Michigan State pulled together to defeat Texas-Arlington 87-68 last night at the Breslin Center, but it was the three hour meeting that took place prior to the game that might have had the most lasting impact.
MSU head coach Tom Izzo and star guard Kalin Lucas met privately and Izzo apologized for his handling of the incident on Wednesday when he threw Lucas out of practice.
"I was so disappointed in the way it was handled and I can blame nobody but myself," and emotional Izzo told the media after the game.
"I wouldn't have changed what I did, but I was disappointed in how it was handled. I'm almost embarassed for his family and for him a little bit but on the other side of it there are some things we've got to get better at and he's got to get better at."
Lucas did not start, but rather came off the bench after the first timeout and went on to score 16 points in 29 minutes. Izzo intimated that he was not happy with the publicity that came from his holding Lucas out of practice.
Nearly overshadowed in the win was the performance of Durrell Summers who scored a team-high 20 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field and 1-of-4 from three point range. Again it was do-it-all sophomore Draymond Green who was the game's MVP scoring 19 points, grabbing seven rebounds and setting up the team with seven assists.
His play offset the performance of UT-Arlington's Marquez Haines, who scored 20 and had five assists.
As Michigan State now moves into conference play Saturday at Northwestern, the play of Lucious and Green will become more critical as the Big Ten grind it out style will require MSU to be more disciplined getting into their sets. The Spartans will need Lucas to be more focused on his floor game to complement Lucious and Green if they want to repeat as conference champions.