Dec. 16, 2010
The Opening Tip
After a week of academic finals, Michigan State returns to action against Prairie View A&M. The Spartans have just two non-conference games remaining on their schedule. Michigan State is playing just its fifth home game of the season, and its first in two weeks.
The Starting Five
1. Too Many Turnovers
One of Michigan State's early season issues has been turnovers, as the Spartans average 16.8 per contest. MSU opponents are averaging 16.7 points per game off turnovers, compared to just 14.0 points for the Spartans. Michigan State is 3-0 when the opponent commits more turnovers and 4-3 when it has more turnovers than the opponent. The Spartans committed a season-low eight turnovers in their last contest vs. Oakland, resulting in just seven Golden Grizzly points.
2. Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 212-26 (.891) at home, including 189-17 (.917) over the last 14 years. MSU has defeated 51 consecutive non-conference opponents at the Breslin Center, dating back to a Dec. 3, 2003, loss to Duke.
3. Tough Early Slate
Michigan State has played four of its first 10 games against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 at some point this season. The Spartans are also the only ranked team to play a road game against a team currently ranked in the AP Top 25. MSU has also played just four of its first 10 games at home. MSU has played a nation's best six games against teams currently in the Top 50 of the Sagarin Ratings (through games of Dec. 15).
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 8.3 minutes or more, while nine have averaged 9.3 or more. MSU's bench is out-scoring opponents' reserves by 10.7 points per game (25.8 ppg-15.1 ppg), out-scoring the opponents' bench in nine of 10 games this season.
5. Moving Up The Scoring Chart
Kalin Lucas ranks 12th in MSU career scoring with 1,570 career points. The Spartan senior needs 19 points to pass Morris Peterson (1,588 points) for 11th place and 28 points to pass Raymar Morgan (1,597 points) and move into the Top 10 in MSU history.
MSU vs. Prairie View A&M Notes
This is the first ever meeting between Michigan State and Prairie View A&M. Michigan State is 3-0 against teams currently in the SWAC, including 1-0 vs. Alabama State, 1-0 vs. Alcorn State, and 1-0 vs. Mississippi Valley State.
Byron Rimm II (Cal-State Los Angeles, `99) is 98-122 in his eighth season as a collegiate head coach, including 51-83 in his fifth year at Prairie View A&M.
Prairie View A&M has played nine of its first 11 games away from home, losing each of those nine contests ... The Panthers were picked fourth in the SWAC preseason poll ... PVAMU posted a 16-14 record last season, marking the second consecutive winning season. The Panthers are looking for a third straight winning season for the first time since recording four straight winning seasons between 1969 and 1973 ... Prairie View's roster includes players from six states, including freshman forward Demondre Chapman from Flint, Mich., and two foreign countries ... Seven teams on the Panthers' non-conference schedule participated in the 2010 NCAA Tournament ... Prairie View A&M is the second oldest public institution of higher education in Texas, second only to Texas A&M University.
Gm. 10 Notes Michigan State 77 - Oakland 76
* Michigan State committed a season-low eight turnovers.
* The Spartans recorded a season-high 13 steals on Oakland's 14 turnovers, resulting in a 16-7 MSU edge in points off turnovers.
* For the first time all season, the Spartans' bench was out-scored by the opponent's reserves.
* Kalin Lucas tied career highs with 10 made free throws and 12 free throw attempts.
* Michigan State tied its season high with a .750 free-throw percentage.
* Detroit native Keith Appling made his first career start, scoring 12 points, the most he's scored since the season opener.
* Detroit native Kalin Lucas finished his career averaging 19.3 points and 5.7 assists at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
* Garrick Sherman grabbed a team-high seven rebounds, the most for him since the season opener.
* Oakland shot 47.4 percent from 3-point range, a season-high for a Spartan opponent. Larry Wright and Drew Valentine shot a combined 6-of-7 from behind the arc after entering the game shooting a combined 7-of-37.
MSU Basketball Notes
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 15.2 points in 29.0 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 (9.1 rpg), steals (2.0 spg), blocks (1.4 bpg) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.520), while ranking second in assists (4.1 apg), and third in field-goal percentage (.506) and scoring (12.7). Green ranks tied for second in the Big Ten in steals, third in rebounding, fifth in 3-point field-goal percentage, tied for ninth in blocks and 10th in assists. 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.
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 403 of 520 opponents (.775), posting a 320-83 (.794) mark in those games. This year, MSU has out-rebounded just six of 10 opponents, posting a +3.7 margin. MSU has out-rebounded five of its last six opponents. MSU is 5-1 when out-rebounding its opponent, and 2-2 when failing to do so.
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, in addition to Connecticut, have also appeared 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. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25 and No. 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll Top 25. Eight 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 (4/4), Syracuse (5/5), llinois (12/14), Purdue (19/17), Minnesota (21/20) and Texas (t-22/25).
Spartans From Distance
Michigan State is shooting .411 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 21. Draymond Green is shooting a team-best .520 from 3-point range. As a team, MSU ranks second in the Big Ten with 7.90 3-pointers per game, after finishing last in the conference last season (5.1).
Sherman Can't Miss
Garrick Sherman is shooting a remarkable .692 from the field this season. Since opening the season with a 3-of-6 effort, Sherman has hit 24 of his last 33. At one point, he connected on 10 straight shots this season.
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 1,065 points for his career, he needs 17 to pass Goran Suton (1,081 points) for 36th, 35 to pass Bill Kilgore (1,099 points) for 35th, and 45 to pass Al Ferrari (1,109 points) for 34th in MSU history.
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. Green did start the most recent game vs. Oakland in place of Delvon Roe.
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 5.1 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 93 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.
The Shooting Story
The Spartans are shooting .471 from the field, including .411 from 3-point range. The exception is at the foul line, where MSU is shooting .648. Defensively, MSU is holding opponents to a .401 field-goal percentage, including .359 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.
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 371-149 (.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.