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Freshman's career day paces MSU in 75-47 victory

February 8, 2009

Behind a double-double from freshman forward Draymond Green, the No. 13 MSU men’s basketball team defeated Indiana 75-47 Saturday at Breslin Center. Green had career highs in points (15), rebounds (12) and minutes (20). Sophomore guard Chris Allen had a team-high 16 points — including four 3-pointers — to help improve the Spartans to 19-4 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten.

All Draymond Green did Saturday was take advantage of an opportunity.

With the MSU men’s basketball team in a closer-than-expected Big Ten battle with last-place Indiana and senior center Goran Suton struggling early, the freshman forward brought energy and tenacity to the floor, scoring 15 points and grabbing 12 rebounds to lead the Spartans to a 75-47 victory over the Hoosiers at Breslin Center.

“We didn’t have a lot of energy coming out — it’s not that we underestimated them or anything — that’s just sometimes how it is,” said Green, whose double-double helped improve MSU to 19-4 overall and 9-2 in the Big Ten.

Checking into the game shortly after the first media timeout, Green instantly brought the energy Izzo was looking for, pulling down strong rebounds and banging hard in the paint en route to eight points and six rebounds in nine first-half minutes.

There was no drop-off in the second half, as Green — who entered the contest averaging 8.2 minutes a game — never missed a shot in his career-high 20 minutes, shooting 5-for-5 from the field and 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.

The only mistake the freshman made was midway through the second half when he was called for a charge, turning the ball over to Indiana (6-16, 1-9).

“We were a little mad at Draymond; he charged that one time or else he would have had a perfect game,” Izzo said jokingly afterward. “He’s been playing better … so he helped us a lot in there.”

Although the play of Green on Saturday was the first glimpse Big Ten teams and MSU got to see of him, sophomore guard Durrell Summers and senior guard Travis Walton said what Green showed on the court Saturday is what the Spartans see every day in practice.

“He’s just a good player and he just knows the game,” Walton said.

“He’s a basketball player. You can’t describe him as an athlete or a jump shooter or passer; you can just call him a basketball player.”

Making an impact

While Green was having a career day and sophomore guard Chris Allen hit four 3-pointers to lead the team with 16 points Saturday, MSU’s two hottest players struggled with their shooting.

Sophomore guards Kalin Lucas (10 points) and Summers (2 points) combined to shoot 5-for-26 from the field, including 0-for-11 from beyond the 3-point arc, even though Izzo said they were shooting as well as ever before the game.

“I really enjoyed the way both Kalin and Durrell handled this thing,” Izzo said.

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