East Lansing, MI – Tom Izzo knows the fanbase is divided when it comes to Thomas Kithier.
At times, he's been the center of attention on social media, and not in a good way.
But Izzo doesn't care.
"People who are disappointed: stay disappointed because he's going to play," he said.
Kithier had his best game of the season against Wisconsin and was the Spartan's most effective center Friday afternoon.
Yet, that's not his problem; Julius Marble and Marcus Bingham Jr. should ask themselves why Izzo went with Joey Hauser and Malik Hall during the second half when Kithier needed a breather.
The junior forward turned in eight points and five rebounds, both career highs.
As usual, the box score didn't help illustrate everything Kithier did to help MSU; Izzo raved about his defense, ball screen defense, rebounding, and screen setting abilities.
"We've got bigger problems that we've got to solve than Thomas Kithier," said Izzo. "He did a great, great job today."
He shot the ball more than usual, which turned out to be the opposite of a coincidence – associate coach Dwayne Stephens pushed for MSU to use the low post more often.
But Izzo was hesitant because he didn't know if the Spartans held a strong presence inside who could score at will.
Though, it speaks to a skillset Kithier has; strong hands, nice touch around the rim, and Michigan State's quickest finisher at the five.
He's never out of position and continuously goes after loose balls regardless of if the undersized center gets it or not.
Kithier doesn't make mistakes, especially against a group of veterans in Wisconsin, and for that, Izzo trusts him.
"He does a lot of little things, and I think you're going to start seeing him scoring 10 points per game if we can get it in there to him," Izzo told reporters in a videoconference. "He's got a nice little jump hook, he's got some things he can do, and we're going to do a better job of that."
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