Coming off a loss at Rutgers, the Michigan State Spartans men’s basketball team was hoping for a win against the Wisconsin Badgers at home. Unfortunately, the night did not go the Spartans’ way, as MSU lost 70-62 on Tuesday night.
In the postgame press conference, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo and a few of his players expressed ownership for the loss and discussed what they need to do next to get out of this slump.
First out to speak to the media was a somber-looking Izzo.
“That was a poor coaching job and the team wasn't ready to play,” Izzo said. “We got punked from the very beginning. We got what we deserved...That to me was not a very well-coached team tonight. So I am taking full responsibility.”
Izzo continued to stress his ownership over this loss. He mentioned needing better leadership and more toughness, and he stated that those qualities go through him first.
“It’s the coach,” Izzo stated. “The coach has got the get his team ready to play. I’m not trying to take the blame, take it off the players...They came out inept, in my humble opinion, and not physical enough. That is my job. I mean that, write it, say it. Not looking for any sympathy or anything like that, but...I’ll get calls from former players tonight, cause that was not how Michigan State plays.”
Out next at the podium was redshirt senior forward Joey Hauser, who — despite Izzo’s comments — felt the loss was just as much on the players. Hauser’s parents were in the media room for the postgame presser to hear him take some questions.
“The coaches stay up all night preparing,” Hauser said. “At the end of the day, they don’t go on the court, so they can only do so much. At some point, it’s gotta be ourselves, it’s gotta be the players that get each other motivated and bring that toughness and that physical part of the game that we’ve been missing some games here. This is just as much on us as it is the coaches.”
Hauser went over working to keep the team fluid and said the Spartans needed to stay away from playing “robotic.” Getting players the correct looks, and taking shots themselves that are open and should be taken, will be goals for the games ahead.
Last up to take questions was senior captain and forward Gabe Brown. Brown echoed Hauser’s comments about taking responsibility and discussed how important that was with his role as a captain and leader on the team.
“I take blame for that, too,” Brown said about the loss and Michigan State’s stagnant offense. “Because as I am, I am the captain and I gotta get guys going in certain ways. I just didn’t do a good job of that tonight.”
Brown continued this with, “The coaches always take blame, but I take full blame for all that. Because I am a captain and that’s one of my jobs. I gotta bring energy and today I was trying my best to do it, but we just gotta keep moving forward from this spot.”
Brown continues to show his growth in maturity and leadership, and hopefully after addressing it in the postgame, he will continue to push his team and his coaches to make the adjustments needed to get back to the brand of Spartan basketball that Michigan State fans all know.