Izzone and Naymick lead the way for the Spartans victory against IU!

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February 24, 2007

East Lansing, MI

Breslin Center

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I made the trip up from Indy as soon as the combine ended this afternoon to be at the game and I have to head back down as soon as I am done with this article:Â and the trip was worth it.

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As I posted earlier the Gameday atmosphere at the Breslin Center got me many comments down in Indianapolis from people who recognized my MSU sweatshirt. I even had two radio stations call for interviews because of the magnificence of the crowd. If there was anyone concerned that an entire day of emotion would make the Izzone less energetic (put my name in here) we were wrong.

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The best student section in the nation tonight was joined by a group of people (the green seats) that made it the best crowd in the country. Loud when the Spartans were seconds from victory and loud when they were down 13 with 9:02 left in the second half, the Breslin center crowd tonight was nothing short of magnificent.

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Izzo was very emphatic when talking about the crowd when he said, “there is no way we win that game without the fans. I had three guys walking on their tongues at the end. The fans just kind of pulled them through.”
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The fans were great. The best sign of the night was held by a little girl, it said “Sampson: text me” alluding to Sampson’s breaking of NCAA rules about phone messages. One Izzoner had a sign imploring Sampson to stop calling him (again alluding to the text issue) and the crowd was the story. One of my colleagues was vocal about the conduct of the students and Izzone. I admire and respect him but come on. Have you heard the language from the “Green Seats” who donate and give? I say how many college students speak in King James?Â
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My point is that the crowd was great and anything less would have cost the Spartans the game. I am sick of people taking cheap shots at the Izzone when they aren’t as loud as they need to be, and ripping them when they are for not behaving like a monastery. I hate to say it but they can’t say too much that Izzo hasn’t and he is on the court! The Izzone is great so leave them alone.   We have neutered their creativity so much let those great kids have their day in the sun on national T.V.
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Drew Naymick literally stopped D.J. White and although his teammates were fantastic, he was the MVP. Without his All American type defense there was no way the Spartans got the win. I reminded to him in the locker room how earlier in the season he was so willing to critique himself (and rightfully so) and asked him how it felt now. He paused and spoke on pure emotion: “I am just glad to contribute. Spartan basketball isn’t about what one of us does, it is about us and we won.”
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So the Spartans take an eight-point win and a 21-8 record and head to Crisler. UM couldn’t keep MSU out of the Big Ten, can they keep the Spartan Nations rabid fans out? I think not. See you in Ann Arbor I have to get to Indianapolis for an 8 a.m. meeting with Lions GM Matt Millen.