Michigan basketball players hope to see a healthy Draymond Green on Sunday in East Lansing
When the Michigan basketball team travels to East Lansing on Sunday for a rematch with Michigan State, the Wolverines will be looking for their first four-game winning streak in the series since 1997.
And, they hope to earn that win against a fully stocked Spartan squad.
Michigan State senior captain Draymond Green suffered a knee injury during MSU's loss at Illinois on Tuesday. Spartans coach Tom Izzo has since said he's hopeful to have the 6-foot-7 forward in the lineup Sunday against the Wolverines.
Michigan senior captains Zack Novak and Stu Douglass hope Izzo's right.
"Michigan-Michigan State aside, senior to senior, you don't want to see a kid get hurt at this point in the season no matter who it is," Novak said. "I hope he's all right, and yeah, I hope he plays."
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"He's a tough kid and a tough player," Douglass said. "I have no idea to what extent he's hurt, it didn't look good, but we'll see. And if he's on the floor, we're not going to baby him, we'll treat him like we always do.
"I'm not going to sit here and say, 'I don't want Draymond to play.' That's what makes playing in the Big Ten so special, playing against players like that."
Basically, if Green can walk, the Wolverines expect him on the court Sunday.
"I honestly don't expect him to miss Michigan," Michigan sophomore forward Jordan Morgan said. "It's going to be a big game."
The injury took place during the second half Tuesday in Bloomington, Ill., with Green spending the final moments of the game on the bench before exiting the arena on crutches.
Further examination of the knee following the game showed no serious damage, and he was listed as day-to-day with a sprain.
Green's career against Michigan hasn't exactly been stellar.
In six career games against the Wolverines, Green — who is putting up 14.9 points and 10.3 rebounds this season — has averaged 6.2 points and five rebounds.
Prior to Michigan's one-point victory against the Spartans earlier this season at Crisler Center, Green was quoted as saying how "personal" the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry is to him. Following the loss, he guaranteed an MSU victory in the February rematch.
"I'd like to see him in the game," Douglass said. "It brings that extra intensity and it makes that rivalry what it is."
If Green can't play, Michigan State's chances of avoiding a second-straight sweep against Michigan obviously take a hit. As Green leads the team in scoring and rebounding and his 3.5 assists per game are just behind point guard Keith Appling's season average.
But, again, Michigan says it plans on preparing for the Michigan State star to be on the floor Sunday.
Regardless of the injury situation.
"I'm not a doctor or anything," Novak said. "But I'm sure he's going to do everything he can to be out there.
"We're going to prepare as if he's going to play."
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