West Lafayette, Indiana
Michigan State entered Mackey Arena here on the Campus of Purdue University rated as the #7 team in the nation.Â They leave it looking to make a jump into the top five.Â After having destroyed Purdue at the Breslin Center on January 21, 2012 by a 83-58 score they traveled here and won by 14, 76-62.
You couldnâ€™t pick just one star player for the green and white.Â Head coach Tom Izzo said it best after the game, â€œWe had four or five players that played really well today.Â Nix (Derrick), (Branden) Dawson was a man, Austin Thornton shot the ball well and Appling (Keith) ran the team really well.â€
I know that is four players, but after admitting he took Draymond Green into his private dressing room at halftime for a talk he added the fifth player by saying, â€œHe (Day Day) answered the bell.â€
Letâ€™s start with senior captain Draymond Green.Â He had 20 points, ten boards and seven assists.Â Purdue star senior Robbie Hummel said of his play, â€œHe (Day Day) is a great player, great competitor and he has really improved his shot so much since he came to Michigan State.Â He has really developed his shot, I have great respect for him.â€
Hummel also added when talking about the Spartans, â€œThey got some big, physical players.Â You know every year they will be big physical rebounders and jumpers.â€
The Spartans had four players score in double digits and two getting the coveted double double.Â I already told you that Day Day had one and Branden Dawson had the other.
As you know Dawson was a coveted player from the state of Indiana who shunned Purdue and IU to come to Michigan State.Â Dawson had 15 points and 11 assists highlighted by a top ten dunk in Spartan Basketball history.Â Dawson off the dribble did a windmill jam that would have made Dominique Wilkins proud from the mid 80â€™s.
Hummel knows Dawson well from his recruitment and said of the Spartans freshman star, â€œPhysically he is a man.Â He has a Big Ten body.â€Â He also went on to make it clear he is an NBA player.
Izzo shared the praise of the super freshman, â€œI have been really proud of B.J. (Dawsonâ€™s nick name) and heâ€™s just improvedâ€¦game after game.â€
Derrick Nix added 12 big points and owned the paint to go along with Austin Thorntonâ€™s 17.Â Keith Appling added seven points, three rebounds and five assists from the point.Â The Spartans dominated the boards with a 44-32 advantage over the Boilermakers and had only nice turnovers.
So now the Spartans stand alone with the Big Ten lead.Â They are up over Ohio State by one game and they have five remaining.Â You think Izzo is fired up about that today?Â â€œExcited, but we still have games at Minnesota, at Indiana, a trap game in between and end with Ohio State.â€