BTN.com staff, April 1, 2012
Michigan State's Tom Izzo and Draymond Green were honored as the best in the nation by the National Association of Basketball Coaches on Sunday night. Green became the third Spartan to earn National Player of the Year honors as he was named NABC Division I Player of the Year, while Izzo was named UPS NABC Division I Coach of the Year for the second time in his career.
?It means a lot to be one of only three players of the great Spartan tradition to win a player of the year award,? Green said. ?We?re talking about greats like Smith, Cleaves, Johnson, Kelser and many more. For me to win an award of such great magnitude means a lot for me to be able to contribute to making this an even better program. I consider myself lucky to follow in their footsteps."
?You don?t get to coach a player like Draymond Green very often, but you appreciate it while you can," Izzo said. "His efforts, along with those of his fellow seniors and all his teammates are responsible for my award. I?ve always said that no coach ever gets to make a shot, grab a rebound or make a defensive stop. Players play the game, and this year?s team gave me everything they had. As a coach, that?s all you can ask.?
Green joins Scott Skiles (1986-Basketball Times) and Shawn Respert (1995-NABC & Sporting News) as the only Spartans to ever earn National Player of the Year honors. The Saginaw, Mich., native led the Spartans in scoring (16.2 ppg), rebounding (10.6 rpg), steals (54), and 3-point field goals (52), while ranking second in assists (3.8 apg) and blocks (36).
Green finished his career as MSU's all-time leading rebounder (1,096), while ranking 17th in career scoring (1,517 points), second in career blocks (117) and second in career steals (180).
This is the second NABC National Coach of the Year honor for Izzo, having previously received the honor in 2001. He was also named the top coach in the country in 1998 (Associated Press, Basketball News, United States Basketball Writers Association), 1999 (Basketball Times), and 2005 (Clair Bee).
MSUSpartans.com: Green and Izzo Honored with NABC National Awards