March 4, 2010
Izzo 'embarrassed' by win over Penn State
EAST LANSING - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo was not amused with his team's performance against Penn State at home Thursday .
The No. 12 ranked Spartans' 67-65 win over Penn State put Izzo's club within a game of a second straight Big Ten title. But veteran Spartan coach characterized the narrow victory over Penn State as an embarrassment.
"If you don't have a sense of urgency, you don't just turn it on because it is a big game," said Izzo. "Maybe you can understand why things have bothered me throughout the year. It wasn't good enough. It wasn't good enough for Travis Walton or Goran Suton that were sitting there. It wasn't good enough for all of the players that have played here before. Right now we are going to realize that that the program is a lot bigger than Tom Izzo. It's a lot bigger than some players. We will play better on Sunday."
Michigan State will play Michigan on Sunday. If the Spartans beat their in-state rival, Michigan State will claim a share of the Big Ten championship along with Ohio State and possibly Purdue. For that to happen, however, Michigan State must eliminate the unnecessary turnovers and mistakes due to lack of effort and focus that have plagued them this season.
Michigan State led by double digits on separate occasions in the opening half and after intermission. Each time the Spartans allowed Penn State to creep back into the game. Not putting away the Nittany Lions was something that irked Izzo.
"College basketball is not a charity event," said Izzo. "We did not seem to respect the gameand we just made some bad plays but somehow thanks to a couple of guys we found a way to win the game. I'm not really happy with the way we played; in fact, I'm flat out embarrassed."
Among the small number of positives for Michigan State was the play of power forwards Raymar Morgan and Draymond Green. Both Morgan and Green had strong performances against the Nittany Lions one game after leading their team to victory against Purdue.
Morgan was 6-of-13 from the floor for 16 points with 8 rebounds. The Spartan senior was a perfect 4-of-4 at the free throw line. Morgan's made free throws all occurred in the crunch time.
With his 16 points and 8 rebounds, Morgan became the fifth player in Michigan State basketball history with 1,500 points and 700 rebounds. Morgan now has 1,500 points and 725 rebounds.
"That's the sad thing about this job," said Izzo. "Not enough times do you get to enjoy or realize what some guys accomplish. I'll make sure I talk to Raymar when I get back in there because I didn't even know. It puts him in rare company. It says a lot about a great college career and hopefully he will get rewarded on Sunday."
Green scored 14 points and added 9 rebounds.
The sophomore from Saginaw led a Spartan bench effort than outscored Penn State 26-1.
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