Michigan State’s Tom Izzo ’embarrassed’ by loss to Northwestern

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Michigan State got behind late in the first half and was never able to get back within striking distance in its 88-74 loss to Northwestern on Sunday night; head coach Tom Izzo was livid with his team’s overall play.

“I’m embarrassed as a Michigan State Spartan [with] the way we played,” Izzo said after the loss. “I am disappointed in the way we played for the 29 years of players I had before this. … We defend, we rebound; today we didn’t defend at all.”

While Tyson Walker — who’s averaging 20.6 points per game, which is good for third in the Big Ten — led the way for Michigan State with 27 points, his efforts were offset by all five of Northwestern’s starters finishing in double-digits.

Furthermore, Izzo doesn’t want to hear statistics that make excuses for the Spartans’ play.

“I hate analytics because they’re phony,”  Izzo said. “Sooner or later, you look in a guy’s heart, you look in a guy’s eye, and then you find out about a guy. Everybody in the NBA and college now — they want analytics. What does analytics mean here: does it mean we won the game? Analytics are crap. Sooner or later, guys got to just muscle up.”

Michigan State is averaging just 37.0 total rebounds (10th in Big Ten) and 10.7 offensive rebounds (11th) per game this season.

The loss dropped the Spartans to 9-6 overall (1-3 in Big Ten play) and 11th in conference. They began the 2023-24 college basketball season ranked No. 5 in the country. FOX Sports’ college basketball bracket analyst Michael DeCourcy pegged Michigan State as the No. 11 seed in his latest NCAA Tournament projection.

Next up for Michigan State is a road game against No. 10 Illinois on Thursday (9 p.m. ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app).

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