Izzo: "I'd go to war with them today"

Spartans see Ellis, Byrd and Schilling step up to the challenge against Michigan -- something that gave Izzo and his players confidence moving forward.

Michigan State coach Tom Izzo had his questions about his team going into its game against Michigan.

The big one: Who could he take to war with him. He found an answer to that, even in defeat.

"I had some guys that I questioned if I'd want to go to war with (them on my side)," he said. "I'd go to war with them today."

Freshman Alvin Ellis, who had a career-high 12 points in MSU's 80-75 loss, said he knows he is one of those guys that made a statement to his coach.

"I'm definitely one of those guys," Ellis said. "I won't stop fighting until the clock hits zero. I'll just go out there and compete."

With forwards Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne out, Izzo was left relying on more players and more depth.

Junior guard Russell Byrd played more minutes than he has since late December, as did freshman forward Gavin Schilling. Ellis played his most minutes in more than two weeks.

"It's real difficult," Ellis said. "We know we have two people – main guys, guys that score the ball. Branden brings a lot of energy and Payne is just unstoppable. We need people to step up and play their part and do their role."

Those players stepping up to the challenge was all part of what left Izzo proud his team.

"Just the fact that guys like Alvin, guys like Gavin, even Matt (Costello) with nine rebounds. … It's a lot to be proud of," Byrd said. "I think everybody is proud of everybody. Him knowing that we cared about winning this game more than anything, it hurt. I think it went a long way for him."

Sophomore Gary Harris, who set a career high with 27 points, said even with the big negative of losing, the team will be better down the road now.

"It's only going to help us down the road," Harris said. "Once we get everybody back, we are going to be a really deep team."

SpartanDigest.com Recommended Stories


  • Peyton Manning emerged alone atop yet another category in the NFL record book tonight vs the Niners, as he tossed touchdown #509 under the national spotlight of Sunday Night Football (NBC). (Photo…

  • Former USC and NFL running back LenDale White added tons of drama to what was a relatively quiet Homecoming weekend for the Trojans.

  • Here’s a way to watch football and improve your golf swing at the same time. In your living room (or on the range), practice the one-minute golf swing, as shown in this video. Set the timer on your…

  • Dr. Roto, like many others, can't believe Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (pictured above) passed for over 300 yards and rushed for over 100 yards in the same game. First time that's ever happened…

  • As soon as those winds fall off, get into the stand! I always tell people you can't kill them if you aren't out, but if you want to try and pick an opportune time – this is it.