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Mateen Cleaves named
to AP preseason
All-American Team.

MSU Men's Cagers Open 100th Season of Spartan Basketball

Northeast Loiusiana will be prey to the Spartans.

November 12, 1998

The Michigan State men's basketball team opens the school's 100th season of basketball on Friday when it entertains the Indians of Northeast Louisiana. The Jack Breslin Student Events Center (15,138) on the MSU campus will serve as the site of the first-ever meeting between the schools and tipoff is slated for approximately 8:35 p.m.

Following the Northeast Louisiana game, the Spartans travel to Oakland University on Tuesday (Nov. 17).

All MSU basketball games can be heard on WJIM Radio (1240 AM/97.5 FM). Describing the play-by-play is Mark Champion while former MSU coach Gus Ganakas serves as analyst.

The Coaches
Michigan State is directed by head coach Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan '77) who is in his fourth season at the helm of the program. Izzo checks into the Northeast Louisiana game with a school and career record of 55-36. Last season, he was named the national coach of the year as by both the Associated Press and the United States Basketball Writers Association. In games at the Breslin Center, Izzo has a 35-12 mark.

Northeast Louisiana is guided by Mike Vining (NLU '67) who is in his 18th season as the Indians head man. Vining takes a school and career slate of 307-196 into the MSU contest. He is just 19 victories shy of becoming Northeast Louisiana's all-time winningest coach.

Prior To Tonight
Michigan State posted a 2-0 record in its exhibition schedule, topping Estonia (Nov. 4), 83-63, before recording a 101-79 win over Athletes in Action (Nov.10).

In the AIA game, the Spartans shot a sizzling 68.3 percent from the floor and received double-figure scoring from four players. Leading the scoring parade was sophomore forward Andre Hutson with 19 points on nine-of10 shooting from the floor while senior Jason Klein and junior Morris Peterson each chipped in 15 points.

At halftime of the Northeast Louisiana game, the jersey of former MSU All-American Scott Skiles (1982-86) will be retired.

Skiles closed out his college career as the school's all-time leading scorer with 2,145 points (currently No. 3) and still ranks as the Spartans' all-time leader in assists (645) and steals (175). He earned All-America acclaim during the 1985-86 season and was chosen as the Big Ten's Player of the Year.

An 11-year veteran as a player in the NBA, he is currently an assistant coach with the Phoenix Suns.

Heading into the Northeast Louisiana game, MSU posts an all-time mark of 109-27 at the Breslin Center (.801) since the facility opened in 1989 (49-7 vs. non-conference opponents, 60-20 in Big Ten contests). MSU has shot 50 percent or better from the floor in 74 contests at the BSEC while allowing the opposition to reach that mark on just 19 occasions.

Michigan State junior guard Mateen Cleaves was named to to the Associated Press' preseason All-America squad on Nov. 9, receiving the second-most amount of votes on the five-man squad. Cleaves, a second-team All-America selection last year by the AP, received 58 votes and trailed Connecticut's Richard Hamilton's 66 votes. Rounding out the preseason All-America squad was Elton Brand of Duke (55 votes), Lee Nailon of Texas Christian (50 votes) and Andre Miller of Utah (44 votes).

Heading into the Northeast Louisiana game, senior forward Antonio Smith has 697 career rebounds to his credit and is just 13 rebounds shy of cracking the school's top 10 mark (Jay Vincent holds down 10th place with 709 boards) . The 6-foot- 8 Smith has 33 career outings of 10 or more boards including seven of 15-plus caroms.

Michigan State will be looking to record its 22nd straight season-opening win when it entertains Northeast Louisiana. The last time the Spartans dropped a season opener was on November 29, 1976, when Central Michigan recorded an 81-76 triumph at Mt. Pleasant. Izzo's season-opening victories have come against Chaminade (69-66 in 1995) and East Tennessee State (83-45 in 1996 and 82-59 in 1997).

Most Points by Izzo-Coached Teams
96,    vs. Purdue (3/1/98)            
95,    vs. Wright State (12/17/97)
90,    vs. Illinois-Chicago (12/5/96)
89,    vs. Central Mich. (11/28/97)

Fewest Points Allowed by Izzo-Coached Teams 40, by Wisconsin (1/8/98) 41, by Ohio State (2/7/96) 43, by Kansas St. (12/21/96) 45, by East Tennessee (11/25/96)

Heading into the Northeast Louisiana game, junior Mateen Cleaves holds down the No. 6 spot on the school's all-time chart in assists with 363. The 6-foot-2 Cleaves has recorded seven outings of 10 or more assists including a career-best 13 against Indiana on Jan. 28, 1998.

MSU has won 24 of its last 25 games when holding the opposition to 60 or fewer points (13-1 in '97-98) ... Under Izzo, the Green and White post a 35-4 mark in such contests ... Since the 1996-97 season, the Spartans are 15-2 when scoring 80-plus points ... MSU was 17-1 when leading at halftime last season and show a 46-7 won-lost slate in those games during Izzo's tenure as head coach ... MSU posted an 8-1 record last year when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.

1998-99 SCHEDULE
(0-0 overall; 0-0 Big Ten)

4     ESTONIA SELECTS  (exhib.)           W 83-63
10    ATHLETES IN ACTION (exhib.)         W 101-79
13    NORTHEAST LOUISIANA                 8:30 pm
17    at Oakland University (Fox Sports)  7:00 pm
20    at Temple (ESPN)                    7:30 pm
27    *CENTRAL FLORIDA                     6:00 pm
28    *W. MICHIGAN or                      6:00/8:00 pm

DECEMBER 2 vs. Duke (ESPN) 9:30 pm (at Chicago) 5 at Connecticut (CBS) 3:45 pm 10 at East Tennessee State 7:30 pm 13 ILLINOIS-CHICAGO 2:00 pm 21-23 Pearl Harbor Classic 21 vs. Pepperdine 7:00 pm 22 vs. Tulsa/Texas Tech TBA 23 vs. TBA TBA 30 UNC ASHEVILLE 8:30 pm

JANUARY 2 LOUISVILLE (CBS) 4:00 pm 6 at Wisconsin 8:00 pm 9 MICHIGAN 12:15 pm 13 MINNESOTA 8:00 pm 16 at Illinois 8:00 pm 21 IOWA (ESPN) 7:30 pm 24 at Indiana (CBS) 4:00 pm 27 OHIO STATE 8:00 pm 30 NORTHWESTERN 8:00 pm

FEBRUARY 2 at Penn State (ESPN) 7:30 pm 6 at Iowa 2:30 pm 11 ILLINOIS (ESPN) 7:30 pm 13 at Minnesota (ESPN) 9:30 pm 16 PURDUE (ESPN) 7:30 pm 18 at Michigan (ESPN) 7:30 pm 21 WISCONSIN 4:30 pm 27 or at Purdue 12:15 pm 28 4:00 pm

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