March 7, 2007
Complete Release (PDF Format)
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Cumulative Stats (PDF Format)
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Tournament Bracket (PDF Format)
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March 8, 2007 -- 1:30 p.m.
No. 10 Northwestern (13-17, 2-14) vs. No. 7 Michigan State (21-10, 8-8)
Radio -- WGN 720 AM (Dave Eanet & Dave Kaplan)
Television -- ESPN2 (Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin & Erin Andrews)
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional will broadcast Thursday and Friday action. CBS will broadcast Saturday's semifinals and Sunday's championship game.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Tenth-seed Northwestern opens the 2007 Big Ten Tournament against seventh-seed Michigan State at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at the United Center in Chicago. The winner will advance to play second-seed Wisconsin at 5:40 p.m. on Friday.
The two teams have met twice before in the history of the tournament. MSU edged NU by two points in 1999 in Chicago and won 68-55 in 2004 in Indianapolis.
The game features two of the top defensive teams in the league, with both teams surrendering less than 60 points per contest. Northwestern is led by freshman Kevin Coble (13.3 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and senior Tim Doyle (11.6 ppg, 5.0 apg). Doyle needs two more points and one more rebound to become the first player in NU history to record at least 350 points, 150 assists, 100 rebounds and 50 steals in the same year. MSU comes in having won four of their last six and are led by Drew Neitzel's 18.3 ppg. He leads the Big Ten with 99 3FG's--an average of 3.2 per game.
Doyle Fills Up the Stat SheetDoyle also needs one more rebound and two more points to become the first player in Northwestern history to record at least 350 points, 150 assists, 100 rebounds and 50 steals in the same season.
One more rebound would make Doyle the first Wildcat in NU history to record at least 200 points, 100 rebounds and 100 assists in consecutive seasons.
In only three years at NU, he ranks fourth on the school's all-time assists list with 335.
Tim Doyle needs three more assists to tie and four to break the Northwestern record for assists in a season. He enters the Big Ten Tournament with 151 -- the record is 154 set by Patrick Baldwin in 1994.
Doyle Can Join Elite Company
As mentioned, with two more points and one more rebound in Thursday's first round game, Tim Doyle will become the first Wildcat to ever record at least 350 points, 150 assists, 100 rebounds and 50 steals all in the same season. He will join a list of only 13 other players in the history of the Big Ten to accomplish that feat. That list includes:
Scott Skiles (MSU-1986)
Magic Johnson (MSU-1978, '79)
Gary Grant (Michigan-1986, `87, '88)
Rumeal Robinson (Michigan 1989)
Scoonie Penn (OSU-1999)
Bruce Douglas (ILL-1984, '85)
Kiwane Garris (ILL-1997)
Frank Williams (ILL-2002)
Luther Head (ILL-2005)
Dee Brown (ILL-2003, '04, '05)
Melvin Newbern (Minn-1990)
Isiah Thomas (IND-1980, '81)
Tom Coverdale (IND-2002)
Doyle, Coble Named All-Big Ten
Senior Tim Doyle was named honorable mention All-Big Ten by both the coaches and the media while newcomer Kevin Coble was named to the All-Freshman team as voted on by the league's head coaches.
A native of Merrick, N.Y., Doyle filled up the stat sheet all season and was the only Wildcat to start all 30 games. Whether it was his scoring, crafty passing, rebounding or steals on the defensive end, Doyle was all over the floor. He averaged 11.6 points per game, 5.0 assists--third best in the Big Ten--3.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals, good for fourth in the league. He shot 49 percent from the field and 74 percent from the stripe, which also ranked him among the Big Ten leaders. With 151 assists on the year, he needs three more assists to tie and four to break the Northwestern record for assists in a season. In only three years at NU, he ranks fourth on the school's all-time assists list with 335. In addition, he also needs one more rebound and two more points to become the first player in school history to record at least 350 points, 150 assists, 100 rebounds and 50 steals in the same season.
Coble was NU's most consistent offensive weapon in 2007, leading the team and ranking 15th in the Big Ten in scoring with 13.3 points per game. He is in line to become just the fifth true-freshman to lead the Wildcats in scoring and the first freshman ever to lead the team in both points and rebounding (5.2) since the 1972-73 season when freshmen became eligible for varsity competition. Coble is averaging 15.8 points over the last nine games entering the Tournament. He scored in double-figures 20 times this season and had five games with 20 or more points. Among conference freshmen, he ranks third in scoring (13.3), rebounding (5.2) and 3FG percentage (.375) and fourth in FG percentage (.492). Coble is the second Wildcat freshman to garner all-freshman honors in as many years after Craig Moore picked up the honor last season.
Coble Ranks Among Top NU Freshmen
With his 13.3 ppg and 5.2 rpg, Kevin Coble is in line to become the first freshman in school history to lead the team in both scoring and rebounding (5.2) in the same season. He would also be just the fifth true-freshman to lead the Wildcats in scoring since the 1972-73 season when freshmen became eligible for varsity competition. Ben Johnson was the last Wildcat to do it in 2000 when he averaged 11.6 ppg. Cedric Neloms also did it in 1992 with 14.4 ppg, Jim Stack in 1980 with 12.9 and Billy McKinney--Northwestern's all-time leading scorer--with 15.8 ppg in 1974.
Coble is averaging 15.8 points over the last nine games entering the Tournament. He scored in double-figures 20 times this season and had five games with 20 or more points. Among conference freshmen, he ranks third in scoring (13.3), rebounding (5.2) and 3FG percentage (.375) and fourth in FG percentage (.492).
About The Spartans
Tom Izzo's Spartans appear to be a lock for an NCAA Tournament bid by virtue of their 21 wins and four-straight wins over Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and No. 1/2 Wisconsin late in the season. They ended the regular season with a two-point loss on the road at Wisconsin.
Michigan State lost more than 77 percent of its scoring from last season after losing Maurice Ager, Shannon Brown and Paul Davis--all whom averaged more than 17 points per game. But picking up the scoring slack this year has been junior guard Drew Neitzel who averages 18.8 points per game and 4.1 assists. He leads the Big Ten with 99 3-point field goals.
The Spartans are always solid defensively and lead the Big Ten in scoring defense, giving up only 56.3 ppg. They are first in the Big Ten in FG percentage defense (.378), 3FG percentage defense (.308) and rebounding margin (+8.2) and second FG percentage (.469), 3FG percentage (.373), assists (15.81) and rebounds per game (35.5).
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo (Northern Michigan '77) is in his 12th season in East Lansing and has compiled an impressive list of accomplishments, including one NCAA National Championship, four regular-season Big Ten Championships, two Big Ten Tournament titles, four Final Four appearances, four National Coach of the Year awards and a Big Ten-best nine straight NCAA Tournament appearances. Two years ago he led Michigan State to a second-place finish in the Big Ten, which was capped off with a trip to the Final Four in St. Louis.
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