DES MOINES, Iowa — Michigan State coach Tom Izzo didn’t apologize after Thursday’s NCAA tournament first-round win over Bradley for screaming at freshman forward Aaron Henry in the second half so intensely the two had to be separated by guard Cassius Winston.
Izzo instead defended himself.
“What’s wrong with challenging a kid that makes some mistakes?” Izzo said after the No. 2 seed Spartans’ 76-65 win. “Aaron Henry — trust me — did some things that you can’t do as a starter on a top-5 team at the end of your freshman year. They were effort-related.
“I did get after him. He did respond. He did make a couple of big buckets. He did make some big free throws but that’s not good enough. It’s one-and-done time. The ‘my-bads’ are out the window.”
Izzo has long coached his players hard, and in-game shouting matches between the coach and his players are not rare.
“I’ve heard worse from him,” Henry said after scoring eight points against the Braves. “I’ve got it worse in practice before.”
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo says the team needs to compete better on Saturday, but he liked the play of his star point guard, Cassius Winston.
Izzo said he was upset with Henry for getting back on defense at something less than full effort at one point in the second half. Winston played peacemaker.
“I just felt at that moment I could get the message to [Henry] better than coach,” Winston said. “The yelling approach wasn’t working at that moment. So I just asked coach what he wanted me to tell him.”