COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 16: Draymond Green #23 of the Michigan State Spartans puts up a shot over Kenny Onyechi #32 of the Long Island Blackbirds during the second round of the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Nationwide Arena on March 16, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
What can I say about Draymond Green that people haven't written hundreds of times on this site already this season? He is probably the most versatile player in this tournament and means more to Michigan State than any other player does to his respective team, so it has been a fun weekend listening to a national audience finally start to say ... "Whoa ... this guy is better than we thought."
On top of getting MSU back to the Sweet 16, Green was named as a finalist for the Naismith Award (along with Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson and Doug McDermott. He joined Magic Johnson and Oscar Robertson as the only three players in NCAA history with more than one triple double in the NCAA Tournament and he reduced Sunday's opposing coach, Rick Majerus, to saying things like this:
"I think he's the best player in the country. Is he the best potential player in the country? No, I take the kid probably from Kentucky (Anthony Davis). But if I had to take a kid right now to win a national championship, I'd take Draymond Green."
Only a handful of elite college basketball players attain that kind of respect during their playing career. Oh, and ESPN's NBA Draft expert Chad Ford thinks Green is definitely a first round pick now. Not a bad weekend at all. More links after the jump.
Local Spartan fan's love for MSU runs deep - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI
Pretty cool feature on a really longtime MSU fan: "West graduated from the school in 1941, back when it was called Michigan State College. He's been following Spartan Athletics ever since, and the memorabilia he's collected decorates almost every part of his house. Like all Spartan fans, he can't wait to see his team go up against Long Island University Friday. But for West, the game is even more personal - he's also a former State basketball player, and there's one game he hasn't forgotten. It goes back 71 years - Michigan State Vs. Long Island-- the last time the two teams met. "Vividly remember how that game went. Their coach was very upset at the refereeing, he actually threw out dollar bills on the floor like he was trying to buy the referees.""
Draymond Green gets words of wisdom from Michigan State great Magic Johnson | MLive.com
Green got advice from Magic before the tourney: ""He was talking about, ‘It’s one-and-done time,’ and rallying the troops and told me some things to better myself individually but also to better the team," Green said. "What to say, some things to say to the guards, also talking to Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne on how they have to hold the fort down in order for us to make a run. "So just those type of things, the things that a guy who’s been through it all, who has won championships, know what it takes to get there, and just sharing his experience with us. That’s what the family is all about -- helping each other out.""
PAT CAPUTO: A testy game and the Spartans passed the test WITH VIDEO - theoaklandpress.com
#LOLCaputo time. Apparently, Pat doesn't know the difference between a shot that banks in and a shot that bounces around on the rim. Love this guy. "They got some good luck. Did Keith Appling call "backboard" on his key 3-point basket that rattled around and fell in?"
Michigan State's Draymond Green Cleans The Glass, Then Floor
Draymond Green is so good, he might be the only athlete who has ever made Deadspin for doing a good deed.
MSU men's basketball: Spartans' game prep starts with team of managers | Lansing State Journal | lansingstatejournal.com
No excerpt here, just a really cool feature by Rexrode on MSU's managers that is worth a read.
Michigan State's Brandan Kearney has freshman moment during Saint Louis win | Detroit Free Press | freep.com
I felt bad for Kearney, who obviously was trying really hard on D despite a couple mistakes. But I won't lie, I also thought, 'Man, if BK is being extra hard on himself just to save himself from being berated by Izzo, then bravo sir.': "At one point he bit on a pump fake and drew a whistle in the second half. Coach Tom Izzo pulled him from the game. When Kearney approached his seat he swung his fist in the air in frustration, took a seat and pulled his jersey over his head. "I was upset with myself," Kearney said. Izzo quickly walked over to him, bent down and told him that he would have to grow up in the next 20 minutes."
Poise Wins " HoopSpeakU
Fred Katz on why it's OK to have a man-crush on Green: "Along with Ware, there isn’t a player in the country that is more man crush-friendly. I just can’t imagine any circumstance in which someone could ever watch Green play a game of basketball and not walk away loving absolutely everything he does on and off the court. Day-Day is the clear physical and emotional leader of a No. 1 seed that has as good a chance as anyone else of winning a national championship. He will always take the big shot and somehow, he will always be involved in the biggest defensive stop of the game. He knows how to expose opponents’ weaknesses. It’s a cliché, but he is one of the purest players at the collegiate level, a guy who just has a sixth sense of where to be at all times. He is a player that can sense before anyone else how a play is developing on both sides of the court. He is as wholesome a leader as there is in the sport. Whatever you do, just don’t let him touch the ball on a Spartan final possession."