As guarantees go, Draymon Green’s assurance that Michigan State would defeat rival Michigan yesterday was flimsy. Green has not been very good against the men in maize and blue; his career best before Sunday’s contest was a 10-point production in a loss on March 5 of the 2010-2011 season. He was coming back from a sprained knee suffered earlier in the week against Illinois. So for the senior forward to guarantee a win in spite of all of that was surprising.
Almost as surprising as the pure beat-down MSU put on display at the Breslin Center, as the Spartans defeated the Wolverines 64-54. Don’t be fooled by that final score. The game wasn’t that close. A 17 point lead with three minutes to play was eroded a bit by a late surge from Michigan head coach John Beilein’s break-neck tempo.
As for Green, he only managed to have one of the best games of his career. Green finished the day with 14 points and 16 rebounds—as many as the entire Wolverines team pulled down all game. Reveling in the victory, Green talked about his guarantee-securing performance, saying “You can’t say something and not back up your words. I’d be less of a man to guarantee something and not come out here and do what I can to back up my word.”
The Spartans have today and tomorrow off, then play Wednesday at home against Penn State, before the big matchup of the week: on the road to Columbus, taking on the Ohio State Buckeyes.