been ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 this season, including four in the current poll (OSU-No. 6, PU-No. 7, MSU-No. 11, UW-No. 15).
Life Away From Home
Michigan State is 9-5 away from home this season, including 8-4 on an opponent's home court, with losses at Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Illinois. Four of the Spartans' road games have been against a ranked opponent. MSU has won 15 of its last 18 conference road games. Last season, MSU was 19-5 away from East Lansing, including 10-4 on a neutral court, while also establishing a school record with eight Big Ten road wins.
Spartans In The NBA
Five former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies) and Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns). Shannon Brown competed in the Sprite Slam Dunk contest at the NBA All-Star Game and Zach Randolph was selected as a Western Conference reserve for the All-Star Game.
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 14th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 358-144 (.713), and 172-76 (.694) 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 a 106-68 win over UMass for his 341st career victory. 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. He earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and 2009.
Among The Big Ten's Best
Tom Izzo's .694 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 ahead of Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Izzo (.713), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712) and Lambert (.709). With 171 conference victories, Izzo ranks eighth all-time.
Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 14 seasons, Tom Izzo won 336 games, ranking seventh in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 14 years.
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 seventh 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 fifth 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 third season with Utah. Stan Joplin, an assistant during Izzo's first season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Toledo.