It was a Magical moment for the Harlem Globetrotters and point guard Magic Johnson on Sunday, but not for Spartans' basketball head coach Tom Izzo.
In his team's 97-83 exhibition loss, Izzo was displeased with the Spartans lack of effort; naming a few players who struggled, and hinting towards a not-so-fun practice week ahead.
"It has been a great weekend and I hate to sour it but that was not a very good performance," said Izzo, who's team shot 66 percent from the free-throw line and were outrebounded 43-21. "You can use the excuse that we have only been practicing for two weeks and that leads to some mix-ups in rotations on defense and in transition.
"The biggest thing is the effort related stats. Did we check and did we rebound? Through two public appearances we haven't done either in both. You have to give the Harlem Globetrotters credit because they did an excellent job making some shots down the stretch and shutting us down defensively."
"I am glad we have 10 days until our next game because we definitely have some things to work on."
Starting at point guard, Magic Johnson finished with 5 points and 4 assists in limited action, while Johnson understudy Darrick Martin poured in 38 to lead the Globetrotters.
The Spartans, slotted No. 3 overall in preseason rankings, struggled defensively, but their nemesis, the Globetrotters, aren't a crack team. In fact, prior to Sunday's contest, the Globetrotters had won 282 consecutive games.
Although Izzo's aggravation is noted, and should be, Michigan State cannot and will not be questioned due to this loss. In essence, for those who ask "What does this mean?" That answer is a resounding "Absolutely nothing."
As Izzo pointed out, the Spartans had barely two weeks of practice prior to Sunday's contest. That is two weeks to adapt to Izzo's offense, learn defensive assignments, get into "playing shape" and perhaps most importantly, gel as a team.
If anything, the loss might be good for Michigan State. Izzo can still correct problems, point out miscues on the game film, and the ball club can take it as a growing pain -- better now than in a month.
If the Spartans want to live up to their preseason No. 3 overall hype, they must grow as a team. Individualism will not earn championships, and the young Spartans may have been taught a magical lesson on Sunday.