Dec. 3, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
#9/9 Michigan State (5-2)
vs. Wofford (4-4)
December 4, 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;
TV: Big Ten Network - Tom Hamilton (Play by Play), Tim Doyle (Color)
Tickets: A limited number of tickets are currently on sale. Buy Tickets
The Opening Tip
After playing its last three games away from home, Michigan State returns to the Breslin Center to host Wofford. It marks the first of two straight games against teams from the Southern Conference, as the Spartans will travel to The Citadel for Monday's game. MSU-Wofford features a meeting of two brothers as Spartan senior Isaiah Dahlman will see his younger brother Noah, a junior at Wofford, on the opposing team.
The Starting Five
1. Dahlman Vs. Dahlman
The Michigan State-Wofford game allows Spartan senior Isaiah Dahlman the opportunity to play against his younger brother Noah, a junior on the Terrier squad. Together, the Dahlman brothers teamed up to win three straight Minnesota 2A state championships at Braham (Minn.) Area High School. Isaiah finished his prep career as Minnesota's all-time leading scorer in boys' basketball with 3,366 points, while Noah finished his career as the state's all-time leading rebounder with 1,434 boards. Noah paces Wofford, averaging 18.0 points per game.
2. Raymar On The Mark
Over the last two games, Raymar Morgan has proven to be quite a force on the offensive end of the court, averaging 17.5 points and shooting 75.0 percent from the floor. Against UMass, he scored 17 points, hitting 8-of-10 shots. At North Carolina, Morgan led MSU with 18 points, connecting on 7-of-10 shots.
3. Another Brutal Schedule
Although the season is just seven games old, Michigan State has already played three teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. The Spartans defeated No. 17 Gonzaga and lost to No. 13 Florida and No. 10 North Carolina. The Tar Heels are the only other team currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 to have played three games against currently ranked opponents.
4. Offensive Balance
Through seven games, Michigan State has proven it has several different offensive weapons as five Spartans currently average in double figures. Kalin Lucas paces the Spartan offense at 16.9 points per game, followed by Durrell Summers (13.6 ppg), Chris Allen (11.1), Draymond Green (10.6 ppg) and Raymar Morgan (10.0 ppg). MSU has had four or more players score in double figures in six of the seven different games, as eight different players have scored 10 or more points at least once this season. Kalin Lucas has scored in double figures in all seven games, and 18 straight dating back to last season.
5. Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 197-24 (.891) at home, including 174-15 (.921) over the last 13 years (1997-98 to present). MSU has defeated 43 consecutive non-conference opponents at the Breslin Center, dating back to a Dec. 3, 2003, loss to Duke.
MSU vs. Wofford Notes
Mike Young (Emory & Henry, '86) is 93-121 in his eighth season as head coach at Wofford. Prior to becoming head coach, Young spent 13 seasons as an assistant coach under Wofford head coach Richard Johnson. Young's career also includes stints as an assistant at Emory & Henry and Radford before joining the Wofford staff in 1989.
This is the first ever meeting between Michigan State and Wofford. The Spartans are 5-0 against current members of the Southern Conference, with a 2-0 record against The Citadel and 3-0 against Furman.
Wofford is led in scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg) by Noah Dahlman (Isaiah's brother) ... Junior guard Cameron Rundles attended DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, the same school that produced former Spartan All-Big Ten performer Alan Anderson ... With a 16-14 record last season, Wofford produced a winning record for the first time in 14 seasons as a Division I team ... Wofford has made a 3-point field goal in 221 consecutive games, dating back to Feb. 2, 2002 ... Wofford is currently the fourth-smallest school in NCAA Division I with an enrollment of 1,450.
Game 7 Recap - North Carolina 89 - MSU 82
* Michigan State dropped to 5-5 all-time in Big Ten/ACC Challenge history.
* The Spartans attempted a season-high 79 shots, thanks in part to 19 offensive boards.
* MSU's starting guards (Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers) were a combined 2-of-12 (5 points) in the first half and 11-of-22 (26 points) in the second half.
* Delvon Roe established a career high with five steals, as MSU collected 15 as a team, with five additional players recording two steals each.
* Raymar Morgan scored a season-high 18 points to lead MSU.
* One game after hitting 14-of-22 3-pointers, the Spartans connected on just 2-of-20 shots from behind the arc.
* 52 of MSU's 82 points came in the paint, outscoring a taller Tar Heel squad, 52-38 in the lane.
* UNC held a 19-point lead in the early moments of the second half, but MSU battled back to within six points and possession of the ball with less than 90 seconds left.
MSU Basketball Notes
Attacking The Offensive Glass
Michigan State is averaging 16.4 offensive rebounds per contest, leading to 19.1 second chance points per game. The Spartans are grabbing 42.9 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. MSU has totaled 18 or more offensive rebounds in three of the team's seven games. The Spartans are paced in offensive rebounds by Delvon Roe with 3.1 per contest.
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. 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 480 opponents (78.3 percent), posting a 297-78 (.792) mark in those games. MSU has out-rebounded its opponents by a margin of +9.9, bettering six of seven teams and tying North Carolina on the glass.
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 early, limiting opponents to 39.9 percent on the season, as only one opponent has shot better than 41.0 percent (North Carolina-57.9 percent). MSU has been equally stingy on its 3-point defense, holding teams to a Big Ten-best 26.8 percent shooting behind the arc, holding four of seven opponents below 23 percent.
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 seven games, he is averaging a team-best 8.4 boards per game. He's recorded double-figure rebounds in three of seven games, and trails only Korie Lucious and Kalin Lucas with his 21 assists. Further demonstrating his versatility, he ranks fourth in scoring (10.6 ppg), second in steals (9), and second in blocks (7). He's recorded two double-doubles on the season.
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."
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 shot better in the next three contests, connecting on 55.6 percent of its shots, including 46.9 percent from 3-point range. Even including MSU's 43.0 percent effort (10.0 percent from 3-point range) at North Carolina, the Spartans are still shooting 51.9 percent over the last four games, including 36.2 percent from behind the arc.
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 1,046 points, eight behind Marcus Sanders (1,054 points), 13 behind Earvin "Magic" Johnson (1,059 points) and 16 behind Johnny Green (1,062 points). Lucas has scored in double figures in 18 straight games, dating back to last season. His teammate, Raymar Morgan, currently ranks 22nd in MSU history with 1,250 points. He needs 26 points to pass Quinton Brooks (1,275 points) and move into 21st place on MSU's all-time scoring list.
At least one Spartan has recorded a double-double in five of MSU's seven 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.
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 4.63 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 to 1.36 (15 assists, 11 turnovers) this season.
Life Away From Home
After playing its first four games at the Breslin Center, Michigan State is in a stretch where it plays 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.
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 9.3 minutes or more, including seven at 20.6 minutes or more. Kalin Lucas leads Michigan State with 29.1 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 seven games. Lucas and Durrell Summers are the only players to start all seven games, although MSU has used the same lineup in the last three 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 seven games, the trio is averaging a combined 41.6 points (Lucas-16.9, Summers-13.6, Allen-11.1). The three juniors rank as MSU's three leading scorers. Korie Lucious adds 6.1 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.
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 341-139 (.710), 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 Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712), Izzo (.710), 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.