Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sports | Men's Basketball

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Players draw inspiration from Detroit

When Durrell Summers takes the court Saturday night, the sophomore guard will know exactly what he’s up against. MSU’s opponent, Connecticut, is a juggernaut of a team. The Huskies blazed through the West Region like a forest fire, winning their four tournament games by an average of 25.5 points. In all those games combined, they trailed for a total of three minutes and 27 seconds.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Talented Spartans couldn't repeat title in '01

After its 2000 National Championship, the MSU men’s basketball team lost Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and A.J. Granger. Luckily for head coach Tom Izzo, the Spartans had Charlie Bell, Andre Hudson and Jason Richardson coming back, along with two dynamite freshmen in Marcus Taylor and Zach Randolph.

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No doubt Izzo best coach of past decade

In 2007, ESPN reporter Andy Katz wrote a piece anointing MSU as the top basketball program over the past 10 seasons. Two years later, I’m ready to take that coronation a step further. Not only has MSU been the nation’s best program in that span, head coach Tom Izzo has been the nation’s best coach.

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2000 team took program to new heights

Fresh off making his first Final Four in 1999, MSU men’s basketball head coach Tom Izzo knew the 2000 season had the chance to be even more special. With nearly every key player returning for his senior season — including Mateen Cleaves, Morris Peterson and A.J. Granger — Izzo felt his team had the talent, experience and toughness to win a national championship.

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Walton pushes MSU to Final Four in Detroit

As the final seconds ticked off the clock, senior guard Travis Walton collapsed into a ball in front of the MSU bench. As his teammates stormed the court to celebrate MSU’s 64-52 victory over Louisville, Walton just knelt there, head bowed between his legs, heart throbbing, tears jetting from his eyes.

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2 Big East teams highlight Motor City’s Final Four field

School: MSU (30-6) Location: East Lansing Region: Midwest Conference: Big Ten Key players: Senior center Goran Suton (10.1 points and 8.3 rebounds per game), sophomore guard Kalin Lucas (14.7 points per game, Big Ten Player of the Year), senior guard Travis Walton (third-year captain and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year). How they got here: Defeated No.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Summers becomes 'a man' in upset win

Remember the date: March 29, 2009. The significance? It’s the day Durrell Summers became a man. Summers, MSU’s soft-spoken sophomore guard, scored 10 points during a crucial stretch in the second half, fueling the Spartans past Louisville, 64-52, and into the Final Four.

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Behind the scenes

Eight seasons after the MSU men’s basketball team won the national championship, the days of preparation leading up to the 2000 title game are still firmly etched in Brian Gregory’s mind.

MEN'S BASKETBALL

Gray has different impact than expected for Spartans

During his career with the MSU men’s basketball team, senior forward Marquise Gray has learned a thing or two about dealing with criticism. A superstar caliber athlete coming out of Flint Beecher High, Gray came to MSU with the world on a string. Jaw-dropping athleticism, brute strength, a soft touch around the basket — Gray had it all.