February 9, 2010
Green says team is ready to bounce back
EAST LANSING - Michigan State sophomore Draymond Green had one of his best all-around games as a Spartan in his team's loss at Illinois. With or without Kalin Lucas the Spartans could benefit greatly from another monster game from the 6-foot-6 sophomore captain.
Green, however, cannot single-handedly defeat Purdue. The former Saginaw star knows that he will need help from everyone in the MSU rotation including those that could have performed better on both ends of the floor against the Fighting Illini.
Raymar Morgan and Durrell Summers are two of the players that could most energize their team with a strong showing against Illinois. Morgan and Summers combined for 19 points against the Fighting Illini. But Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo felt that neither player rebounded the basketball as well as they could have. And in the case of Summers, the talented wing did a poor job closing out on Illinois 3-point shooters.
Morgan and Summers are not the only players that could have done a better job of elevating their game to help make up for the absence of Lucas, but nobody in the Spartan locker room is pointing fingers at one another. Green believes that the back-to-back losses on the road have strengthened the resolve of his team based on what he has seen in practice thus far.
"We are ready to respond," said Green. "We had a good practice yesterday. Guys were intense and were ready to bounce back."
Green and his teammates are approaching the game with Purdue as a must-win despite the fact that the Spartans still hold a 1-game lead on the chase pack of Purdue, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.
"We are going to put emphasis on this game, that it is a must-win game for us," Green said. "It is a big game for us. Purdue is going to come in, they are hot right now. You know they are a tough team and they are going to come in willing to take a win from us. We have to put a lot of emphasis on this game. But we look at every game as a must-win game, not just because we have lost two straight. When we were 9-0 we still looked at every game as a must win."
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