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November 20, 2012

Injury to Harris, tech fouls mar victory over Boise State

EAST LANSING - There was a lot for Tom Izzo not to like in Michigan State's 74-70 victory over Boise State on Tuesday night.

He was upset with a pair of technical fouls issued to big men Derrick Nix and Matt Costello for making contact above the shoulders with their elbows.

"I think officials are sometimes put in a bad position like everything else in society," said Izzo, who had a chance to review Costello's foul at halftime. "I saw the helmet hit the other day on (Ed) Reed, and I thought that was ridiculous. I looked at the thing on film at halftime, I guess I am not a very good judge of the rule. But we are going to have to start playing like Venus de Milo, with hands or no arms or something. We don't flop, we don't those things and I got an explanation. It was the one that they wanted to give, not the one I wanted to hear. The second one, I didn't get to see the film of that one yet.

"If you put your arms up and a guy runs under you, you aren't supposed to be able to move. I can't say that I agree with that. I guess they are forced to call anything now. It is like in football, if you breathe on somebody wrong, they're calling it."

Izzo was frustrated more by the shoulder injury suffered by star freshman Gary Harris than any call made by the refs. Harris will have an MRI on Wednesday morning.

"Harris is not good," Izzo said. "I don't know what it is yet. He will have an MRI tomorrow, but he'll be out for awhile. I just didn't like the way that whole thing went."
Harris suffered what appeared to be a dislocated shoulder on a moving screen early in the first half.

"He got hit pretty good on a moving screen and knocked it out," said Izzo. "The best case scenario is that he sprained it and he is out a couple of weeks. The worst case scenario is that there is more and he is out a lot, lot, lot longer."

Harris entered Tuesday's games Michigan State's leading scorer (16.0 ppg.) through three games. The McDonald's All-American and 2012 Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana is one of just three freshmen in the history of Michigan State basketball to reach double figures in scoring in his first three games.

Everything was not doom and gloom for the Spartans against Boise State. Junior point guard Keith Appling turned in gem of a performance with 22 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes of the non-conference contest.

"Keith Appling was a man," said Izzo."It is fun to see somebody work since the spring and earn what he is getting. He has done it the old fashioned way. He has just kind of worked his way and now I don't think there is any doubt in his mind why we push him the way we do... the guy did an unbelievable job and down the stretch he was a true go-to guy."

Izzo told Appling late in the second half that he needed him to take the game over.

"That's exactly what I said to Keith," said Izzo. "It's your time, you've got to take this thing over. We don't have that many guys left."

Click below for Izzo's postgame press conference:

Tom Izzo - Michigan State-Boise State postgame from SpartanMag on Vimeo.



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