Dec. 10, 2010
The Opening Tip
Michigan State looks to bounce back from defeat as it plays Oakland at The Palace of Auburn Hills. For the Spartans, it will be their fifth neutral court game of the season, and their sixth game away from East Lansing in the first 10 contests. The Spartans have some great history at The Palace, including winning two games in the 2000 Midwest Regional on the road to an NCAA title.
The Starting Five
1. Too Many Turnovers
One of Michigan State's early season issues has been turnovers, as the Spartans average 17.8 per contest. MSU opponents are averaging 17.8 points per game off turnovers, compared to just 13.8 points for the Spartans. Michigan State is 2-0 when the opponent commits more turnovers and 4-3 when it has more turnovers than the opponent.
2. MSU At The Palace Of Auburn Hills
Michigan State is 9-2 all-time at The Palace of Auburn Hills. On Dec. 15, 1990, No. 1 UNLV defeated MSU, 95-75. MSU's first victory at the Palace was a 75-72 win over Arkansas in the 1995 Great Eight. The Spartans returned to The Palace for the 2000 Midwest Regional semifinals and finals, using second-half comebacks to defeat Syracuse and Iowa State. One year later, MSU brought a No. 1 ranking into The Palace and defeated Bowling Green, 85-69. Michigan State hosted the Spartan Clash from 2003-07. After falling to Oklahoma, 80-77 in overtime, in the 2003 Clash, MSU posted consecutive victories against Stanford (78-53) in 2004, Wichita State (83-64) in 2005, BYU (76-61) in 2006 and Texas (78-72) in 2007. On Dec. 27, 2008, MSU defeated Oakland, 82-66, on Dec. 27, 2008.
3. Stiff Opposition
Michigan State has played four of its first nine games against teams currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25, the most among any team in the Top 25. The Spartans are also the only ranked team to play a road game against a team currently ranked in the AP Top 25.
4. Spartan Depth
In 2009-10, seven Spartans averaged more than 20 minutes per game, while nine averaged 7.2 minutes per contest. This season, 10 different Spartans have averaged 8.2 minutes or more, while nine have averaged 9.9 or more. MSU's bench is out-scoring opponents' reserves by 12.1 points per game (27.2 ppg-15.1 ppg), out-scoring the opponents' bench in all nine games this season.
5. Nation's Best Sixth Man
After starting four of the season's first seven games, Draymond Green and the Spartan coaching staff have decided Green will resume his role as the team's sixth man. Last season, Green was a unanimous selection for Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year, and was named National Sixth Man of the Year by Yahoo! Sports.
MSU vs. Oakland Notes
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Oakland, 9-0, including a 1-0 advantage at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The Spartans and Grizzlies are meeting for the fifth straight season.
Greg Kampe (Bowling Green, `78) is 450-327 in 27 seasons at Oakland. In 2004-05, Kampe led Oakland to a Mid-Con Championship and its first NCAA Division I Tournament. Last season, Kampe directed the Golden Grizzlies to their second NCAA Tournament. His 27 seasons at Oakland rank as the fifth-most for a Division I coach at his current school.
The Last Meeting
Michigan State defeated Oakland, 88-57, on Dec. 10, 2009, in East Lansing. The Spartans used a 31-6 run early in the first half to take a 36-10 lead and never looked back. In the first half, MSU turned 11 Oakland turnovers into 22 Spartan points. Michigan State also held a 19-2 advantage in fast-break points for the game, and controlled the paint with a 46-18 advantage. Draymond Green scored a career-high 19 points and tied his then-career high with 12 rebounds. Kalin Lucas also scored 19 points for MSU, while Oakland's Keith Benson led all scorers with 21 points. For the game, MSU shot 56.3 percent, compared to just 34.5 percent for Oakland.
The Last Meeting At The Palace of Auburn Hills
Michigan State defeated Oakland, 82-66, on Dec. 27, 2008, at The Palace of Auburn Hills. It was a game of runs, as MSU opened with a 9-0 run, only to watch Oakland storm back with a 15-0 run. The Spartans then responded with an 11-0 run. Trailing 28-26 with 4:12 left in the first half, Michigan State closed the period on an 18-2 run as Durrell Summers scored the final seven points of the half. Raymar Morgan scored his 1,000th career point, but MSU was led by Goran Suton (16 points, nine rebounds) and Kalin Lucas (15 points, six assists). Keith Benson led Oakland with 20 points. MSU held a 38-22 advantage on the glass.
Golden Grizzly Notes
Travis Bader (Okemos), Jordan Howenstine (Lansing) and Drew Valentine (Lansing) all went to high school in the mid-Michigan area ... Michigan State is the third ranked Big Ten opponent that Oakland is playing this season, having previously traveled to Purdue and Illinois ... Oakland has appeared in four of the last six Summit League title games, and is picked as the preseason favorite for the second straight season ... Keith Benson is ranked as the nation's No. 5 center by Rivals.com, and is on the Naismith Trophy watch list; Benson opened the week ranking fifth in the nation in both blocked shots and rebounds.
Gm. 9 Notes Syracuse 72 - Michigan State 58
* Syracuse scored 42 points on dunks and layups and 22 points from the foul line, accounting for 64 of their 72 points.
* MSU was out-rebounded 38-30, marking its largest deficit on the glass this season.
* Michigan State shot a season-low 29.2 percent from 3-point range.
* Durrell Summers knocked down four 3-pointers for the second straight game.
* For the first time this season, Michigan State was out-shot by its opponent.
MSU Basketball Notes
It's All About Boardwork
Michigan State has led the nation in rebounding margin in each of the last two seasons, posting a +9.3 margin in 2009 and a +8.6 margin in 2010. The Spartans have led the nation in rebounding margin in four of the last 11 years. MSU has led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 11 of the last 13 years. In the Tom Izzo era, MSU has out-rebounded 402 of 519 opponents (.775), posting a 319-83 (.794) mark in those games. This year, MSU has out-rebounded just five of nine opponents, posting a +3.9 margin. MSU has out-rebounded four of its last five opponents. MSU is 4-1 when out-rebounding its opponent, and 2-2 when failing to do so.
Kalin Lucas tore his left Achilles in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. He then put off surgery for a week to attend the Midwest Regional, cheering on his teammates to the Final Four. Since then, he spent the summer rehabbing daily for hours on end. Lucas has started the season on a strong note, averaging a team-best 14.9 points and 30.0 minutes. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 29, averaging 20.5 points over four games. Recently, he played 36 minutes at Duke, the most he's played since the injury.
MSU's Mr. Everything
Junior Draymond Green is one of the nation's most versatile players. He leads the team in rebounding (9.6 rpg), steals (2.1 spg), blocks (1.6 bpg) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.520), while ranking second in assists (4.0 apg), and third in field-goal percentage (.520) and scoring (13.8). Green ranks third in the Big Ten in rebounding and steals, fifth in 3-point field-goal percentage, seventh in blocks, 10th in assists and tied for 13th in field-goal percentage. Green has stated a goal of trying to become just the third player in school history to record a triple-double (Earvin Johnson, Charlie Bell). Green is MSU's active leader with 12 double-doubles in his career.
Dealing With Injury
One of the early storylines for the 2010-11 Spartans will be how they deal with injuries and how different players battle back from injury. Many different players missed significant time in the offseason due to injury. Most notably, Kalin Lucas is attempting to come back from an Achilles injury suffered in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament against Maryland. Shortly after the season concluded in April, Delvon Roe had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. Garrick Sherman had screws removed from his foot, left over from a high school injury. Freshman center Adreian Payne separated his shoulder late in his high school senior season and missed several months. Fellow freshman Russell Byrd suffered a broken foot in May, and when the foot never fully healed, he underwent a second surgery in early October. Austin Thornton suffered a back injury that kept him out of action for several weeks. Even Durrell Summers suffered a mild knee sprain and missed an opportunity to work with the USA Basketball Select Team. Korie Lucious missed a couple weeks in early October after surgery to fix a torn meniscus.
Another Strong Non-Conference Schedule
Michigan State will be tested early and often during its 2010-11 non-conference schedule. Four opponents (Duke, Syracuse, Texas, Washington) appeared in the 2010 NCAA Tournament. All four of those squads also appear in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25.
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 decades. Five different league schools (Michigan State, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue and Minnesota) are ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25, while Northwestern and Wisconsin received votes.
Big Ten Favorites
Michigan State was selected as the preseason conference favorite for the 2010-11 season, as voted on by a panel of media. Ohio State and Purdue were picked to finish second and third, respectively. 2009 Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas was tabbed as Preseason Player of the Year.
In The Rankings
Michigan State is currently ranked No. 6 in both the Associated Press Top 25 and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25. Nine different Spartan opponents are ranked in at least one of the two polls, including Duke (1 AP/1 USA Today), Ohio State (2/2), Connecticut (6/6), Syracuse (8/7), llinois (16/17), Purdue (19/18), Washington (21/22), Minnesota (22/20) and Texas (25/25).
Spartans From Distance
Michigan State is shooting .412 from 3-point range this season, ranking third in the Big Ten. The Spartans' best 3-point percentage under Tom Izzo is .401, established by the 2003-04 squad. Six different Spartans have knocked down four or more 3-pointers, and four have hit 13 or more, led by Durrell Summers, with 20. Draymond Green is shooting a team-best .520 from 3-point range. As a team, MSU ranks second in the Big Ten with 8.11 3-pointers per game, after finishing last in the conference last season (5.1).
Sherman Can't Miss
Garrick Sherman is shooting a remarkable .694 from the field this season. Since opening the season with a 3-of-6 effort, Sherman has hit 22 of his last 30. At one point, he connected on 10 straight shots this season.
Moving Up The Scoring Chart
Kalin Lucas ranks 13th in MSU career scoring with 1,545 career points. The Spartan senior needs 10 points to pass Maurice Ager (1,554 points) for 12th place and 44 points to pass Morris Peterson (1,588 points) for 11th place in MSU history.
Summers Reaches 1,000
Durrell Summers became the 41st player to top 1,000 career points with his 21-point effort vs. Tennessee Tech. With 1,053 points for his career, he needs two to pass Marcus Sanders (1,054 points) for 39th, seven to pass Earvin Johnson (1,059 points) for 38th, and 10 to pass Johnny Green (1,062 points) for 37th in MSU history.
Acting The Part
November 16 proved to be an especially busy day for Delvon Roe. At 7:30 p.m., the theatre major played the role of "Charles the Wrestler" in William Shakespeare's "As You Like It" put on by the MSU Department of Theatre at the Wharton Center. At 10 p.m., he resumed his normal role of starting power forward for the Spartans, playing one of his best games at MSU, recording 15 points, five rebounds and six assists. Roe also performed on stage on Nov. 17 and 18 prior to leaving for Maui. Feeling his healthiest since before injuring his knee in the first game of his senior year of high school, Roe is averaging 6.7 points and 5.2 rebounds on the young season. Roe's increased movement has also benefited him on the defensive end, where he's able to play some on the perimeter. For example, he helped hold Duke All-American Kyle Singler to 5-of-14 shooting.
Quite A Class Already
Although they have played just three-plus seasons, Spartan seniors Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Mike Kebler have won 92 games in their careers. That total already ranks as the eighth winningest class in school history. The 2008 class ranks seventh with 98 wins. If the Spartans win 29 games this season, they will equal the 2001 class (115) as the most successful group in school history.
Spartans On Target
The Spartans are shooting .479 from the field, including .412 from 3-point range. The exception is at the foul line, where MSU is shooting .634. Defensively, MSU is holding opponents to a .393 field-goal percentage, including .346 from behind the arc.
Seniors Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers have been named preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden and Naismith Awards. In addition, Lucas earned a spot on Dick Vitale's Preseason All-Rolls Royce Second Team and was named the nation's No. 1 floor leader by Athlon Sports College Basketball. He was also named preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Lindy's and Athlon Sports College Basketball. Summers was named a Second-Team Preseason All-American by Sporting News.
An Experienced Group
Michigan State returns nine letterwinners and three starters from last year's Big Ten Championship and Final Four squad. The Spartans return three of their top four scorers and seven of their top nine. The Spartans return 71.7 percent of their scoring, 72.9 percent of their rebounding and 76.9 percent of their assists. Entering the season, Michigan State's returning roster had combined to play in a Big Ten-best 615 contests, 31 more than Northwestern. MSU's roster had combined for 221 starts, which was just the seventh-highest total in the league. MSU's combined minutes played total of 10,255 ranked fifth in the conference.
Michigan State's roster features four freshmen: Keith Appling, Russell Byrd, Alex Gauna and Adreian Payne. Appling was a high school teammate of Derrick Nix at Pershing High School, capturing the Class A state title in 2009. Individually, he was a 2010 McDonald's All-American and winner of the 2010 Hal Schram Mr. Basketball Award. Byrd is an outstanding perimeter shooter from Fort Wayne, Ind., who averaged 23.2 points and 10.1 rebounds as a senior. However, he broke his foot in May, and when it did not heal fully, he underwent a second surgery in October. Gauna is a skilled big man from Eaton Rapids, Mich. Gauna was a 2010 Class B All-State honoree after averaging 21.9 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.8 blocks as a senior. Payne led Jefferson Township High School to the 2010 Ohio Division IV state championship, averaging 15.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots as a senior. An extremely talented and athletic forward, Payne was one of the top 25 players in America as a senior.
Spartans In The NBA
Five former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Charlie Bell (Golden State Warriors), Shannon Brown (Los Angeles Lakers), Morris Peterson (Oklahoma City Thunder), Zach Randolph (Memphis Grizzlies) and Jason Richardson (Phoenix Suns). Brown is a key reserve guard for the Lakers and has been a major contributor on back-to-back NBA Championship squads. Randolph was selected as a reserve for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game. Richardson has averaged more than 18 points per game over the course of his 10-year career.
The Book On Tom Izzo
In his 16th year, Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan, '77) is 370-149 (.713), and 174-76 (.696) 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 his 341st career victory on Nov. 28, 2009 . In his 15 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 .696 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 ahead of Purdue's Ward Lambert (.685). In all games, Knight ranks first at .734, followed by Izzo (.714), Wisconsin's Walter Meanwell (.712) and Lambert (.709). With 174 conference victories, Izzo ranks tied for seventh all-time.
Izzo Among Best Ever
Through his first 15 seasons, Tom Izzo won 364 games, ranking sevent in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 15 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). Mike Garland served as head coach at Cleveland State for three seasons and Stan Joplin, an assistant during Izzo's first season, spent 12 seasons as head coach at Toledo.