December 6, 2012

Izzo Video: passionless win 'unacceptable'

EAST LANSING - The 32 points separating No. 19 Michigan State (7-2) and Arkansas-Pine Bluff (1-7) constituted the second largest margin of victory for the Spartans through the first nine games of the 2012-2013 season.

But the 76-44 victory against an overmatched opponent did not sit well with Tom Izzo, who was disappointed with his team's 19 turnovers and lack of intensity in a performance the Michigan State coach described as unacceptable.

"Taking nothing away from Arkansas-Pine Bluff, that was in a way one of our worst performances of the year," said Izzo. "I don't know who I'm more disappointed in-a few guys, or myself. I'm going to take 99 percent of the blame, vow that I'm going to change it and go from there."

Izzo was mad at himself for playing an 11-man rotation against Arkansas-Pine Bluff instead of shortening the bench as he said that would during his weekly press conference on Monday.

"I let my heart get where my head is and played some guys that maybe just weren't ready to play," said Izzo. "I wasn't pleased with the game at all. I thought there were moments we moved the ball well, moments we got the ball inside out well, moments we checked well, moments we went to the offensive glass real well, but a lot of moments when what we did was not acceptable at all. Some of it was the number of guys in the rotation again and that is going to stop."

Michigan State may not have been tested as much as Izzo would have liked. But the Spartans did benefit from playing Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which played zone defense for 40 minutes.

"We did a good enough job of moving the ball and getting open shots, but we just didn't make some of them," said Izzo. "That was a positive, we got pressed a little bit and we got a chance to play against a zone the whole night and that was decent."

Travis Trice sparked the team with 12 points and a team-high five assists off the bench. Trice did all of his scoring from beyond the 3-point arc.

"It was good to get him back on track," Izzo said. "So that is one more guy that we've got heading in the right direction.

Trice missed his first three 3-point tries. He buried four straight thereafter to finish 4-for-7 from long range.

Gary Harris led the Spartans with 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting. Branden Dawson scored 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting with seven rebounds.

Click below for portions of Izzo's post-game press conference:

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