Spartans get shellacked at Assembly Hall!

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January 7, 2007

Bloomington, Indiana

Assembly Hall

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With 9:57 left in the second half, Tom Izzo’s countenance said it all. Squatted down in front of his bench, head in his hands dejected. MSU came into Assembly Hall tonight and got thumped 73-51 by the Indiana Hoosiers.

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It was the Spartans worst loss to the Hoosiers since March of 1993 and the 20-turnover night was scary. Every Spartan that played in the first half had a turnover and the Hoosiers had a 24-4 advantage in points off of turnovers.

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“We are going to have to look small. Maybe playing only one big at a time will have to be an option,” said a less then happy Izzo. MSU shot 1-8 from the three-point line and never seemed to have any confidence from its big men.

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Call it what you would, the Spartans looked intimidated, scared, tentative any of them would fit. The Spartans now with the loss against Iowa earlier in the week have to figure out what has went wrong to a team that entered Big Ten play at 13-2.

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In the last two losses, Izzo has talked about the lack of effort, something the Spartan Nation has never seen from an Izzo coached team and I asked Tom about that. “Well you have to start with me, that is just not acceptable.” Certainly though we all recognize that Izzo’s cagers have struggled with finding enough bodies to even practice, let alone play in the tough Big Ten. That said mental mistakes from the bigs can't be tolerated and more importantly will not be tolerated from Izzo!Â

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Ibok, Suton, and Gray are all sophomores and Naymick is still a young junior. That said excuses don’t fly with the head coach and the Spartan Nation either and they must get better. No one expected a final four from this team but no one expected less then stellar effort. Tonight we saw four bigs that simply none of them could put anything together.Â

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Now the attention will turn to Tuesday night, we are very dangerous NWU team enters the Breslin for what is for sure the first “MUST WIN” of the season for the Spartans. If getting to the big dance is the goal (and I certainly feel a trip would be Izzo’s best coaching job) then winning at home is where this team has to do it.

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The Spartans will not get to go to Minnesota or Northwestern for road tests this year so a quick peruse down the schedule would tell you that an 0-8 road record, could be a possibility.

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Although Neitzel was held to only ten points, you certainly cannot blame him. This loss clearly is pegged on an MSU big group that simply couldn’t make plays. Sadly, they were in position to but don’t have the ability for some reason to finish.Â

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As I pack for home I can tell you one thing, Izzo won’t let that last.