March 13, 2010

Izzo: 'We're not a dog team'

INDIANAPOLIS - As Draymond Green's role on the Michigan State basketball team has continued to expanding during his sophomore year, there have been some that might have assumed that the Saginaw star would replace Raymar Morgan as the go-to forward in the Spartan basketball program.

Down the stretch in the Big Ten regular season and even in Michigan State's disappointing 72-67 overtime loss to Minnesota in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament, nobody on the Spartan roster with the possible exception of Green has played with more purpose and resolve than Morgan. And no player from either team put up more points than Morgan, who scored 23 on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor.

"I'm so proud of the two guys next to me," said Izzo of Morgan and Green who joined him at the podium for postgame interviews. "But the effort was there from them, and that's really all I care about right now, and we'll move forward."

Much has been made about the feel that Green and Morgan have for each other when they are playing opposite one another in the high post and low post. But the two captains are starting to show a feel for each other in regards to their roles as team captains.

"These two guys helped me a lot at halftime, they helped me a lot after the game," said Izzo. "I'm a big fan of player-coach teams, and in some ways we took a step in that direction tonight. With every negative, there's sometimes a positive.

"We're not a dog team, we're a good team that lacks some things that usually hold you back from being a great team, and I'm going to keep searching for them in the next four or five days and hopefully we get into that tournament and we take another step."

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