With 12:31 remaining and his team trailing Wisconsin 41-29, MSU head coach Tom Izzo called a 30-second timeout with a very simple message for his team — play defense. The sixth-ranked Spartans did as their coach asked, outscoring the Badgers 32-9 the rest of the way to win 61-50 on Sunday at Breslin Center.
Whatever Michigan guard Manny Harris tried to do, it simply wouldn’t work. The Wolverines’ 6-foot-5 guard tried to drive through the lane, post up in the paint and spot up from three, but wherever he went on Feb. 10, MSU senior guard Travis Walton was there in his face.
With the best Big Ten start in school history, an undefeated road record and the moxie to rise above an array of injures and illnesses, the MSU men’s basketball team looks to be in prime position to win its first Big Ten Championship since 2001. Even with all of their success thus far, nobody’s perfect and the No. 9 Spartans (20-4 overall, 10-2 Big Ten) have had their share of breakdowns. Here’s how they stack up with six games remaining:
He hails from Ohio, but MSU forward Delvon Roe said he needed no lessons on the intensity of his team’s rivalry with Michigan. On Tuesday, he proved it. Roe finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, his first career double-double, to lead MSU past U-M 54-42 at Crisler Arena in the only matchup between the interstate schools of the regular season.
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.
Never has a 28-point win looked so ugly. Playing against Indiana, the worst team in the Big Ten, the No. 13 MSU men’s basketball team shot 42.4 percent from the field, 67.9 percent from the free-throw line and 28.6 percent from 3-point range — typical ingredients for disaster.
Columbus, Ohio — Sophomore guard Durrell Summers scored a career-high 26 points and sophomore guard Kalin Lucas scored all 20 of his points in the second half as the No. 7 MSU basketball team defeated Ohio State 78-67 in a come-from-behind win at Value City Arena.
Although the MSU men’s basketball season is miles away, a game such as MSU vs. North Carolina at Ford Field in Detroit makes the hype feel as if it is just around the corner.
Former MSU guard Drew Neitzel has signed a one-year contract to play with the Artland Dragons of the German Professional Basketball League, according to Eurobasket.com Neitzel played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA’s Summer League earlier this month, but decided to sign with Artland on Wednesday.
With a victory in sight late in the game on the road, the Spartans refused to crumble — not something MSU men’s basketball fans are used to seeing away from Breslin Center. The Green and White held on to squeak by Illinois 59-51 Thursday night at Assembly Hall in Champagne, Ill., led by senior guard Drew Neitzel and his 17 points.