#14 Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo On The State Of Spartan Basketball

Hondo S. Carpenter

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

#14 Michigan State watched their Hall of Fame headd coach Tom Izzo step up ti the microphone today and address a myriad of subjects in his weekly press conference. Below is a small sample of what he had to say in a transcript form, or you can watch the entire press conference above. A shout out to the MSU SID office for the transcript:

Opening statement…

Well, the film didn't look any better than it looked in person. In fact, there were parts that looked worse. I'm trying to keep it all in perspective of where we are. A loss is a loss, whether it's a one-point loss or 25-point loss. I did not like the way we played, I felt like we just didn't do the things you need to do to win on the road. Our youth is starting to show because we're having to get more out of more people. A week of practice will be good for us; we took yesterday off and will try to go real hard at it today, and of course tomorrow and Thursday.

When I say it's day-to-day, it's not it's day-to-day because Kyle Ahrens will be out for a while. It's just been so hard to have him practice, not practice, have him in the lineup or not in the lineup. So, it was a decision made by me. I just think he's broken down. It's been really hard on him during a game, we'll try to put him in, and he wants to go, but doesn't know if he can go. It's just been this Achilles/ankle thing. We've had doctors look at it, we've had everybody look at it and I think part of it is that he's been through so much during his career. I'd like to give him a couple of weeks and see if we can bring him back for the second half of the Big Ten. There's no reason why not, because if it's day-to-day and he had to play next week, he could probably play some minutes. But I just think it's good for his mental health, good-will, good-feeling and mind. He was worried about the other players because he only practices part-time. So, it adds to the issues of more and more and more youth in there.

I thought our youth was a little bit of a problem when we needed some guys to step up, but we just couldn't get consistency. But, if I was to be really blunt and honest as I told both guys, it was probably the worst game Cassius (Winston) and Xavier (Tillman) played, and they're my two best players. I have every ounce of confidence that they'll bounce back. I think some of the reasons we were able to iron out in film sessions: the turnovers and the play of those two guys then leads to other issues. We all know Aaron's (Henry) got to play better, as I said, he's been rebounding the ball better and his attitude has been great. He's just found a way to disappear, and we need him to appear.

As far as Wisconsin goes, I think they're playing as well as anybody in the league right now. The win they had at Penn State in such a strange way. Here's a guy, Micah Potter, who went 1-for-5 in the five games he's played and he 4-for-6 from the 3. He looks like an NBA player to be honest with you. He's hitting threes, he's putting the ball on the floor and all different things and Nate Reuvers is suddenly hardly playing. The kid (Kobe) King has really improved since last year. We knew he played really well against us in the Big Ten Tournament. We've all known about D'Mitrik Trice forever. Also, Brad Davison had I think 11 points and 13 rebounds in that game. So, they create a problem because they post-up just about everybody. And now, unlike last year when they had (Ethan)Happ in there, they couldn't post those guards, because (Ethan) Happ couldn't step out. But now, both (Nate) Reuvers and (Micah) Potter can step out, and I mean long range step out for Potter. So, it just creates an opening. Their other starter, (Aleem) Ford or five other guys who are averaging five points a game, so everybody gets a piece of the pie since Potter's come into the lineup as a transfer. They beat Tennessee, they're the only team in the league with two road wins, which are two pretty good places to win at and they had a tough home loss after they had a big lead. So, we've got our work cut out for us. As I said, I have all the faith in the world that Cassius (Winston) and Xavier (Tillman) will play better, and we'll get our other guys going.

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