Bad Weather, Bad Injuries and Bad Play Sum Up Spartans 67-63 Win over Oakland
Palace of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, MI
The Michigan State Spartans came in to this NBA venue to take on the instate representative to the Horizon conference in the Oakland Grizzlies and they won 67 to 63. The Spartans were as ugly as the weather outside.
The Spartans left C Matt Costello at home as he recovers from sickness. Gary Harris was here, but did not play as he recovers from an ankle injury. Adreian Payne is suffering from an injury in his foot and Kenny Kaminski is suspended indefinitely.
Tom Izzo said of the game that the ten days off really did affect us. Payne got two days of the ten and Appling got six of the ten. We are just beat up, but give Oakland credit. I thought today it would come down to the start and they started pretty good. Only a little more than half our baskets were with assists. I thought Dawson answered the bell a little bit. We got after him pretty good. No question he played more like he can. I though Appling he bounced back. Alvin Ellis was a bright spot.”
The Spartans looked pathetic with 17 turnovers. They shot only 42% and had 14 assists on 24 baskets as Izzo noted. Only five Spartans scored. Branden Dawson had 13 boards and 16 assists. Adreian Payne had 10 rebounds and 20 points. Keith Appling had 21 points, four assists and four rebounds.
Izzo said of Kaminski’s suspension after the game that, “Kenny Kaminski just has to grow up. We are just going to keep suspending him until he takes care of all his business. The world doesn’t end but that hurt us too. There is no worry about being ineligible, but being eligible the right way!”
Grizzlies long time head man and one of the most underrated coaches in college basketball Greg Kampe said of the game, “The last time we played Michigan State here we lost by one. I got an email the next day that said, “The reason you lost is because Tom Izzo had a tie on you had a sweater vest and God wanted them to win because you are classless. So I thought I better wear a tie today. It didn’t work.”
He went on to add, “There are no moral victories anymore at Oakland. Had a chance to win and just couldn’t win. We just can’t beat them.”
There was an amazing 13 thousand people and Kampe was asked why they chose to play this game at the Palace where there are more MSU fans than Oakland. “This is a business. How much money would we make at our arena? I am glad the people came and I am glad they got to see a very good college basketball game.”
Izzo has great respect of Kampe who admits, “We built this team with Mid-Michigan Lansing area players. Most teams won’t play us, let alone play us on a neutral court and Tom Izzo will.”
Izzo said of Kampe, “He has really built the third best program in the state of Michigan. He (Kampe) has done an incredible job. Besides liking him, I respect him and he does a great job coaching his kids.”
Considering the weather, the crowd of over 13,000 was pretty amazing. The Spartans play again on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center against North Florida. Tipoff is set for 7pm.