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January 23, 2012
OFF TOPIC: On Paterno, Painter & Dawson
EAST LANSING - Sometimes after a big win, a coach would prefer to enjoy it.
But Saturday, following Michigan State's 25-point thumping of Purdue, Tom Izzo found himself answering questions about anything but basketball. First, he was asked about the apparent exchange between Branden Dawson and Purdue coach Matt Painter. Following that, he was asked about the actions of an Izzone member (who had shouted injury-related comments towards Boilermaker Robbie Hummel during Saturday's game).
Izzo wasn't happy about either, but he also wasn't thrilled to be spending his post-game celebration looking into things beyond his control.
Monday, at his weekly press conference, Izzo decided to comment on the situation, making sure everyone was clear on his respect for the Purdue program as well as Hummel - whom Izzo has always been a big fan of.
"I guess, since everybody knows I was a little upset, I'd be remiss if I didn't bring it up instead of getting asked, and nobody's asking," Izzo said. "Just as an example, there's a few programs that I respect in this league, a lot of programs I respect, but a few that I felt like I built my teams around.
"The Bobby Knights and Gene Keady's were two of those guys. I love what they stood for, what they are. I recruited Matt Painter. I absolutely love that he's brought the physical toughness back . I sometimes look at him as the, and I'm dating Bruce (Weber) and I, but the Creans and the Painters have to take over when we go. I thought I'd paid great homage to the job that he did in getting his team ready after that bus ride.
"When you get to a point in your career when you don't enjoy the wins, you got a problem.
"When I left (Saturday), I wasn't real happy with anything. And that night I had 250 people over, which is the greatest day of my life when those players come back, and I can honestly say I didn't enjoy all of that."