Trice, Valentine hold "captains' practice"

With Monday as an off day per NCAA rules, the players called a practice without coaches

When Michigan State coach Tom Izzo told his players they did not have practice Monday because of NCAA rules, the response was quickly against taking the day off.

Captains Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine took matters into their own hands and called for a “captains’ practice” for the players only.

“I think we needed it, especially after the way we lost Saturday, just to clear up the air,” Trice said. “We are still confident in where we’re at. Our goals haven’t changed and we are ready to just move on.

”I think it really helped us from a leadership aspect because when we are out there playing, the coaches are over here (on the bench), but once we step across that line it’s just us out there. It felt good to be relying on ourselves.”

Trice and Valentine met with Izzo and got his thoughts on areas of focus for the practice, but things ran as normal other than the lack of coaches. The Spartans worked through both offense and defense in what junior Matt Costello said was “a good time for us.”

“We went through a hard practice,” he said. “Trav and Zel did a good job putting that together. It was tough, but it was good.”

Trice said the intensity was high throughout the practice with guys competing and hitting shots.

”Everybody knew just because they aren’t there it isn’t an off day or we are going to slouch or anything,” Trice said. “It’s almost like we took it up another level and we really didn’t have to. …

”I think it was a good sign for us, especially moving forward.”


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