Izzo Is Not Happy - And That's Just Fine

Izzo Is Not Happy - And That's Just Fine

Basketball

Izzo Is Not Happy - And That's Just Fine

Michigan State’s 104-83 win over Green Bay improved the Spartans’ record to 9-2 and showed that there wouldn’t be a letdown after a week of not playing. But Tom Izzo isn’t satisfied with the win – and that’s a good thing.

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On paper, Michigan State’s win over Green Bay on Sunday night looks like a fantastic performance in almost every regard.

There were six Spartans who scored in double figures.

Nick Ward had a career-high 28 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

The Spartans shot 50% from the field and out-rebounded Green Bay 56-34.

But Tom Izzo opened up his post game press conference by saying that despite the outcome, he’s not happy.

And that’s a great sign for Spartan fans.

Izzo addressed something he hasn’t talked a whole lot about throughout the early part of this season – he talked directly about how he hasn’t been happy with the way the last few seasons have ended.

Three straight seasons of early tournament exits don’t just bother the fans – those early exits bother Izzo more than anyone and we’ve learned that “finishing” is a priority for this team.

“We have to learn how to finish,” said Izzo. “Finish games, finish practice, finish seasons.  I haven’t liked the way we’ve finished the last few seasons. So our motto has been ‘Let’s try to finish every day, every event that we’re doing.’ Today, we did not finish.”

Izzo is chomping at the bit to have his team to himself in the gym this week since he doesn’t have to deal with final exams, classes, girlfriends, and pals all hanging around distracting his guys.

“We’re gonna practice, we’re gonna practice, and we’re gonna practice….This team has a chance to get better.”

In the immediate aftermath of Nick Ward’s finest offensive performance in a Spartan uniform, this is what Izzo said:

“As well as he played, if he doesn’t rebound better, it’s not gonna help him, it’s not gonna help us.”

Ward did have 9 rebounds – but Izzo knows Ward can be better night in and night out on the boards.

How about Izzo’s thoughts on some of the way the team performed generally in its 104-83 win?

“We had some goals – what do we hold teams to defensively?  We blew that.  What do we hold them from the 3-point line?  We blew that.  What we hold them to in total points?  We blew that.”

His team is 9-2 and 2-0 in the Big Ten.

This week’s polls just came out, too.

Michigan State jumped ahead in the Coaches Poll to #8 – but the Spartans fell back a spot in the AP to #10.

Izzo has plenty to hold up in front of the team to make sure they’re focused.

He has plenty that has him genuinely disappointed with a 104-83 win.

And he didn’t even address turnovers during that opening speech – the Spartans committed 14 against Green Bay.

This is a week that may, down the road, prove to be as important of a week as any throughout the season.

“So, I got enough to earn my money this week and I promise you I’m gonna earn it.”

The gym in East Lansing is going to be intense this week, folks.

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