Big Ten Preview: Izzo talks Northwestern

"I think Northwestern is a tough draw because of a lot of reasons, but one big reason is they are an unconventional team. They do not do conventional things offensively or defensively," --MSU head coach Tom Izzo.

EAST LANSING - In his weekly press conference, MSU head coach Tom Izzo touched on a variety of topics, but pointed toward tomorrow's contest against Northwestern as one the Spartans cannot take for granted.

"I think Northwestern is a tough draw because of a lot of reasons, but one big reason is they are an unconventional team. They do not do conventional things offensively or defensively," said Izzo.

"They're one of those team where they're a tough team to play against, honestly. They're very well coached and they run their sets extremely well and they're very patient. You can be up by six (points) and that's like being up by sixteen on some teams but if you get down, it's a hard team to come back against."

Izzo talked about the fact that had Kammron Taylor's last second shot rimmed off, MSU would have finished in fourth place in the conference and enjoyed a first round bye.

By starting play in the first round on Thursday, MSU could possibly face playing four games in four days. The coach said he relished that possibility even if it took some steam out of his squad come NCAA tournament time.

"I think our guys are looking forward to playing on Thursday, that doesn't bother anybody. Five years ago, if we were playing on Thursday I would have said, 'that's not good.'"

"I'd rather be playing on Friday but I think our players understand who they are and why we're playing on Thursday and that we have just as good an opportunity as anybody else."

Would it be a bad thing if MSU ran through the Big Ten tournament only to wear itself out and lose early in the NCAA tourney?

"Not for this year's team," said Izzo. "In some years you wear yourself out. This team, even though we lack depth and all those things and we could wear down, I just think nothing is better than winning. Continually winning would do nothing but enhance this season and this program in every shape and form.

"If we did that (win four games in four days) and we won the Big Ten tournament championship and lost early in the (NCAA) tournament because we were worn out, it'd be a fitting end."


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