Michigan Wolverines: Draymond Green

WolverineNation Roundtable 

March, 8, 2012
In the weekly roundtable discussion WolverineNation staff writers Tom VanHaaren, Michael Rothstein and Chantel Jennings examine three questions pertaining to Michigan football, basketball and recruiting.

1.) If you're in a touch football game, who's your first pick off this season's Michigan squad?

Tom Van Haaren: Denard Robinson. Who else would I need? He could run and I could eat and watch him score.
A season after I correctly picked Ohio State over Penn State in the Big Ten championship game prior to last season's Big Ten tournament -- the Buckeyes weren’t a stretch, the Talor Battle-led Nittany Lions were -- I’m back again to try and ferret out another successful Big Ten tournament bracket.

Having success last year means this year, well, it means nothing.

Especially because this season, with three teams sharing the regular season title and almost every team in the league competitive, it will be harder than ever. It is also why it is easy to see how going chalk this season could be a big mistake.

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Michigan State enters the Big Ten Tournament with the top seed, despite a two-game losing skid to end its regular season schedule.

While the losses at the end of the season were surprising to say the least, it seemed to exemplify a conference in which on any given night any team (that's right, all you Wildcats and Boilermakers fans) could win.

But here are my predictions for how the Big Ten Tournament goes down in Indianapolis. But I will preface that with the fact that I'm terrible at predictions. With the exception of the 2008 NCAA Tournament, in which I picked all four No. 1 seeds to make it to the Final Four, I've never done well in bracket competitions. So, here goes…

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Burke continues to add honors

March, 6, 2012
Freshman point guard Trey Burke added to his already impressive resume on Tuesday when he was named to one of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's (USBWA) All-District Teams.

Burke was one of two freshman (the other being Indiana's Cody Zeller) to be named to the District V team.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo and senior Draymond Green were named Coach and Player of the Year for District V, respectively.

Joining Burke, Zeller and Green on the All-District team were Ohio State's William Buford and Jared Sullinger, Marquette's Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, Purdue's Robbie Hummel, Northwestern's John Shurna and Wisconsin's Jordan Taylor.
Michigan coach John Beilein finished up his weekly radio show a few minutes ago at Pizza House in Ann Arbor, Mich.

He chatted about Michigan State, the Super Bowl, his birthday and more. As always, here are the highlights in quick-to-digest bullet-form:

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3 pointers vs. Michigan State 

February, 5, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- It was the last regular-season matchup between No. 10 Michigan State and No. 22 Michigan. The Spartans outplayed the Wolverines, ending Michigan's three-game winning streak in the rivalry. MSU prevailed 64-54, evoking cheers of "Little Sister" from the Spartans' fans by the end of the game.

The game played out in front of a very loud Breslin Center, and while the Wolverines played well in spurts, they were never quite able to get over the hump of the Spartans controlling the game.

Player of the Game: Senior center Draymond Green

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EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Some thoughts following No. 10 Michigan State's 64-54 win over No. 22 Michigan at the Breslin Center on Sunday afternoon.

Player of the game: Michigan State forward Draymond Green. The Spartans senior, after losing to Michigan, 60-59, on Jan. 17, guaranteed his team would win in East Lansing today. And any time Michigan tried to make a run, Green responded. He hit turnaround jumpers on the baseline and in the paint. He grabbed critical rebounds and he did it while still recovering from a left knee injury. He finished with 14 points, 16 rebounds and four assists.

Unsung hero of the game: Michigan State guard Keith Appling. Against Michigan in Ann Arbor, Appling struggled. He couldn't keep up with Michigan freshman guard Trey Burke and was off offensively as well. On Sunday, he was good on both ends. He drove the lane confidently and guarded Burke strongly -- denying him entries into the lane. Appling had 10 points, two assists and three steals.

Stat of the game: Michigan couldn't rebound much at all. Green -- a one-man machine in his final regular season game against the Wolverines -- had as many rebounds as Michigan as a team . Green had 16 rebounds. Michigan also had 16.

Second guessing: Michigan sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. had one of the worst games of his career on Sunday. He couldn't get anything going from the outside or driving the ball -- shooting 1 of 10 from the field and scoring two points. He also missed his first four shots of the second half when the Wolverines were trying to make a run.

What it means: After three straight wins for Michigan, the Spartans ensured they wouldn't go two seasons in a row without beating Michigan. For Green, it means he finishes the regular season portion of his career with a 4-3 record against Michigan. The two teams could met again in the Big Ten tournament, of course.
Michigan hasn't been in this position in a while. A three-game win streak over its biggest rival. Visiting East Lansing having won their last road game against the Spartans is something the Wolverines haven't done in more than a decade.

Yet this is the position Michigan is in on Super Bowl Sunday. Travel to Michigan State with no more albatross. Michigan is competitive with Michigan State now and it should be a close game.

So what would Michigan have to do to ensure its fourth straight win over Michigan State? Here are three keys.

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Less than 15 minutes after Michigan beat Michigan State, 60-59, last month in Ann Arbor -- beating the Spartans for the third straight time -- Michigan State forward Draymond Green had enough.

"They won three. Before that, how many how had they won?" Green said. "They got their little three, but they come to East Lansing in a few weeks," Green said on Jan. 17. " They better celebrate this one, because I can guarantee you they won’t get one in East Lansing. You can quote me on that one."

Michigan's players heard about the guarantee. They absorbed it. And, in some ways, they laughed it off.

"We're definitely aware. Everybody is aware. The whole state is aware," sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said. "That's how he feels and it's a free country, you can say whatever you want. We know he is going to come out there and play hard and they are going to give their most effort.

"And we're going to give our best effort."

Michigan's players will use that among other things to motivate them Sunday afternoon -- but it won't be their big concern. They are in the Big Ten title hunt as well.

"We know how important this game is for the Big Ten race and the big picture," senior guard Stu Douglass said. "It's not us against Draymond's words."

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Green guarantees win in Round 2 

January, 17, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Slumped in a leather chair in the old Michigan locker room inside the Crisler Center late Tuesday night, Draymond Green was the last Michigan State player to take off his jersey.

He was the last to make it into the showers, too. He takes the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry more personally than most, plays with more heart and passion than most. So after the No. 19 Wolverines knocked off his ninth-ranked Spartans, the senior vowed not to let it happen again as Michigan has won three straight in the series.

"They won three. Before that, how many how had they won?" Green said. "They got their little three, but they come to East Lansing in a few weeks.

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Michigan's defense steps up in victory 

January, 17, 2012
It's a good sign when any college basketball team is in company with the Duke men's basketball team.

And for Michigan coach John Beilein, his team is. The Wolverines and Blue Devils are the only two teams that have held Michigan State to less than 60 points this season.

The Wolverines stuck to mainly man-to-man defense in their 60-59 win over the Spartans on Tuesday night. Early in the game, Michigan switched into Beilein's 1-3-1 zone, and Michigan State senior forward Draymond Green sunk a 3-pointer from the left baseline. Later in the first half, Michigan switched from man-to-man into a zone midway through a possession and again the Spartans drained a triple.

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3-pointers vs. No. 9 Michigan State 

January, 17, 2012
Despite a poor showing at Iowa last weekend, the No. 19 Michigan basketball team kept to its goal of staying undefeated at home as it beat No. 9 Michigan State on Tuesday night, 60-59.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said the Spartans "did enough things to lose the game." And they did, but their stats didn't show it. The Spartans shot 48 percent from the field and outrebounded the Wolverines 31-18. They had multiple chances to win the game on the final possession.

But, at the end of the day, the Wolverines did just enough to pull off the win.

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Turning point: Michigan scored on back-to-back layups -- first with a Trey Burke drive and dish to Stu Douglass, who one-touched it to Jordan Morgan for a layup. Then Burke stole the ball in the Michigan State backcourt and drove in for another layup to give Michigan a 30-20 lead.

Best player in the half: Burke has been sensational. The freshman, who has improved steadily throughout the course of the season, controlled the pace of the game. He finished with nine points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal -- but more impressive was how he drove to the lane, beating Michigan State guard Keith Appling and whomever else the Spartans had guarding him.

What Michigan needs to do, What Michigan State needs to do: Michigan -- Get Tim Hardaway Jr. more involved. The star sophomore has continued in his slump, shooting 0 of 3 from the field, 0 of 2 from the 3-point line and picked up all four of his points from the free-throw line. If Hardaway Jr. finds his game, Michigan could be in line to win its third straight against Michigan State. Michigan State -- Go inside more. One of Michigan's big weaknesses is interior defense and the Spartans have three guys who can really hurt Michigan there in Derrick Nix, Adreian Payne and Draymond Green. Combined, they have 15 points and 11 rebounds, but seven of those boards are from Green. Meanwhile Morgan, who is perpetually in foul trouble, hasn't picked up any.

3 keys vs. No. 9 Michigan State 

January, 17, 2012
No extra motiviation is needed when Michigan and Michigan State meet. The fact both are ranked -- the Wolverines are No. 19 and Michigan State No. 9 -- and coming off stinging road losses to unranked conference rivals just add to the importance.

The Wolverines are coming off a season in which they swept the Spartans, a memory that sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. said is his fondest in college basketball. But if the Wolverines are hoping to extend that streak, here are three keys they'll need to focus on in Tuesday's matchup.

1. Freshman point guard Trey Burke needs to stay on the floor. Teams have figured it out: In Big Ten play, Michigan needs Burke on the floor. Without Hardaway Jr. or senior guard Zack Novak, the Wolverines are down. Without Burke, Michigan is as good as out. There is no backup on this team who can manage the offense as well as Burke or a player that keeps the Wolverines playing in transition and getting those easy buckets. That was shown in the Iowa game. He'll have a solid matchup with sophomore guard Keith Appling, but just as he was psyched to play against Wisconsin senior point guard Jordan Taylor, he should be ready to play against Appling.

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Michigan coach John Beilein and members of the No. 19 Michigan basketball team met with the media on Monday to discuss Tuesday night's game against No. 9 Michigan State.

Michigan coach John Beilein:

  • ARE SENSES HEIGHTENED FOR TOMORROW NIGHT’S GAME: "I would say so," Beilein said. "For way beyond me and Tom Izzo, this has been a great series for years and years."
  • ON MICHIGAN STATE SENIOR FORWARD DRAYMOND GREEN: Beilein said he has been impressed with Green's passing ability, saying he is "as good a passing big man as there is in the country." Beilein pointed out both Green's shooting and rebounding abilities and said Green has opened the floor up for other players.

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Michigan C Cites Concussions In Decision To Quit
Joe Schad discusses how concussions and a concern over long-term health have helped Michigan center Jack Miller decide not to play football his senior year.