December 28, 2007
Video: Draymond Green in action at Oakland U
OAKLAND, Mich. - Michigan State signee and Michigan Mr. Basketball frontrunner Draymond Green recorded 10 points and 9 rebounds before getting ejected from Thursday's Roundball Classic at Oakland University for disputing a call where he was whistled for a blocking foul when it appeared he had taken a charge.
Saginaw hung on to post an 87-80 victory over Detroit Northwestern in the absence of Green. But Trojans' coach Lou Dawkins says that Green's absence impacted his team and that his star learned a valuable lesson from dismissal.
''He's young, and I told him in the locker room that he's a marked man before he even comes to the game," Dawkins told the Saginaw News. ''It's a lesson that he needed to learn and we'll all learn from this.''
Thursday's game marked the first time this season that an opponent has been within 10 points of Saginaw at the final buzzer. The No. 1 ranked team in Class A entered Thursday's game with Detroit Northwestern with a 4-0 record and an average margin of victory of 26.2 points.
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound Green averaged 25.3 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals as a junior for Dawkins. The future Spartan also averaged 13 rebounds per game and was the most consistent player on the State's best high school basketball team. Green has continued to produce at a similar level in 2007-2008. But he is still adjusting to being the player with the target on his back. Green has always played with passion and has a fiery on-court personality similar to that of former Spartan Alan Anderson.
Within Green's fiery on-court demeanor resides the seeds of the type of vocal leadership Spartan head coach Tom Izzo looks for in players. But Green is still learning the nuances of being a leader and Thursday's ejection was part of the learning process for Saginaw swing man, whom Michigan State assistant coach Mark Montgomery and Saginaw recruiter compares to former Kentucky star Chuck Hayes.
Izzo sees the leadership potential in Green and he sees the Saginaw combo forward as a proven winner. In his signing day press conference that beside his versatility Green was targeted by Michigan State in part because of the intangibles that woven into the fabric of his basketball DNA.
"The other thing I like about him beside his versatility is that he played for a great high school coach in Lou Dawkins on a team that won a state championship," said Izzo. "He has an understanding of how to win, and I think that is very, very important."
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