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Mateen Cleaves

Drafted by: Detroit, Round: 1, Pick: 14
College: Michigan State
Height: 6-2
Weight: 205 lbs.
Position: Guard
BirthDate: Sept. 7, 1977
Birthplace: Flint, MI

Expert Analysis
"A punishing point guard with a good handle, Cleaves has the ability to lead the break, penetrate the middle and find open people. Although he will be tested as a finisher at the basket in the NBA, Cleaves is strong enough to absorb a bump and finish a play. Cleaves is not lightning quick, but has decent quickness and speed.

Cleaves' biggest issue remains his shooting ability. Countless college coaches, after scouting Cleaves, opted to lay off of him and make him shoot the ball. The results of that strategy were mixed.

What is not in question is Cleaves' heart and his leadership. Cleaves directs traffic with the ball in his hands and inspires confidence in his teammates, and there is no question who is in charge when he's on the floor. Cleaves will bring that same leadership to the NBA, and with time and hard work will become a decent shooter."-- ESPN's Jay Bilas

Named second-team All-American by The Associated Press as a senior and sophomore and earned first-team honors as a junior. Finished decorated career at Michigan State by leading team to win over Florida in the 2000 NCAA Tournament championship game. Was a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year and three-time All-Big Ten first-team selection.

Stands alone as Michigan State and Big Ten all-time career assists leader with 816, one of 22 players in NCAA history to reach 800 assists. Holds the Spartans' all-time record for career steals (195), sixth-best in Big Ten history. Also ranks 10th in school history in scoring (1,541 points) and sixth in career 3-point field-goals (143).

College highlights at Michigan State
As a senior, was voted Most Outstanding Player of the 2000 Final Four, averaging 14.5 ppg in leading Michigan State to the national title. Named to the John Wooden All-America 10-man team, The Sporting News first team All-American, and NABC third team All-American. Missed the first 13 games of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot, but returned to earn first team All-Big Ten honors. In the Big Ten Tournament, broke the Big Ten career assist record and established a school and Big Ten single-game record with 20 assists vs. Michigan, earning a spot on the All-Big Ten Tournament team. His 7.8 assists per game in conference play ranked first in the Big Ten and tied his own Big Ten record.

As a junior, voted NABC First Team All-American. Also named to the USBWA All-American Team, was second team All-American as chosen by Basketball Times and Basketball News, and was a Wooden Award finalist. Named the Big Ten Player of the Year by the league's coaches for the second consecutive season and earned First Team All-Big Ten honors as selected by both the coaches and the media. Led the Big Ten in assists with 7.2 per game (sixth nationally), and set a Michigan State and Big Ten record for most assists in a season with 274, surpassing the previous mark of 269 set by Magic Johnson in 1978-79. Was the Big Ten Tournament MVP. Was Michigan State's leader in steals with 1.82 spg (sixth in the Big Ten) and was the team's second-leading scorer at 11.7 ppg.

As a sophomore, was a First Team All-American as voted by the USBWA, and was voted Second Team All-American by Basketball Weekly and Basketball Times. Also garnered NABC third team All-American honors. Named the Big Ten Player of the Year by both the coaches and media. Led the Spartans in scoring (16.1 ppg, 10th in Big Ten), assists (7.2 apg, tops in Big Ten, 8th nationally), and steals (2.5 spg, second in Big Ten). Poured in a career-best 34 points, including six treys, and added nine assists in the Spartans' victory over Northwestern.

As a freshman, he led the Spartans in assists with 5.0 apg, third-best in the Big Ten. Was the team's third-leading scorer (10.2 ppg) and leading free-throw shooter (72.2%, 57-for-79).

1996-97 29 111 277 .401 57 79 .722 73 146 297 10.2
1997-98 30 161 403 .400 111 158 .703 75 217 484 16.1
1998-99 38 159 392 .406 85 108 .787 62 274 445 11.7
1999-00 26 109 259 .426 65 86 .756 46 179 315 12.1
TOTALS 123 540 1331 .406 318 431 .738 256 816 1,541 12.5
3-point field goals: 1996-97, 18-for-76 (.237); 1997-98, 51-for-152 (.336); 1998-99, 42-for-144 (.292); 1999-00, 32-for-85 (.376). Totals: 143-for-457 (.313). Help | Advertiser Info | Contact Us | Tools | Site Map | Jobs at
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Video Highlights
 Mateen Cleaves drives to the basket and scores.
avi: 456 k
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