November 5, 2012

Kearney relishes 'glue-guy' role for Spartans

EAST LANSING - Michigan State's exhibition win over St. Cloud State University was not easy on the eyes.

But it did teach Tom Izzo and his staff some things about their basketball team, not the least of which is the importance of sophomore guard Brandan Kearney as a glue-guy for the Spartans.

"Kearney was a guy we missed and it really hurt our rotation," said Izzo. "More importantly, he gives us stability. I think I learned a little bit about Brandan, which was good for me too."

The former Detroit Southeastern star averaged just over one point and just under one rebound per game while playing a shade less than 10 minutes per game as a freshman last season. But Kearney's contribution went beyond the box score.

Izzo expects Kearney's playing time and numbers to increase in 2012-2013. But Kearney is also being counted on to bolster team stability.

"He kind of gives us an Austin Thornton, a guy that will do whatever it takes to win," said Izzo. "He is a very good post passer, will not take bad shots, will not make a lot of bad decisions, will not over extend himself defensively, just keeps things solid."

Kearney understands the value of his role.

"It is definitely a great role to have," said Kearney. "It is definitely a great compliment to have. It adds pressure, but I kind of ask for that because it is what I want to go out there and do, just play solid on defense, try not to make too many mistakes on offense, play well on both ends of the floor."

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