Former Michigan, Michigan State stars stoke rivalry

Rod Beard
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — The rivalry between Michigan and Michigan State doesn't fade easily for alums. That includes former basketball standouts Nik Stauskas and Draymond Green, who took to Twitter to throw a couple of light jabs ahead of Tuesday night's rivalry game at Crisler Center.

Stauskas, a rookie with the Sacramento Kings, was the Big Ten player of the year at UM last season and the No. 8 pick in the draft. On Monday, he posted on Twitter that he'd come to Ann Arbor to see the Wolverines face MSU.

Stauskas led UM to home wins in both of his seasons in Ann Arbor. In fact, the Wolverines have won four straight at Crisler Center and have won six of the last 10 overall in the series.

That didn't stop former MSU forward Draymond Green, the 2012 Big Ten player of the year, from stoking the rivalry a little bit. MSU won the first meeting this season, 76-66, in overtime at Breslin Center on Feb. 1 and is going for the season sweep against a Michigan squad that is without two of its top scorers, Caris LeVert and Derrick Walton Jr.

Stauskas fired back with a familiar refrain in the UM-MSU rivalry: "Damn that's how you feel!? I've never seen UM lose to little brother in Ann Arbor!"

But Michigan (13-12, 6-7 Big Ten) is struggling this year, having lost five of its last six and in dire straits in its attempt to get back to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth straight season. Stauskas, though, remained confident about the Wolverines' ability to maintain the home win streak.

Green was undeterred, though, offering a friendly wager:

But Green rebuffed the jersey stakes with another jab: "absolutely not I would never put myself in a position to have to wear that trash."

The two were still ironing out the details entering Tuesday night's game.