November 17, 2010

Izzo bothered about performance vs South Carolina

EAST LANSING - Tom Izzo was careful to make sure to give the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks credit after Michigan State's late-night, unsightly 82-73 victory at Breslin Center. But he also wanted to give more than equal time in offering constructive criticism of his own.

"I don't want to take anything away from (South Carolina coach) Darrin Horn," Izzo said. "I thought his team did a heck of a job but I was very disappointed in mine. There were some of the most ungodly turnovers I have ever seen. Just put your hand out and throw it right through it.

"The fans were great and we didn't give them what they deserved, and for that I'm very disappointed."

In some of the ugliest numbers seen from a Michigan State team in quite some time, the Spartans:

  • Went 17-of-34 from the foul line.

  • Committed 19 turnovers.

  • Allowed 21 offensive rebounds.

    In a frantic game that had all the flow of rush hour city traffic, the teams combined for 39 turnovers and 46 personal foul calls, resulting in 85 whistles (more than two per minute), on those infractions alone.

    The teams combined to miss 26 free throws. The game took two and a half hours to play and was not completed until 12:30 a.m., Wednesday morning.

    "They had eight team rebounds, which means the ball is going out of bounds (off of Michigan State, unclaimed)," Izzo said. "We were in foul trouble, we just couldn't get the right lineup in there. I didn't feel comfortable playing Derrick Nix and Garrick Sherman in the second half because of the foul shooting."

    Kalin Lucas went down briefly with a twisted ankle. He reentered the game shortly thereafter.

    "I think any time he hurts anything down there for a while, he is going to have some apprehension," Izzo said.

    As for MSU's problems in the second half, Izzo's solution was simple: "Guard people. Just guard people and rebound the ball.

    "We were sloppy. I can't tell you how many one-handed catches we had where the ball went out of bounds. I give them credit, but you have to give us blame. That was just poor, incredibly lazy catches and things. That is inexcusable, to be honest. I don't know why it happened.

    "Some guys are playing for the first time, in a way, with Korie and Keith."

    Lucious was coming back after a one-game suspension following his September reckless driving incident, stemming from an initial drunk driving charge. He rushed errant decisions against South Carolina's trapping, man-to-man press.

    "That's part of the distraction that you deal with," Izzo said in regard to Lucious's shaky play. "I felt sorry for Korie because I think he was pressing to come back and play well, and struggled."

    On the positive site, Izzo said: "Draymond Green was very good. Delvon Roe was good. Kalin Lucas was okay. I would say in Delvon's case it was definitely his best half (of basketball). You can see where he is more explosive. He can put the ball on the floor a little bit better. He did some very good things defensively."

    Durrell Summers led Michigan State (2-0) with 22 points, but was 1-of-5 from 3-point range. Green had 18 points and 12 rebounds. He was the only Spartan with more than five defensive rebounds during a game in which the opponent missed 45 shots.

    Roe had 15 points and 5 rebounds, on 5-of-6 shooting.

    Austin Thornton had six points on pair of 3-pointers, the second of which extended the lead to 76-65 just moments after the Gamecocks had whittled what had been a game-long double-digit lead to six with 2:17 to play.

    Thornton's 3-pointer came after MSU ran some clock for a change and Lucas penetrated and kicked to Thornton in the corner.

    "I don't think they ran one offensive set in the second half because of the way we defended," Horn said of the frantic style of play induced by South Carolina's pressure, which was unsound at times, leaving driving lanes and inviting early shot attempts. "Thornton hit a huge three in the last minutes that stretched the lead back out for them."

    "We weren't sharp tonight and I don't know why," Izzo said, bothered but unworried. "But we'll get better."

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