Spartans Open Season Against Idaho
Nov. 15, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
November 16, 2008
Radio: Spartan Sports Network - Will Tieman (Play by Play),
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The Starting Five
2. For Openers, Part II - Michigan State is 91-18 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 76-11 in season openers at home. The Spartans last lost a season opener at home Dec. 1, 1970, to Northern Illinois, 76-75.
3. In The Rankings - Michigan State is ranked No. 6 in The Associated Press preseason poll and No. 7 in the USA TODAY/ESPN preseason coaches poll. Eight Spartan opponents are also ranked, including North Carolina (#1 AP/#1 USA Today/ESPN), Texas (#7/8), Gonzaga (#10/11), Purdue (#11/10), Tennessee (#14/13), Georgetown (#22/18), Kansas (#24/23) and Wisconsin (#25/21).
4. MSU's Home-Court Advantage - Michigan State has won 34 straight non-conference home games at the Breslin Center, good for the third-longest active streak in the nation. Only Duke (61) and Sam Houston State (44) have longer active streaks. Since the Breslin Center opened for the 1989-90 season, Michigan State has posted a 255-37 (.873) home record, including 158-13 (.924) in the last 11 seasons. Last year, the Spartans were 17-0 at Breslin, finishing the season as the only Big Ten squad with a perfect home mark. Michigan State has won 21 straight home games, dating back to Feb. 3, 2007, a loss to No. 4 Ohio State.
5. Exhibition Recap - The Spartans were impressive in two exhibition games, winning a pair of contests by large margins. MSU opened with a 118-57 victory over Northern Michigan, led by Durrell Summers with 30 points in 16 minutes. The Spartans followed with a 112-69 win over Lake Superior State, paced by Raymar Morgan with 23 points and 11 rebounds in 17 minutes. In two games, Summers averaged 24.0 points, while Morgan averaged 21.0 points and 9.0 rebounds. The Spartans shot 52.0 percent from the floor and averaged 115.0 points. MSU was also aggressive on the defensive end of the court, averaging 16.0 steals.
MSU Basketball Notes
Individual Accolades - Sophomore guard Kalin Lucas has been tabbed a preseason second-team All-American by The Sporting News. Lucas was also chosen as a second-team All-Big Ten selection by Lindy's College Basketball and Athlon Sports College Basketball. Junior forward Raymar Morgan was a first-team all-conference selection as chosen by Lindy's and Athlon. Athlon also selected senior center Goran Suton as a third-team all-league player.
A Noteworthy Frontcourt - Michigan State's frontcourt is ranked among the nation's best according to both Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn (No. 4) and Lindy's College Basketball (No. 4).
Spartans Among Big Ten's Leading Returners - Goran Suton is the Big Ten's leading returning rebounder, having averaged 8.2 boards per game in 2007-08, trailing only Indiana's D.J. White. At 14.0 points per game, Raymar Morgan ranked sixth in the conference in scoring last season, but is the second-leading returning scorer. Travis Walton (4.33 apg) and Kalin Lucas (3.81 apg) rank first and third, respectively, among all returning Big Ten players in assists.
Keys To Success - If recent trends continue, look for Michigan State to pace the conference in rebounding and shooting. Last season, MSU led the league in field-goal percentage (.480) for a fifth-straight season, and in rebound margin (+6.8) for the ninth time in 11 years.
Big Ten Favorites - Michigan State men's basketball team was picked to finish second in the Big Ten in a vote by a 22-member media panel. Purdue was named the preseason conference favorite at Big Ten Basketball Media Day in Chicago on Sunday, Oct. 26. Spartan junior Raymar Morgan was named preseason All-Big Ten. Purdue swingman Robbie Hummel was named the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year. In addition to Morgan, he was joined on the all-league team by teammate E'Twaun Moore, Michigan's Manny Harris and Wisconsin's Marcus Landry. The Badgers round out the top three in the preseason team rankings.
Spartans On The Run - Michigan State averaged 115.0 points in two exhibition games, a sign of the up-tempo pace the Spartans hope to play in 2008-09. This year's edition of the Spartans could challenge the 2004-05 squad for the highest-scoring team of the Tom Izzo era. In '04-05, MSU averaged 78.5 points en route to a Final Four appearance.
Morgan Makes Wooden Award List - Raymar Morgan was selected one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the 2008-09 John R. Wooden Award. The John R. Wooden Award, presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, has been presented annually since 1976. Neitzel and Purdue's Robbie Hummel are the only Big Ten players on the preseason list for the Wooden Award.
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 - Eight former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Maurice Ager (New Jersey Nets), Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Charlotte Bobcats), Paul Davis (Los Angeles Clippers), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (New York Knicks), Jason Richardson (Charlotte Bobcats) and Eric Snow (Cleveland Cavaliers).
Home Sweet Home - During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 181-22 (.892) at home, including 158-13 (.924) over the last 11 years.
Playing The Toughest Schedule - Virtually every program in the nation boasts that they play a tough schedule. Tough is an ambiguous term, but the strength of schedule can be quantified by how many ranked opponents a team plays. A comprehensive study of every BCS conference team as well as other selected teams with NCAA Tournament success since the 1997-98 season (the first year of MSU's 11 straight NCAA Tournament appearances) revealed that no school in America has played more ranked opponents than MSU since 1997-98, and that the Spartans' non-conference schedule also ranks among the best in the nation.
Ranked Opponents (All Games)
Ranked Opponents (Regular-Season Non-Conference Games)
The Book On Tom Izzo
Among The Big Ten's Best - Tom Izzo's .678 winning percentage in Big Ten games ranks third all-time among league coaches with at least 10 years of service, behind former Indiana coach Bob Knight (.700) and Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), Lambert (.709) and Izzo (.701). With 145 conference victories, Izzo ranks 11th all-time.
Izzo Against Ranked Opponents - In his 13 years of coaching, Tom Izzo is 65-64 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.
Graduating Student-Athletes - 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.
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