Men's Basketball Back At Home To Host IPFW
Dec. 13, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
December 15, 2007
Radio: Spartan Sports Network - Will Tieman (Play by Play),
Gus Ganakas (Color). Flagship - WJIM 1240 AM/WMMQ 94.9 FM
The Opening Tip
The Starting Five
2. Dickie V's Coach Of The Week - After leading Michigan State to back-to-back victories away from East Lansing against Bradley and BYU, Tom Izzo was named Coach of the Week by Dick Vitale on his web site on Dec. 10. Vitale wrote "It is never easy to win on the road in college basketball and Izzo led the Spartans to victories at two difficult places."
3. A Balanced Scoring Attack - Although just two Spartans are averaging double-figures in scoring, Michigan State can get scoring contributions from many different sources. Seven Spartans average more than six points per game, and eight Spartans have scored 10 or more points in a single game this season. In six games, four Spartans have scored in double figures, as MSU is 6-0 in those contests.
4. Hitting The Boards - Michigan State has a +11.1 rebound margin, ranking second in the Big Ten. Goran Suton paces the Spartans at 9.0 boards per contest, having grabbed 20 caroms against Oakland, becoming the first Spartan since Kevin Willis in 1983 to record 20 boards in a game. In MSU's eight wins, the Spartans have a +13.6 rebound margin, but lost the only game in which they were outrebounded (UCLA; 37-28). In 2006-07, MSU posted a +7.0 rebounding margin, outrebounding 24 of 35 opponents while tying three other teams.
5. I Love The 80's - The Spartan offense has scored more than 80 points in five of nine games this season, equalling last year's number of 80-point games. Last season, MSU scored 80 or more points in just five of 35 contests.
MSU vs. IPFW Notes
Coach Fife - Dane Fife (Indiana, `02) is in his third season as the head of the IPFW program. He has recorded a 26-39 record as a collegiate head coach. At 28, Fife is the youngest coach in Division I basketball. Before taking over the helm at IPFW, Fife spent two seasons at Indiana as an assistant to former head coach Mike Davis.
The Last Meeting - Michigan State posted a +20 rebound margin (45-25) and held IPFW to 26.5 percent shooting as the Spartans defeated the Mastodons, 80-43, on Dec. 6, 2006. In the second half, IPFW converted just 3-of-21 field-goal attempts and did not score a field goal in the final 8:08 of the game. Marquise Gray, Drew Neitzel and Maurice Joseph each scored 13 pionts for the Spartans, while Gray and Goran Suton led MSU with eight rebounds each. Tyler Best led IPFW with 12 points.
Mastodon Notes - IPFW is shooting 48.1 percent from the field, but are allowing opponents to shoot 45.1 percent ... The Mastodons shoot an impressive 40.6 percent from 3-point range, averaging 8.9 made 3-pointers per contest ... Ben Botts is shooting 59.5 percent from 3-point range.
Game Nine Notes Michigan State 68 - BYU 61
MSU Basketball Notes
Spartans Play For Record Crowds - In addition to playing in front of sellout crowds at home, Michigan State is a top draw on the road, as the Spartans played in front of two record crowds last week. On Tuesday, MSU played in front of 11,597, the largest crowd ever to witness a Bradley home game. In Saturday's win over BYU, the Spartans played in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a college basketball game in Salt Lake City (16,412).
Finding Success At The Foul Line - Michigan State is shooting a Big Ten-best .756 from the foul line. The Spartans are averaging 22.8 attempts and 17.2 makes per contest. In fact, MSU has made nearly as many free throws (155) as its opponents have attempted (158). In the Spartans' lone loss to UCLA, they made 93.3 percent of their attempts, but attempted just 15 free throws. Last season, MSU averaged 19.2 attempts and 13.8 makes. Individually, Raymar Morgan has the most trips to the foul line (60), averaging 5.0 points per game at the stripe.
Attacking The Offensive Glass - Through nine games, Michigan State has nearly as many offensive boards (133) as its opponents have defensive rebounds (144), as the Spartans grab 48.0 percent of their own missed shots. In five games (Chicago State, ULM, Oakland, Bradley and BYU), the Spartans had more offensive rebounds than their opponent had defensive boards. MSU is averaging 14.8 offensive rebounds per game, and has recorded at least 10 offensive boards in seven of the nine contests, including three games with 20 or more offensive rebounds.
Maintaining The Defense - Michigan State is holding its opponents to 38.3 percent shooting overall, and 31.3 percent shooting from 3-point range. Last year, MSU allowed opponents to shoot just 38.4 percent, the lowest percentage since 1958-59. The Spartans have held six of nine opponents below 40 percent shooting.
Value The Basketball - Michigan State is averaging 15.0 turnovers per game. The turnovers are not coming from the point guards, as Drew Neitzel, Travis Walton and Kalin Lucas combine to average just 4.7 turnovers per game. Neitzel leads the Big Ten with a 4.2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Walton ranks 7th at 2.57-to-1, and Lucas is 9th at 1.89-to-1.
Spartans Shooting Well - Michigan State is shooting 49.4 percent from the field this season, having shot better than 50 percent in five games. The Spartans currently rank second in the Big Ten stats in field-goal percentage. Last season, MSU shot 46.9 percent.
First-Half Shooting - Michigan State has led at halftime in seven of nine games. In each game the Spartans led at the half, they shot better than 50 percent in the first period. MSU shot a season-best 61.5 percent in the first stanza against ULM. In games against Bradley and BYU where the Spartans failed to shoot 50 percent in the first half, they also found themselves trailing at the break.
Non-Conference Home Winning Streak - Michigan State has won 31 straight non-conference home games at the Breslin Center, good for the third-longest active streak in the nation. Only Duke (56 - vs. Albany-12/17) and Sam Houston State (41 - vs. Cal Irvine-12/20) have longer active streaks.
Spartan Depth - Nine different Spartans are averaging 13.7 minutes or more. At the same time, no Spartan is averaging 30 minutes. Drew Neitzel leads the Spartans at 29.6 minutes per game, six fewer than he averaged last season (35.7 mpg), when he played more minutes than any Spartan since 1991.
Freshmen Contributions - Michigan State has played three true scholarship freshmen (Chris Allen, Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers) this season. The trio is averaging 20.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 4.9 assists in 52.0 minutes.
Neitzel Among Career Leaders - Drew Neitzel ranks sixth in MSU history with 479 career assists, just 12 behind Earvin Johnson. He stands second in MSU career free throw percentage (.856), fourth in 3-point field goals attempted (494) and fifth in 3-point field goals made (199).
Neitzel Moving Up Scoring List - Drew Neitzel ranks 29th in Michigan State career scoring with 1,161 points. He needs 16 points to pass Lee Lafayette (1,176 points) and 23 points to pass Shannon Brown (1,183 points). Neitzel scored his 1,000th-career point against Marquette in the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
MSU's Block Party - Drew Naymick currently stands in fifth place on the MSU career blocked shots chart with 83 rejections. He is 14 blocks shy of Matt Steigenga in first place, four behind Paul Davis in fourth place and five behind Aloysius Anagonye in third place. In 2006-07, Michigan State blocked a school single-season record 162 shots. Naymick led the Spartans with 55 rejections, good for the second-best single-season total in MSU history. Idong Ibok had 33 blocks, the seventh-best single-season total at MSU.
Morgan Named Big Ten POW - Raymar Morgan was named co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 19, sharing the honor with Indiana freshman Eric Gordon. The Spartan sophomore averaged 19.0 points and 14.5 rebounds in the East Lansing Regional of the CBE Classic, earning Regional MVP honors.
Home Sweet Home - During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 169-22 (.885) at home, including 146-13 (.918) over the last 11 years.
Returning Talent - The Spartans return 89.8 percent of their scoring (2,043 points), 92.6 percent of their rebounding (1,021 rebounds), 93.2 percent of their assists (522 assists) and 89.4 percent of their minutes (6,256 minutes) from the 2006-07 squad.
Playing With Team USA - Raymar Morgan and Drew Neitzel had the opportunity to play for Team USA over the summer. Morgan made the 2007 USA U19 World Championship Team, winning a silver medal at the FIBA U19 World Championships. He started six of the nine contests, averaging 9.2 points (sixth most on the team) and 4.3 rebounds (fourth most). Neitzel made the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team, helping the team to a 3-2 mark. He led Team USA in minutes (29.6 mpg) and assists (2.2 apg), while ranking fifth in scoring (8.2 ppg).
Big Ten Favorites - Michigan State was selected the preseason Big Ten favorite by a 22-member media panel at Big Ten Media Day on Oct. 28 in Chicago. MSU was followed in the polls by Indiana and Ohio State. At the event, Drew Neitzel was also selected Preseason Big Ten Player of The Year, becoming the first Spartan to earn the preseason nod since Mateen Cleaves was the coaches' pick in 1999. Indiana's D.J. White, Ohio State Jamar Butler, Penn State's Geary Claxton and Illinois' Shaun Pruitt joined Neitzel on the all-league team.
MSU Among Decade's Best - In early May 2007, ESPN.com released a ranking of the top 10 programs of the last 10 years. Michigan State was tied for second in the consensus ranking of five college basketball experts. One of the five voters, Andy Katz, ranked MSU as the top program over the last 10 seasons. In ranking the Spartans at the top of the list, Katz used several supporting arguments including: appearing in a nation's best four Final Fours; winning four Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten Tournament Titles and the 2000 NCAA Championship; 10 straight NCAA Tournament appearances; 10 players selected in the NBA Draft; playing 32 ranked regular-season non-conference opponents; 30 graduates; 145 consecutive home sellouts and a .916 winning percentage at Breslin over the last 10 years.
A Perfect 10 - Michigan State made its 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007. It is the longest current streak among Big Ten schools and fifth longest in the nation. Only Arizona (23), Kansas (18), Kentucky (16) and Duke (12) 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 On The Run - After Michigan State's season-ending loss to North Carolina in the 2007 NCAA Tournament, Tom Izzo promised that the Spartans would return to the up-tempo style of basketball that he prefers to play. Look for the Spartans to significantly improve on the 65.0 points they averaged last season. Instead, expect something similar to the 2004-05 squad that averaged 78.5 points per contest, the most by any Izzo-coached team.
The Other Foundations - While an up-tempo offense is Tom Izzo's preferred style, his best teams are also built around exceptional rebounding and strong defense. In fact, MSU led the Big Ten in rebounding margin in 2006-07 for the eighth time in the last 10 years. Defensively, the Spartans allowed opponents just 57.2 points per game, the lowest total since 1951-52. While that number might increase due to a faster pace of game, the field-goal percentage defense need not increase. Last year, MSU allowed opponents to shoot just 38.4 percent, the lowest since 1958-59.
Preseason All-American - A second-team All-American as selected by Dick Vitale and CBS Sports.com in 2006-07, Drew Neitzel opens the 2007-08 season as a popular pick for first-team All-America honors. In fact, Neitzel is a preseason first-team All-American according to The Associated Press, Athlon Sports College Basketball, Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook and Dick Vitale. Teammate Raymar Morgan made Vitale's fourth team.
Neitzel On Cousy List - Senior point guard Drew Neitzel is one of 36 Division I candidates for the 2007 Bob Cousy Award. Presented annually by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the award recognizes the top collegiate point guard participating in NCAA Divisions I, II and III. The selection committee is comprised of college basketball experts including media members, former coaches and players. Candidates are evaluated on their ability to maximize their team's collective potential, their leadership, their core basketball skills and overall team acheivement. Neitzel is the only Big Ten player on the list, which also includes two Division II and Division III candidates.
Spartans Make Wooden And Naismith Lists - Raymar Morgan and Drew Neitzel are two of 50 players nationwide to earn a spot on the 2007-08 Naismith Trophy presented by AT&T preseason candidate watch list. The Naismith watch list was compiled by the Atlanta Tipoff Club's Board of Selectors, which based its preseason criteria on player performances from last season and expectations for the 2007-08 season. Morgan and Neitzel are two of just four Big Ten players on the Naismith watch list, where they are joined by Penn State's Geary Claxton and Indiana's D.J. White. Neitzel was also selected one of the top 50 preseason candidates for the 2007-08 John R. Wooden Award. The John R. Wooden Award, presented by the Los Angeles Athletic Club, has been presented annually since 1976. Neitzel and White are the only Big Ten players on the preseason list for the Wooden Award. Last season, Neitzel was one of 22 players to appear on the final ballot for the Wooden Award.
Spartan Opponents In The Polls - Four Michigan State opponents are ranked in the latest The Associated Press Top 25, including No. 4 Texas, No. 8 UCLA, No. 13 Indiana and No. 25 Brigham Young. (Based on Dec. 10 rankings.)
Spartans In The NBA - Eight former Spartans are currently on NBA rosters, including Maurice Ager (Dallas Mavericks), Charlie Bell (Milwaukee Bucks), Shannon Brown (Cleveland Cavaliers), Paul Davis (Los Angeles Clippers), Morris Peterson (New Orleans Hornets), Zach Randolph (New York Knicks), Jason Richardson (Charlotte Bobcats) and Eric Snow (Cleveland Cavaliers).
The Book On Tom Izzo
Among The Big Ten's Best - Tom Izzo's .679 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 (.700). With 133 conference victories, Izzo ranks 13th all-time, five behind Northwestern's Arthur Lonborg.
Izzo Among Best Ever - Through his first 12 seasons, Tom Izzo won 278 games, ranking ninth in college basketball history for most wins by a college coach in his first 12 years.
Graduating Student-Athletes - In Tom Izzo's 12 full years directing the Spartan program, 82 percent of his players who completed their eligibility also left with a degree. In the last eight years, 27 Spartans have received their undergraduate degrees, including five each in 2001, 2003 and 2007.
Izzo's Coaching Tree - Six current Division I head coaches all served as assistants to Tom Izzo, including Jim Boylen (Utah), Tom Crean (Marquette), Brian Gregory (Dayton), Stan Heath (South Florida), Stan Joplin (Toledo) and Doug Wojcik (Tulsa). Gregory is in his fifth 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 third 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 first season with Utah.
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