March 21, 2010

Izzo beams over team's resilience

SPOKANE, Wash. - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo has a had a lot of great moments during the 13 consecutive years he has led his Spartans in the NCAA tournament.

But given what his team has gone through this season and the injuries they were forced to overcome, the Spartans' last-second win over Maryland will certainly go down as one of the greatest wins in school history.

Izzo alternated between tears and smiles during the post-game press conference and he was equally emotional as he spent an additional 20 minutes with members of the Spartan press corps answering follow-up questions outside the Spartan locker room.

About an hour before Izzo spoke off-podium he had told his team inside that same locker room that they were going have to find a way to win without all-Big Ten point guard Kalin Lucas, who is almost assuredly done for the season after suffering what Michigan State medical staff believe is a torn Achilles tendon.

Izzo was proud of the way his team rallied around their fallen teammate and found a way to win despite playing bizarre line-ups include a five man group that had walk-ons Mike Kebler and Austin Thornton on the floor at the same time with Derrick Nix.

Izzo beamed with pride about the performance of Durrell Summers, whom was compared glowingly after the game to former Spartan great Morris Peterson.

Izzo also beamed about the guts shown by Raymar Morgan, who scored 17 points and had 9 rebounds while defending everyone of the floor including Greivis Vazquez, who finished with 26 points but was held in check by Morgan who was at his best in the first half.

The Spartan head coach was also thrilled with the guts shown by Chris Allen and Delvon Roe who played through injuries that would have put most players on the sidelines


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