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November 1, 2011
Below are statements from Spartan Basketball coach Tom Izzo following practice, Tuesday, November 1.
"I had a unique thing that I normally don't share outside but it was so unique that I'm going to share it with you. After the game we thought that (Adreian Payne) struggled a little bit, he's struggling at times. I think playing his first game, his grandmother's not here. There's different things that he struggles with. But Nix wanted to talk to me right after in the lockerroom and he wants me to start Payne because he thinks that it might help him. We were probably going to try and change something anyway, but it's pretty neat when it's a player invoked change rather than a coach.
"So I might do that this weekend and then see, but I've been pleased with both of them in different ways. But I was really pleased with Nix. Maybe it shows how far he's come in both his maturity and his interest in the team, guys on the team. That to me was one of the greatest things on Sunday. I was really proud of Nix to be honest with you.
"That was one of the neater things that's happened. I don't know if I'm going to keep it that way. I'm not going to do everything Nix says. Don't get carried away. But I am going to look at it this week."
"I want to get him and definitely (Russell Byrd) in more, but that was supposed to be Byrd's off-day and that's why we kept it tight on him.
"Kearney's going to probably have to play some. I mean, I don't plan on redshirting him, at least not right now. He's just got to keep getting stronger. he still has a very good understanding of the game and he actually plays pretty well defensively. But I don't know, the next week's going to tell a lot there."
"He's trying to do so many things because he's trying to learn everything at once. That's been a little hard on him and I've been hard on him on purpose, because in a week and a half he gets 'Welcome to College Basketball, World'. So I figured if I can help make him miserable for a week before, he'll get the gist of it.
"We are being very critical of him right now. Over-critical to be honest. But at the same time, I think he's come along, he understands it, he played better the second half than the first, he had a better practice today than he's been having.
"I think it's just all part of the learning process. He's trying to do so many things right now, which is kind of cool. He's been better defensively than I thought he would be for that scrawny little body, but give the kid credit."
"He's cocky enough to be good, but he's not cocky enough to not listen. What we've noticed with him, is he's got kind of a shy demeanor. And yet when you tell him something, he looks at you like you're on dial-a-clue and then he does it right.
"He's really picking up things really well."