2011-2012 All-Big Ten Preview: Draymond Green

  • 09/22/2011 7:56 am in

With the college basketball season inching closer, we’ll be taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster over the next few weeks. Today, we continue our look at our preseason All-Big Ten team with Michigan State’s Draymond Green.

After two straight trips to the Final Four, it was presumed that the leadership of Draymond Green, along with former Big Ten Player of the Year Kalin Lucas, could help guide Tom Izzo’s club into a battle with Ohio State for a conference championship and another deep run in March.

Instead, the Spartans were the country’s most disappointing team in the regular season and fell to UCLA 76-74 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Green went out on a high note individually in that narrow loss as he notched just the seventh triple-double in tournament history (his second triple-double of the season) with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists, but could only lament his disappointment that his days playing alongside Lucas were over afterward.

Looking at his advanced stats profile over at KenPom, Green’s shooting percentage from inside the 3-point line dipped by 10 percent last season, which is a significant decline. That was a product of settling more for the mid-range jump shot and doing less work in the paint.

But with those added shots from the perimeter, Green knocked down close to 37 percent of his 3-pointers (37-of-101) after only attempting a total of 17 during his first two seasons. This added dimension helped morph Green from a player defenders could sag off to one that now demands attention all over the floor.

His assist rate also jumped about seven percent to 30.6 percent, good for fifth in the league. When you combine his ability to step out with his rebounding prowess (third in the conference in DR% and 12th in OR%), the Saginaw native has become one of the Big Ten’s most well-rounded and valuable players.

Beyond the numbers, it’s the leadership Green has exhibited since his sophomore season that should make the Spartans a solid candidate to bounce back from a disappointing 9-9 Big Ten finish last winter. He spent part of the offseason playing for Matt Painter and USA Basketball in the World University Games and according to Izzo, was among four Spartans who had “great summers.” The next step, of course, is a great senior season, which Green looks both capable of and poised to deliver.

Previously: Jared Sullinger and Jordan Taylor.

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  • Two22two

    I saw Green over the summer at the Moneyball Pro-Am and he is ready to play some basketball.  He has gotten himself into shape and is looking pretty DECENT.

  • base

    Who cares about Sullinger, Taylor or Green.

  • jaywiz

    Green is a great player and a class act.   College hoops needs more players like this guy. I’m glad this is his final year though!

  • Anonymous

    Green killed us last year at the end of that game in east Lansing. That was probably the hardest loss for me to take all season, because we snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory…….what a way to start this season if we can redeem ourselves and start league play 1-0…..

  • JerryCT

    Has he taken up curling ? The photo makes him look like he just released the stone.

    We had no defender for him out on the floor. I hope Watford took away some lessons.

  • Anonymous

    Green reminds me somewhat of Watford only in reverse. Green making it to where the defender had to respect his outside game helped him to possess a better overall game. I think it’s kind of what CW will get if he can make his defender have to respect his inside game, a better overall game. If he can accomplish this it could lead to him having an effect on our team that resembles the effect that Green is able to have on his Spartan team. I’m not saying the magnitude of that effect would be the same as what Green has on his team, but it could for sure be enough of one to make it very visible in our team play. 

  • Rynefulton

    I know this is off topic guys….Have you guys read the latest article from ESPN about Archie Goodwin and the pUKe Wildouches?!?!  Apparently, our boy GH has contacted him stating how exciting/interested he is in playing basketball with him in Lexington….If the slim ball Calipari came in at the last min and somehow stole Harris, it’s gonna be h*** to pay here shortly.  I don’t understand why GH would be so excited to play with this tope recruit.  I mean look at the guys we have coming in GH.  Plus, Jones is not going to be in Lexington after this year.  Then, we won’t lose anyone and have Zeller.  If this honestly happens my opinion of intelligent and smart-minded GH may change a lil bit

  • Anonymous

    I disagree. Watford’s outside game is his strength, and the best route for him to open up his all-around game would be using that to get the defense to open up for him on the interior.

    He’ll be playing on the wing more and he’s going to have the opportunity to do just that. If he can continue to hit a high percentage from three and develop a strong midrange game he’ll be able to be much more effective when he goes inside and I think that’s also the most realistic scenario.
    I love love love Watford’s game but there’s no way he could be to IU what Green is to MSU. Watford lacks his vision and that’s what sets Green apart on the wing. I think Watford will end up an even better offensive player but he’ll never be able to pass like Green.

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t be happy if Gary Harris ended up at UK but this comment is totally ridiculous and reflects poorly upon Indiana fans. You’ll reconsider his intelligence? Really? There will be hell to pay? What exactly does that mean?

  • Anonymous

    I agree that Watford’s strength is his outside game and he is a very big part of what makes IU click. Making the best part of your game even better never hurts but for someone to truly become a more complete player he must get better at what is not his strengths rather than concentrating on getting better at what is already the best part of his game. More of an inside game and being able to drive the ball all the way to the rim without getting his shot blocked is what he needs to get better at. This would allow him to be able to operate with even more ease in the part of his game that is his strength and make it even more of a possibility that he continues to shoot the 3 at a good percentage or even a higher percentage since his defender would not be able to play up on him as tight. Having Zeller down low now should make it easier for CW to be better at that part of his game. Didn’t say that he would do for IU what Green does for MSU or that he had the vision that Green has or could pass like Green but rather meant if he developed a more complete game he would be able to help IU in a way that “resembles” what Green does for MSU and it would be enough of a difference that it would be noticeable.

  • CreamandCrimson

    Stop.  Just stop.  There is no way you can question Gary Harris’ or any recruits intelligence based solely on where he chooses to play his basketball.  I hope he comes to IU and I don’t like Calipari or UK.  But saying there will “be hell to pay” and questioning anyone’s intelligence brings up questions about your own.  This kind of comment turns this into an ESPN comment board and is the exact opposite of what ITH is about. 


  • Totally agree. Out of line and uncalled for.