Nov. 12, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
#2/2 Michigan State (0-0)
vs. Florida Gulf Coast (0-0)
November 13, 2009
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;
Web Stream: ESPN360.com - Frank Giardina (Play by Play),
Tim McCormick (Color)
Tickets: A limited number of tickets remain for MSU's opener against Florida Gulf Coast. Buy Tickets
Michigan State Game Notes
Florida Gulf Coast Game Notes
The Opening Tip
Michigan State opens the 2009-10 season against Florida Gulf Coast as the Spartans look to win their 33rd straight home opener. It's the start of a busy month as the Spartans will play six games before the end of November. MSU enters the season with its highest ever preseason ranking, standing No. 2 in both polls.
The Starting Five
1. For Openers
Michigan State is 88-22 all-time in openers, winning 31 of the last 32. In November 2005, MSU lost at Hawai'i, 84-62, to open the season. Prior to that, the Spartans' last loss in an opener came on Nov. 29, 1976, when they fell to Central Michigan, 81-76.
2. For Openers, Part II
Michigan State is 92-18 all-time in home openers. The Spartans last lost a home opener on Dec. 4, 1976, falling to Western Michigan, 74-73. Overall, the Spartans are 77-11 in season openers at home. The Spartans last lost a season opener at home Dec. 1, 1970, to Northern Illinois, 76-75.
3. MSU In November
4. Exhibition Recap
Michigan State has an all-time record of 80-24 in games played in the month of November. This includes a 56-3 mark at home. The last team to beat MSU at home in November was a David Robinson-led Navy squad that bested the Spartans, 91-90, in overtime on Nov. 29, 1986. Tom Izzo is 34-0 all-time at home in November.
Despite playing shorthanded due to injury, Michigan State cruised to two exhibition victories, with an average margin of victory of 27.0 points. The story of the two games, however, were the injuries as Raymar Morgan
(ankle) and Chris Allen
(groin) sat out both contests. Delvon Roe
played just seven minutes in the first game before suffering a concussion, forcing him to miss the second contest. In the second game, Durrell Summers
took an elbow above his right eye and played just 19 minutes. Among those that played, Kalin Lucas
and Draymond Green
were the most impressive Spartans. Lucas averaged 17.0 points and 3.5 assists. Green averaged a double-double with 14.5 points and 11.0 boards. Summers (11.0 ppg) and freshman center Derrick Nix
(10.5 ppg) also averaged double figures in the two games.
5. Big Ten Favorites
After winning the 2009 Big Ten regular-season title by four games, Michigan State was selected as the preseason conference favorite for the 2009-10 men's basketball season, as voted upon by a 24-member media panel. Purdue and Ohio State were chosen to finish second and third, respectively. Reigning Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas was tabbed as Preseason Player of the Year.
MSU vs. Florida Gulf Coast Notes
Dave Balza (Michigan, '91) is 170-128 in his 11th season as a collegiate head coach, including 135-80 in seven total seasons at Florida Gulf Coast. A native of South Haven, Mich., Balza was a student manager with the Michigan basketball team as an undergraduate. Prior to taking over at FGCU, Balza spent three seasons at St. Joseph's (Indiana).
This game marks the first ever meeting between Michigan State and Florida Gulf Coast.
About Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast started playing collegiate basketball in 2002-03, posting a 23-9 record in the program's first season ... This is FGCU's third season as a Division I program, posting a combined 21-41 record in its two previous seasons ... The Eagles were picked tied for seventh in the Atlantic Sun preseason coaches poll ... FGCU is 0-2 all-time against the Big Ten, falling to Michigan last season and Iowa the year before ... Junior guard Reed Baker played in 28 games for Michigan in 2006-07 before transferring to FGCU last year, starting 29 games for the Eagles.
MSU Basketball Notes
Countdown To 340
Tom Izzo enters the season as Michigan State's second-winningest coach of all time with 336 wins. With his fourth win of the season, he will tie Jud Heathcote as MSU's all-time winningest coach.
It's All About Boardwork
Last season, Michigan State led the nation in rebounding margin at +9.3. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in nine of the last 11 years. In 2008-09, the Spartans out-rebounded 33 of 38 opponents, posting a 27-6 record when out-boarding the opponent.
The Michigan State men's basketball team is ranked second in the 2009-10 Associated Press Preseason Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll, both of which were released Thursday, Oct. 29. Seven of MSU's opponents are ranked, including Texas (No. 3 AP/No. 3 ESPN), North Carolina (No. 6/4), Purdue (No. 7/7), Michigan (No. 15/15), Ohio State (No. 16/17), Illinois (No. 23/-) and Minnesota (No. 25/18). MSU's No. 2 ranking in the AP Top 25 is its highest preseason ranking in school history, having previously been ranked No. 3 in 1999-2000, 2000-01 and 2003-04.
Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 193-24 (.889) at home, including 170-15 (.919) over the last 11 years. MSU has defeated 39 consecutive non-conference opponents at the Breslin Center.
Senior forward Raymar Morgan and junior guard Kalin Lucas were unanimous selections for team co-captains as voted on by their Spartan teammates.
Experience At Many Positions
Michigan State returns seven of its top nine scorers from last year's Final Four squad, and five players that averaged 17.9 minutes or more per game last season. Eight current Spartans enter the season having started at least one game for Michigan State.
Not So Much At One
The position of concern for the Spartans will be at center. Michigan State must replace Goran Suton, Idong Ibok and Marquise Gray, three five-year players that appeared in 380 games (starting 162), playing a combined 5,808 minutes over the course of their careers. Their void must be filled by the trio of red-shirt junior Tom Herzog, and true freshmen Derrick Nix and Garrick Sherman. Herzog enters the season with 29 games of experience (starting 1), for a combined 100 minutes of action. The trio of Gray, Ibok and Suton combined for 13.9 points and 12.1 rebounds per contest.
Another Strong Non-Conference Schedule
Michigan State will be tested early and often during its 2009-10 non-conference schedule. The Spartans will take road trips to play at North Carolina and Texas, both of which are ranked in the preseason top-five by most prognosticators. The last time MSU played two ranked non-conference teams on the road was 2003-04 (No. 6 Kansas, No. 17 Syracuse). The last time MSU played two top-five non-conference teams on the road was 1999-2000 (No. 2 North Carolina, No. 2 Arizona). In addition, MSU will host Gonzaga and will play Florida on a neutral court in the Legends Classic. Both the Bulldogs and the Gators have appeared in preseason Top 25 rankings.
Big Ten Even Stronger
While MSU's non-conference slate is rough, the Big Ten schedule is even tougher, as the conference will feature its strongest lineup in the last decade or so. Six different league schools (Michigan State, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State and Purdue) are ranked in The Associated Press Top 25. The last time that MSU played five different ranked schools during league play came during the 1999 season when the Spartans played six different ranked league opponents. In addition, all five members of the 2009 All-Big Ten First Team are back.
Junior Kalin Lucas and senior Raymar Morgan have been named preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. In addition, Lucas earned a spot on Dick Vitale's Preseason All-Rolls Royce Team and was named the nation's best point guard by Lindy's College Basketball. He was also named preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Lindy's and Athlon Sports College Basketball. Morgan was named a fourth-team preseason All-American by Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. He also earned all-league accolades from Lindy's and Athlon. Delvon Roe earned all-league honors from Athlon, while Durrell Summers was recognized by Lindy's.
Honors For Spartan Backcourt
Lindy's College Basketball selected Michigan State as having the nation's best backcourt. Villanova, California, Kansas, Washington, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi and Purdue round out the top 10.
Spartans In The NBA
Six former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Paul Davis (Washington Wizards), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies) and Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns).
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 14th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 336-137 (.710), and 160-72 (.690) 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. He earned Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1998 and 2009.
Among The Big Ten's Best
Tom Izzo's .690 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), Izzo (.711) and Lambert (.709). With 160 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.