January 9, 2008
Video: Izzo post-game press conference
EAST LANSING - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo can count on one hand the number of times one of his Spartan teams has been punched in the mouth at the Breslin Center and not responded by dishing out an equal amount of punishment or more.
Tuesday's 78-75 win over Purdue (10-5, 1-1) was one of those occasions according to Izzo. Michigan State's veteran head coach was not pleased by his team's lack of toughness against a Matt Painter-coached Purdue team comprised of freshmen and sophomores that played with the toughness of Gene Keady's scrappiest basketball teams.
The No. 6 ranked Spartans (14-1, 2-0) won their 11th consecutive basketball game. But other than the play of Raymar Morgan, Kalin Lucas, Travis Walton, who buried a 15-foot baseline jumper to give Michigan State a three-point lead with 19 seconds remaining and followed by burying a pair of clutch free throws with 4 seconds on the game clock, Izzo was not pleased with his basketball team.
"Our defense, I wasn't pleased with when we came back from Christmas," said Izzo. "I wasn't completely pleased with it when we played Minnesota. I'm not pleased with our turnovers. Right now, we seem a little cocky and maybe that's natural, but they have the day off tomorrow to think about it. We have a good team, good players, but there are a lot of good teams out there.
Good teams and players don't win, tough teams and tough players win."
Foul difficulty derailed Michigan State in the first half as Walton and Morgan both picked up two fouls within the first 10 minutes of the opening half. Michigan State had a 16-point lead when Morgan and Walton were in the game. That lead dwindled to nine points at the break.
After dominating the first six minutes, Michigan State was bullied around by Purdue.
"For all you prognosticators and predictors; Michigan State has a lot of work to do. We are a good basketball team, not a great basketball team yet, but we can turn into that. My old line, players play and tough players win."
Morgan scored 14 points and added seven rebounds with three assists logging his 19th consecutive double figure scoring game of the season.
The play of Goran Suton was not up to Izzo standards. Suton did manage to record a double double and pulled down an offensive rebound on which he was fouled before splitting a pair of free throws to give Michigan State the lead for good, but Izzo was disappointed with the lack of focus that Suton played with and the careless turnovers the junior big man should have avoided.
Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas represented the Spartans freshmen class with 15 points, and 17 points respectively.
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