Nov. 30, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Big Ten/ACC Challenge
#9/9 Michigan State (5-1)
vs. #10/11 North Carolina (6-1)
December 1, 2009
9 p.m. EST
Chapel Hill, N.C.
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 - Dan Shulman (Play by Play), Dick Vitale (Color),
Doris Burke (Sidelines)
Michigan State Game Notes
The Opening Tip
Michigan State faces North Carolina in a rematch of the 2009 title game. This is the fourth time the Spartans and Tar Heels have met in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, as the two teams met in the first two years, and renewed the series last year. This is the first true road game of the season for a Spartan team that was 9-1 last season on an opponent's home court.
The Starting Five
1. Big Ten-ACC Challenge History
Michigan State is a Big Ten-best 5-4 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and had its 2001 game against Virginia in Richmond cancelled due to unplayable wet floor conditions. The Spartans are 2-1 against North Carolina in challenge history.
2. Finding Their Shooting Touch
After shooting .454 from the field in the first three games of the season, including .278 from 3-point range, the Spartans have improved their shooting in the last three contests. MSU is connecting on 55.6 percent of its shots over the last three games, including 46.9 percent from 3-point range.
3. It's All About Boardwork
4. Spartan Defense
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. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 10 of the last 12 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 375 of 479 opponents (78.3 percent), posting a 297-78 (.792) mark in those games. MSU has out-rebounded each of its first six opponents by a margin of +11.5.
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
. But the Spartans have responded early, limiting opponents to 36.9 percent on the season, as not a single opponent has shot better than 41.0 percent. MSU has been equally stingy on its 3-point defense, holding teams to 25.0 percent shooting behind the arc, holding four of six opponents below 23 percent.
5. Go Green
Sophomore Draymond Green is proving to be one of the most versatile players in the Big Ten and one of the conference's premier sixth men. Through six games, he is averaging a team-best 8.7 boards per game. He's recorded double-figure rebounds in three of six games, and trails only Korie Lucious and Kalin Lucas with his 19 assists. Further demonstrating his versatility, he ranks fourth in scoring (10.2 ppg), second in steals (7), and second in blocks (6). He's recorded two double-doubles on the season.
MSU vs. UNC Notes
Roy Williams (North Carolina, '72) is 600-139 in his 22nd season as a collegiate head coach, including 182-38 in seven seasons at North Carolina. Against Nevada, Williams became the 33rd coach in Division I history to win at least 600 games.
North Carolina leads the all-time series, 9-3, although the series is tied 1-1 in games played in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels have won the last four games in the series as three of the last four games have been in the NCAA Tournament. MSU holds a 2-1 lead over North Carolina in Big Ten/ACC Challenge games.
The Last Meeting
North Carolina defeated Michigan State, 89-72, in the 2009 NCAA Championship game (April 6). The Tar Heels used a 26-6 run early in the first half to take a 34-11 lead. Michigan State committed 21 turnovers, as UNC held a 25-6 advantage in points off turnovers. Goran Suton led MSU with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Ty Lawson paced UNC with 21 points, six assists and eight steals. The Spartans return three starters from the title game, while the Tar Heels return one.
The Last Meeting In Chapel Hill
With an injured Mateen Cleaves on the bench, Michigan State defeated No. 2 North Carolina, 86-76, in the inaugural ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Spartans took a 44-36 halftime lead behind 17 points from Morris Peterson, and led by as many as 17 points in the second half. Peterson finished with 31 points as MSU handed UNC its first loss in a home opener since 1928. Andre Hutson added a double-double (10 pts., 10 reb.) for MSU, while Mike Chappell added 13 points. MSU would go on to capture the 2000 NCAA Championship later that season.
About North Carolina
Deon Thompson is the only returning starter from UNC's 2009 NCAA title team ... Thompson became the 63rd Tar Heel to score 1,000 career points earlier this season ... North Carolina has a +11.1 rebounding margin, only slightly less than MSU (+11.5) ... North Carolina is averaging 17.3 turnovers per game ... The Tar Heels have used the same starting lineup in all seven games this season ... UNC is shooting .515 from the floor, led by Ed Davis (.680) and Tyler Zeller (.614).
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
This is the 11th season of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Michigan State is a Big Ten-best 5-4 in the challenge and had its 2001 game against Virginia in Richmond cancelled due to unplayable wet floor conditions.
Dec. 1, 1999 - MSU 86 - North Carolina 76 - Chapel Hill, N.C.
Morris Peterson scores 31 points to hand the Tar Heels their first loss in a home opener since 1928. All-American Mateen Cleaves missed the game with a stress fracture in his foot.
Nov. 29, 2000 - MSU 77 - North Carolina 64 - East Lansing, Mich.
Jason Richardson led MSU with 16 points and Charlie Bell tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while holding UNC All-American Joseph Forte 11 points below his scoring average.
Nov. 28, 2001 - MSU vs. Virginia (Cancelled) - Richmond, Va.
The game was halted at the 15:04 mark of the second half due to unplayable floor conditions as unseasonably warm temperatures caused a steady supply of moisture to collect on the court laid over a sheet of ice used by a minor league hockey team.
Dec. 4, 2002 - MSU 82 - Virginia 75 - East Lansing, Mich.
Michigan State used a 17-0 first-half run to take control of the contest, as Chris Hill led four Spartans in double figures with 22 points.
Dec. 3, 2003 - Duke 72 - MSU 50 - East Lansing, Mich.
Duke out-shot MSU, 59.2%-40.0%, from the field and the Spartans committed 20 turnovers, including 17 in the first half.
Nov. 30, 2004 - Duke 81 - MSU 74 - Durham, N.C.
J.J. Redick and Daniel Ewing each scored 29 points for Duke, including a combined 35 in the first half. MSU pulled within a single point in the final three minutes, but could not overcome shooting 9-of-18 at the foul line in the second half.
Nov. 30, 2005 - MSU 88 - Georgia Tech 86 - East Lansing, Mich.
Paul Davis scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half, but Georgia Tech hit five 3-pointers in the final 1:26 and nearly rallied from a 10-point deficit. Shannon Brown also scored 22 for MSU.
Nov. 29, 2006 - Boston College 65 - MSU 58 - Boston, Mass.
Boston College turned 17 offensive rebounds into 21 second-chance points and held off a late Spartan run to take the victory.
Nov. 28, 2007 - MSU 81 - North Carolina State 58 - East Lansing, Mich.
Goran Suton's 16-point, 12-rebound double-double led the Spartans, as Michigan State jumped to a 41-19 halftime lead and cruised to victory.
Dec. 3, 2008 - North Carolina 98 - MSU 63 - Detroit, Mich.
North Carolina turned 22 MSU turnovers into 27 points and the Spartans shot just 20 percent in the second half, including connecting on just 1-of-14 shots from 3-point range. Raymar Morgan scored 21 to lead MSU.
Game 6 Recap - MSU 106-UMass 68
* Tom Izzo became the winningest coach in Michigan State history with his 341st career win.
* MSU's 106 points tied the 15th-highest output in school history and the fourth-greatest total away from East Lansing.
* For the first time in the first six games of the season, a Spartan did not record a double-double.
* Michigan State knocked down 14-of-22 3-pointers, good for the second-greatest number of made 3-pointers in school history.
* MSU's 62.5 percent shooting was its best since hitting 69.2 percent (9-of-13) against Youngstown State on Nov. 9, 2006. The Spartans shot better from 3-point range than from the foul line (62.5 percent).
* 52 of MSU's 106 points came off the bench, led by Chris Allen's game-high 18 points.
* Although he scored only six points, Draymond Green led MSU with seven rebounds and six assists.
* The Spartans turned 13 rebounds into 21 second-chance points.
MSU Basketball Notes
MSU's All-Time Leader
With MSU's 106-68 win over UMass, Tom Izzo became the winningest coach in Michigan State history with his 341st career victory, passing his mentor Jud Heathcote. Izzo began working for Heathcote in the 1983-84 season, and was elevated to associate head coach in July 1990. On March 30, 1993, Izzo was named Heathcote's hand-picked successor following the 1994-95 season. Following the game, Izzo said "I do feel like, because Jud has been so instrumental on my behalf and got me the job, that I'll just look at it as we have 681 wins between us."
Attacking The Offensive Glass
Michigan State is averaging 16.0 offensive rebounds per contest, leading to 17.7 second chance points per game. The Spartans are grabbing 43.6 percent of their misses. Against Florida, MSU grabbed 60 percent of its misses, collecting 18 offensive boards, compared to just 12 defensive boards for the Gators.
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 39th in MSU history with 1,031 points, 23 behind Marcus Sanders (1,054 points). Lucas has scored in double figures in 17 straight games, dating back to last season. His teammate, Raymar Morgan, currently ranks 23rd in MSU history with 1,232 points. He needs 11 points to pass Stan Washington (1,242 points) and move into 22nd place on MSU's all-time scoring list.
Life Away From Home
After playing its first four games at the Breslin Center, Michigan State is in a stretch where it plays three straight and four of five games away from home. 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.
At least one Spartan has recorded a double-double in five of MSU's six games. Delvon Roe (vs. Toledo,10 pts., 11 reb.; vs. Valparaiso 10 pts., 17 reb.) and Draymond Green (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 10 reb.; vs. Florida 15 pts., 11 reb.) each have two, while Derrick Nix (vs. FGCU, 11 pts., 14 reb.) and Durrell Summers (vs. Gonzaga, 21 pts., 11 reb.) have each tallied one. The only game in which a Spartan did not record a double-double was MSU's 106-68 win over UMass.
Allen Heating Up
Chris Allen opened the season averaging 7.5 points in the first two games, shooting .333 from the field, including .143 (1-of-7) from behind the arc. Over the last four games, Allen is averaging 14.8 points (second best on the squad), shooting .611 from the floor, including .500 (10-of-20) from 3-point range.
Taking Care of the Ball
Korie Lucious has posted impressive numbers in his role as a reserve point guard. He's averaging a team-best 5.3 assists per game and his 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio leads 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 dramatically to 2.17 (13 assists, six turnovers) this season. In his last two games, Morgan has nine assists and just two turnovers.
Hall of Famers
Former Michigan State coach Jud Heathcote and Spartan All-American Earvin "Magic" Johnson were inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday night (Nov. 22) in Kansas City. In fact, following MSU's 90-60 win over Valparaiso on Sunday, Tom Izzo boarded a private plane to fly to Kansas City for the ceremony. Heathcote finished his 19-year coaching career as Michigan State's all-time winningest coach with 340 victories, capturing three Big Ten titles and the 1979 NCAA Championship. He coached seven All-Americans, 15 All-Big Ten honorees and 23 NBA Draft picks. Overall, he posted a 420-273 record in 24 seasons as a collegiate head coach. Johnson was a member of the 1979 NCAA Championship team and a two-time All-American. Despite playing just two seasons at MSU, he totaled 1,059 points and 491 assists. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. The event was taped by ESPNU and broadcast on Dec. 13 at 9 p.m.
Nine different Spartans are averaging 9.5 minutes or more, including seven at 20.2 minutes or more. Kalin Lucas leads Michigan State with 28.5 minutes per contest after averaging a team-best 31.9 minutes per game last season. The Spartans have also used five different starting lineups through the first six games. Lucas and Durrell Summers are the only players to start all six games, although MSU has used the same lineup in the last two games. Last season, MSU used 14 different starting lineups, including nine in the first 12 games.
Center Derrick Nix had one of the top freshman debuts in Michigan State history. Nix's 14 rebounds set an MSU freshman debut record, besting the previous mark of 10 held by Matt Steigenga and Ben Tower. Nix (11 points, 14 rebounds) also became just the second freshman in MSU history to debut with a double-double, joining Steigenga (15 pts., 10 reb.). Nix is the 2009 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball honoree, having led Detroit Pershing to a Michigan Class A State Championship.
MSU's Three-Guard Attack
Michigan State features one of the best backcourts in the nation. In fact, Lindy's College Basketball Magazine ranked it the best. The foundation of the backcourt is the junior trio of Chris Allen, Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers, giving MSU one of the most athletic and offensively potent attacks in the country. Through six games, the trio is averaging a combined 42.7 points (Lucas-17.2, Summers-13.2, Allen-12.3). The three juniors rank as MSU's three leading scorers. Korie Lucious adds 6.2 points off the bench.
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.
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. The last time MSU played two ranked non-conference teams on the road was 2003-04 (No. 6 Kansas, No. 17 Syracuse). In addition, MSU hosted Gonzaga and played Florida on a neutral court in the Legends Classic in Atlantic City.
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) have been ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 this season. 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
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).
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 14th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 341-138 (.712), and 160-72 (.690) 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 .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 Izzo (.712), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), 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.
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.