EAST LANSING, Mich. - Drew Neitzel will play with the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2008 NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports, the NBA club officially announced on Monday. The league runs from July 11-20 at the COX Pavilion and the Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The summer league includes entries from 21 NBA teams and features a 53-game schedule over a 10-day span in which the Wolves will play five games.
In addition to Neitzel, the Timberwolves' roster includes 2008 NBA first-round draft pick Kevin Love, along with the Wolves' 2007 NBA Draft picks Corey Brewer and Chris Richard. Other participants include Blake Ahearn (Missouri State), Dan Coleman (Minnesota), Vincent Grier (Minnesota), Pooh Jeter (Portland), Longar Longar (Oklahoma) and Bryce Taylor (Oregon). Minnesota's summer league entry will be coached by Jerry Sichting along with assistants J.B. Bickerstaff, Ed Pinckney and Nate Tibbetts.
The Timberwolves open play on July 14 against Dallas (10 p.m. ET), followed by a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on July 16 (8:30 p.m.). Other games will be played against Portland (July 17, 10 p.m.), Milwaukee (July 19, 8:30 p.m.) and New York (July 20, 4 p.m.).
In 2008, Neitzel became just the fifth player in Michigan State men's basketball history to earn Academic All-America honors, earning a spot on the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team. On the court, he earned First-Team All-Big Ten honors from the league's coaches, becoming the first Spartan to earn first-team honors in back-to-back years since Mateen Cleaves and Morris Peterson in 2000. Among Neitzel's other honors, he was named a USBWA and NABC All-District honoree, voted team MVP by his teammates and the media, earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for the third straight season, and was a tri-recipient of the team's Scholar-Athlete Award.
Neitzel averaged 13.9 points and 4.1 assists as a senior, finishing his career with 1,534 points and 582 assists, becoming just the third Spartan and 12th player in Big Ten history with 1,500 points and 500 assists. In addition to finishing his career 14th in MSU career scoring and fourth in career assists, he also ranks among the school's all-time leaders in 3-pointers made (3rd, 273), 3-pointers attempted (3rd, 684), games played (2nd, 138) and games started (5th, 117). He finished as Michigan State's career leader in free-throw percentage (.866).
This past season, Neitzel made 97 3-pointers, good for the third-best single-season total in MSU history. He ranked among the Big Ten leaders in assists (4th), 3-point field goals made (4th), free-throw percentage (4th) and scoring (7th). Neitzel led the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.84), ranking seventh in the nation. He finished his career ranked 10th in Big Ten history in career assists.