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Suton named Midwest Region MOP

March 29, 2009

The MSU men’s basketball team defeated No. 1-seed Louisville 64-52 on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium to advance to the Final Four. Senior center Goran Suton, who was named as the Midwest Regional’s Most Outstanding Player, had 19 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guards Durrell Summers (12 points) and Kalin Lucas (10) also scored in double-figures for the Spartans, who play Connecticut (31-4) at 6:07 p.m. Saturday at Ford Field in Detroit.

Indianapolis — About a decade ago, Goran Suton hadn’t even heard of the Final Four.

Next weekend, the senior center will have a chance to experience it. And because of him, so will his teammates.

Suton finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds Sunday, leading the MSU men’s basketball team past No. 1-seed Louisville 64-52 in the Midwest Regional final. Suton was named the region’s Most Outstading Player.

“You have to believe in yourself,” Suton said. “The whole time I told myself, I just got to play. I don’t worry about how many points I’m gonna score when I’m in the locker room, I just play.”

If Suton did keep track of how many points he scored, he probably would have lost count early. Suton accounted for more than half of his team’s points in the first half, scoring 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range.

“I was open, I didn’t realize how open I was,” Suton said. “Once I got loose, I noticed I had open shots and just started knocking them down.”

For Suton, standing on the podium as he was announced MOP must have been a surreal moment. Fewer than 10 years ago, he was living in Bosnia, worrying about issues far more important than basketball.

It wasn’t until he moved to Lansing as a freshman in high school that he got his first taste of basketball in the United States.

“I did not know about the Final Four until actually I was leaving Bosnia,” Suton said.

“I think what brought me here is just the effects of the war, and the after-war situation. We kind of looked for a new beginning, for the opportunity for a better life.”

Suton, who’s always been pushed by MSU head coach Tom Izzo, credited the coaching staff for putting him in a position to be successful.

“I worked hard. My teammates worked hard to get here,” Suton said.

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