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November 1, 2010

Basketball Eve: Izzo post-practice interview

EAST LANSING - Michigan State has its first of two exhibition games Tuesday night at the Breslin Center versus Saginaw Valley State. The game is at 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on BigTenNetwork.com.

On Monday after practice, Tom Izzo said his five starters for Tuesday's exhibition would be: Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Austin Thornton, Draymond Green, and Delvon Roe.

TALKIN 'BOUT PRACTICE

Izzo is unhappy, but not with his team. With the Spartans set to play their first exhibition game Tuesday night against Saginaw Valley State, Izzo has yet to be able to hold any two-a-day practices.

"I feel awful right now if you want the truth," Izzo said. "I think if we don't change the number of practices, we've had 12 practices. Now part of it is our fault because of the injuries, we've no two-a-days. I don't think either week I've been close to the 20 hour rule, and that is a little bit of a problem.

"I mean, I feel sorry for (Adreian) Payne, (Keith) Appling, and (Alex) Gauna, because picking things up in 12 practices when I've been here with six weeks, four weeks. Every year we've shrunk down."

LUCIOUS, SHERMAN BOTH OUT FOR EXHIBITION

Izzo confirmed Monday after practice that Korie Lucious will serve the first half of his two game suspension Tuesday. Lucious will also sit for the regular season home opener against Eastern Michigan on Nov.12.

Sherman, who sat out during Monday's practice after knocking heads with a teammate the day before, has "what looks like a concussion" according to Izzo. Sherman received four or five stitches and will be unavailable for the exhibition game.

D FOR DURRELL

"To be honest with you, Durrell, we'll see tomorrow, but he's been the best defensive player I've had right now. Which, surprise surprise."

SpartanMag asked Durrell about Coach Izzo's comment and, after a moment of laughter, here's what he had to say:

"I think it's just more about putting effort into it. When I play defense it's just fun. I just have fun with it, get steals, help my teammates out, stop guys from driving.

"It's just, you got to want to do it. I think just watching a lot of film, it just helped me. I don't really got to go as hard. Well, I got to go hard, but just I'm smarter on defense. I know where the pass is going to go before they make them, jump the passing lanes or just be there on the catch.

"It just evolved."

CLARIFICATION ON THE CARRIER

Rumors flew across the interwebs Monday afternoon that Izzo had been quoted earlier in the day at a speaking engagement as saying that Hollis had finally nailed down the arrangements for Michigan State to play a basketball game on an aircraft carrier, something Izzo does indeed dream of doing. But Monday after practice Izzo confirmed that those were indeed rumors that he didn't mean to spread.

"I was talking about the different things that Mark Hollis has done...I said he's tried to do an aircraft carrier. We're still trying again, and maybe someday in the near future and it was speaking to a phone company, and I'm sure somebody twittered it...

"I was trying to give Hollis some earned kudos, and I was also talking about how you got to think outside the box. So, I guess another screw up by Tom."

Michigan State is still trying to get the deal worked out but Izzo said he has no idea how close they are to getting it done.

MAGIC IN THE AIR

Magic Johnson called Izzo Monday morning to tell him he was coming to town. Magic spoke to the team before practice.

"It's great to have him the night before the first game, that was good," Izzo said. "As always he kept up on our freshman and whats going on and he kept up on what he thought are some of our liabilities are and I thought he hit on one that was concerning tonight and was concerning last year and is still concerning, and that's turnovers.

"I think we had some foolish ones, but when we're trying to work some freshman in and we're trying to look at a couple new wrinkles in our offense, we're going to have some. but that's something we're going to clean up.

"So, he was right on the money AS ALWAYS."



VIDEO:Izzo pleased with chemistry headed into exhibition




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