News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 02/13/10

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News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 02/13/10 Edition

 

Look for Izzo and the Sparrtans to rebound today here at Penn State.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Look for Izzo and the Sparrtans to rebound today here at Penn State. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

University Park, PA

 

Tom Izzo certainly was direct with Durrell Summers and Durrell responded. I have had several people email me.  I guess it was reported that Durrell ignored the media or in some way scooted out of the locker room. Since I have not seen the article I can’t comment on it, but I can say without any doubt that it wasn’t true from my vantage point. Durrell was more than willing to talk. He has never skipped out on any interview so I have trouble thinking anyone would report it. He was great to me. If reporters were late to the locker room it wasn’t his fault, but he talked to me in the locker room and outside of it and I was far from the only person he talked to.

 

Summers responded on Thursday with perhaps the best practice of his career. Durrell is far from selfish and has a lot of things going on in his life, but he is a terrific kid and I can tell you that there are distractions, but none are self-serving.

 

There is a Bible verse that says, “To whom much is given much is expected.” Izzo lives by that and has always demanded more of his stars, something Summers is. Izzo said of Summers, “He has the potential to be great,” and he does. There are no issues with the two of them and they get along. Summers will respond.

 

Izzo said the last three games he can credit his team’s defense, or lack thereof for the losses. He did offer this caveat that the last three teams have also played their best three games. Well Purdue was very good, not great. Izzo isn’t one to make excuses, but in his thinking he sees some good in that.

 

Kalin told me that he is 80% as of Thursday. Without any setbacks, I expect that to be around 90% for today’s game.

 

Izzo said something that I found interesting, “Penn State really scares me. All but two of their games have gone down to the wire.”

 

On Penn State’s losses, “It’s almost criminal how they lost some of those games.”

 

Kalin Lucas didn’t start, but played an amazing 29 minutes against Purdue. That kid may not be the biggest player, but no one has a bigger heart. He will start here today, unless he aggravates the injury in warm ups.

 

MSU had only nine turnovers for the game against Purdue. An amazing stat and they still lost. That is why you play them in college basketball, but that stat still is the most amazing of the entire season to me. Nine turnovers and to lose that bad just baffles me.

 

MSU shot only 32% from the field. I guess that one makes up for the nine turnovers.

 

I fully expect MSU to win on today. MSU lost here recently so that has the team’s attention, but most of all they zeroed in. They know the way they have played and NO ONE has made excuses. Izzo took a relaxed approach to this skid. He hasn’t screamed at them or gone after them. His mantra is a player-coached team is better than a coach coached team. He is right and he let them get on each other this week.

 

MSU wins this one by eight.