January 31, 2007

Michigan St. to retire Cleaves' No. 12: Cleaves wore No. 12 as he helped lead the Spartans to the 2000 National Championship, for which he earned MVP honors

posted by gradys_kitchen to basketball at 10:39 AM - 12 comments

Trolling for some Spartan love on the SpoFi board. The 2000 NCCA Championship tops my sports memories but then again I am unabashedly pathetic fan-boy of Spartan B-ball.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 10:43 AM on January 31, 2007

As a professed Mo Pete fan, I too loved this team. I always thought Cleaves would have a bigger impact in the NBA based on his obvious leadership and (what I thought was a) decent game. Good for him. He deserves some recognition for that year.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 11:02 AM on January 31, 2007

Mateen struggled too much with his outside or at least that was the commonly preceived knock against him. I also think his outspoken personality fit the college game more - an excellent motivator of his peers when they couldn't compare paychecks. That being said, it would be great to see him move into coaching on the college level. I'm sure Izzo has a space on the bench just waiting.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 11:21 AM on January 31, 2007

Hogwash! Overrated! Cocky! Glue sniffer! /humbled Buckeye fan But really though, hated but respected that guy. Pure dread whenever the game was close and he had the opportunity for the ball in his hands. Spartan fans should indeed be proud.

posted by littleLebowski at 02:44 PM on January 31, 2007

That was the year 8th-seed Wisconsin shocked everybody by beating Arizona in the second round and getting to the Final Four, only to run into Cleaves and friends. Helluva college basketball player that guy was. I too am surprised that he didn't make more of an impact in the NBA. Good for him.

posted by rgchappell at 04:31 PM on January 31, 2007

ditto. I heard about how great he was and watched him play college hoops, but then, kapow! That was it. Where's Mateen??? I'm sure someone will pick him up for coach.

posted by bavarianmotorworker at 05:50 PM on January 31, 2007

I had student tickets at the MSU's Breslin Center--four rows off the floor and right next to the player's tunnel. Unfortunately, I was a student in the days of Stegenga and Peplowski and predictable first round exits from the NCAA tournament. I was living in Germany during the 2000 tournament and went without sleep every weekend for a month because the games were on overnight. I am thrilled for Mateen and have wondered why Izzo hasn't hired him as a coach for the Spartans.

posted by Sophie St. Lucie at 07:15 PM on January 31, 2007

Magic Johnson deserves more respect than this! How can you put Mateen Cleaves on the same level as Magic Johnson? If cleaves jersey is retired, it should be hung UNDER Magic's!

posted by yay-yo at 10:15 AM on February 01, 2007

yay-yo, it's not about what they did as pros, it's about what they did while in college. Matteen holds several MSU records, and led them to a championship. He deserves all the recognition at MSU that Magic gets. I beleive Kelser is up there in the rafters too, and deservedly so. Speaking of Spartans who didn't pan out in college, what ever happened to Shawn Respert, dude was the star when he and Eric Snow played. Who would have thought Snow would have the better NBA career. Others that come to mind: Taylor (forget his first name, but left college early) Belle

posted by Bill Lumbergh at 11:40 AM on February 01, 2007

Marcus Taylor is who you are thinking of and as for Charlie Bell, he is having his second good year with the Bucks. Better late than never.

posted by gradys_kitchen at 03:19 PM on February 01, 2007

That year Wright State University upset MSU at home in Dayton. A rare bright spot in an otherwise dismal year for the Raiders.

posted by insomnyuk at 06:25 PM on February 01, 2007

what ever happened to Shawn Respert? He was drafted by the Trailblazers and actually (and quietly) got stomach cancer. Treatment effectively ended his NBA career. Apparently, he told no one.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 07:53 AM on February 02, 2007

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