Dec. 21, 2010
The Opening Tip
Michigan State hosts Texas in the final non-conference game of the season for MSU as the Longhorns and Spartans are meeting for the fifth straight seasons. Texas is the fifth different Spartan opponent that has been ranked at some point this year and the seventh opponent that is currently ranked in the Top 60 of the Sagarin Ratings.
The Starting Five
1. Too Many Turnovers
One of Michigan State's early season issues has been turnovers, as the Spartans average 16.2 per contest. MSU opponents are averaging 15.7 points per game off turnovers, compared to just 15.0 points for the Spartans. Michigan State is 4-0 when the opponent commits more turnovers and 4-3 when it has more turnovers than the opponent. The Spartans have averaged 9.0 turnovers over the last two games, leading to just 6.5 opponent points per game.
2. Home Sweet Home
During Tom Izzo's career as head coach, the Spartans are 213-26 (.891) at home, including 190-17 (.918) over the last 14 years. MSU has defeated 52 consecutive non-conference opponents at the Breslin Center, dating back to a Dec. 3, 2003, loss to Duke.
3. Tough Early Slate
Texas will be the fifth opponent Michigan State has played this season that has been ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 at some point this year. MSU has played just five of its first 11 games at home. The Spartans have already played six games against teams in the top 57 of the Sagarin Ratings (through games of Dec. 20).
4. Moving Up The Scoring Chart
Kalin Lucas ranks 12th in MSU career scoring with 1,580 career points. The Spartan senior needs nine points to pass Morris Peterson (1,588 points) for 11th place and 18 points to pass Raymar Morgan (1,597 points) and move into the Top 10 in MSU history.
5. Solid Defensive Effort
Michigan State is turning in a strong defensive effort this season, holding teams to 66.5 points per game and allowing opponents to shoot just 39.5 percent from the field, including 35.0 percent from 3-point range. MSU has held five opponents below 40 percent and just four have topped 45 percent. No Spartan opponent has shot better than 50 percent, as MSU has out-shot its opponent in nine of 11 contests.
MSU vs. Texas Notes
The all-time series with Michigan State and Texas is tied at 3-3. Five of the six games have been played on a neutral court, while this is the first game to be played in East Lansing. Every game in the series has been decided by 11 points or less. MSU's three victories in the series have all been by six points or less.
Rick Barnes (Lenoir-Rhyne, `77) is 505-251 overall in his 24th season as a collegiate head coach, including 303-117 in 13 seasons at Texas. His coaching career also includes stints at George Mason, Providence, Clemson and Texas. Along the way he has guided his teams to a total of 18 NCAA and three NIT appearances.
The Last Meeting
Texas defeated Michigan State, 79-68, on Dec. 22, 2009, in Austin. In the first game in the series to be played on a home court, MSU held a 37-34 halftime lead thanks to 50 percent shooting, including 71.4 percent from 3-point range. The Spartans, however, were plagued by turnover problems, committing 15 in the first half, en route to 22 for the game. MSU went cold from the field in the second half, connecting on just 38.5 percent of its shots, including 12.5 percent from 3-point range. After cutting Texas' lead to 63-61 late in the second half, MSU missed four straight shots and committed two turnovers as the Longhorns went on an 11-2 run to take a 74-63 lead with 3:22 left. MSU hit just one of its final nine field-goal attempts over the last 8:53. Chris Allen led MSU with 12 points, while Damion James dominated the contest with 23 points and 13 rebounds for the Longhorns. Jordan Hamilton added 14 points for UT. For the game, Texas shot 56.1 percent, compared to 44.2 percent for MSU, while also holding a 32-31 advantage on the glass.
Texas is holding opponents to 36.5 percent shooting, including 28.7 percent from 3-point range, as Longhorn opponents average just 62.5 points per game ... Michigan State will be Texas' third ranked opponent this season, having previously played Illinois and Pittsburgh ... Texas has made a 3-pointer in 663 consecutive games, dating back to Dec. 1990 ... Texas has used just two different starting lineups this season as four Longhorns have started all 11 contests ... Nine different Longhorns are averaging more than 11 minutes per contest ... Both Jordan Hamilton (.429) and Cory Joseph (.413) are shooting better than 41 percent from 3-point range, but no other Longhorn is shooting better than 30 percent ... Five different Longhorns are averaging more than 9.1 points per game, including four in double figures.
Gm. 11 Notes Michigan State 90 - Prairie View A&M 51
* Michigan State's 39-point margin of victory was a season high.
* Michigan State forced 22 turnovers and committed just 10, leading to a 25-6 advantage in points off turnovers.
* The Spartan defense recorded a season-high 14 steals.
* Durrell Summers led four Spartans in double figures with a season-high 25 points.
* Kalin Lucas dished out a season-high eight assists and recorded three steals, while committing just one turnover.
* The Spartans shot a season-best 81.8 percent from the foul line.
* Michigan State shot 29 percent better than Prairie View A&M in the second half, hitting on 57.1 percent of its shots, compared to 28.1 percent for PVAMU.
* Mike Kebler scored a career-high eight points.
MSU Basketball Notes
Spartans Enjoy Home Cooking
Michigan State is averaging 83.0 points in five games at the Breslin Center, shooting .503 from the field, including .434 from 3-point range. Durrell Summers leads the attack, averaging 19.8 points at home, shooting .544 from the field and .533 from 3-point range (16-of-30). The defense has also fed off the home crowd, limiting opponents to 56.8 points and a .329 field-goal percentage.
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 14.7 points in 28.8 minutes. He was named Big Ten Player of the Week on Nov. 29, averaging 20.5 points over four games. Over the last two games, he's averaging 17.5 points, 6.5 assists and 2.5 steals.
MSU's Mr. Everything
Junior Draymond Green is one of the nation's most versatile players. He leads the team in rebounding (9.0 rpg), steals (2.0 spg), blocks (1.3 bpg) and 3-point field-goal percentage (.500), while ranking second in assists (4.1 apg), and third in field-goal percentage (.500) and scoring (12.5). Green ranks tied for second in the Big Ten in steals, third in rebounding, tied for fourth in 3-point field-goal percentage, 11th in assists and 12th in blocks. 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.
Spartans From Distance
Michigan State is shooting .416 from 3-point range this season, ranking second in the Big Ten and 14th in the nation (as of Dec. 20). The Spartans' best 3-point percentage under Tom Izzo is .401, established by the 2003-04 squad. Five different Spartans have knocked down 11 or more 3-pointers led by Durrell Summers, with 26. Draymond Green is shooting a team-best .500 from 3-point range, as four of the five Spartans hitting 11 or more threes are shooting better than 40 percent (Appling - .478, Summers - .456, Lucas - .421). As a team, MSU ranks second in the Big Ten with 7.91 3-pointers per game, after finishing last in the conference last season (5.1).
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 8.5 minutes or more, while nine have averaged 9.8 or more. MSU's bench is out-scoring opponents' reserves by 12.0 points per game (26.6 ppg-14.6 ppg), out-scoring the opponents' bench in 10 of 11 games this season.
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 404 of 521 opponents (.775), posting a 321-83 (.795) mark in those games. This year, MSU has out-rebounded seven of 11 opponents, posting a +3.8 margin. MSU has out-rebounded six of its last seven opponents. The Spartans are 6-1 when out-rebounding their opponent, and 2-2 when failing to do so.
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. 12 in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Top 25 Polls. 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), Purdue (14/13), Minnesota (17/16), Texas (18/22) and lllinois (21/21).
Sherman Hits The Mark
Garrick Sherman is shooting a remarkable .683 from the field this season. Since opening the season with a 3-of-6 effort, Sherman has hit 25 of his last 34. 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 1,090 points for his career, he needs 10 to pass Bill Kilgore (1,099 points) for 35th, and 20 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 has started the last two games 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 7.0 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 94 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 .474 from the field, including .416 from 3-point range. The exception to the strong shooting is at the foul line, where MSU is shooting .663. Defensively, MSU is holding opponents to a .395 field-goal percentage, including .350 from behind the arc.
Seniors Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers have been named preseason candidates for the John R. Wooden and Naismith Awards. Lucas is also a candidate for the Cousy Award, presented to the nation's top point guard.
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 (Orlando Magic). 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 372-149 (.714), 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.