Chances Payne plays are "Slim To None" according to Izzo

Submitted by Bambi on January 24th, 2014 at 11:33 AM

According to a paywalled report over at MSU's 247 site, Tom Izzo has stated that Payne's chances to play tomorrow night are "slim to none."…

Now as a cynical Michigan fan, I think this is part gamesmanship by Izzo and wouldn't be surprised to see Payne play tomorrow night. But if he doesn't play, with Dawson also out, MSU's frontcourt is reduced to:

-Freshman Kenny Kaminski (Not an inside threat, but great shooter at 55% from 3)

-Sophomore Matt Costello (Plays the most of the bunch remaining, biggest inside presence)

-Junior Alex Gauna

-Junior Russel Byrd (Listed as a guard but is 6-7, hasn't played a lot due to injury but he'll probably play a few minutes)

-Freshman Gavin Schilling

Combined those 5 average 14 pts/g, which doesn't come close the the combined average of 26.4 of Payne and Dawson, and also they don't touch their rebounding numbers either.

It goes without saying that if Payne doesn't play, the frontcourt matchup switches from advantage MSU to Michigan, and with Appling also a little banged up, Michigan really needs to go into Breslin and come out with a win if they want to win the B1G.



January 24th, 2014 at 11:40 AM ^

he can play mind games with Beilein. Instead, he's probably preparing his excuses for losing. Wouldn't be surprised if Payne limps in for a few inspirational moments, though. 


January 24th, 2014 at 11:40 AM ^

Izzo is quoted on MLive as well (HERE). It's probably the same quote at 247, but here is what was said regarding Payne:

"His chances of playing Saturday are slim to none. Slim meaning slim. And when he'll play is gonna be strictly between me and him. The doctors are in it only to give me information."


January 24th, 2014 at 11:41 AM ^

All five of those guys are good players... Don't pretend this won't be a difficult game for any team to win. MSU is at home and has a fantastic home court advantage. If Michigan wins it's going to be because they out executed and flat out wanted it more. They need this win for later in the season when a stronger MSU team comes to Ann Arbor.

With that being said, I hope MSU gets blown out :)


January 24th, 2014 at 12:06 PM ^

Yes MSU is deep as hell this year (next year will be rough for them) but even without the 2 injuries they have a probable lottery pick in Harris and a 2nd rounder in Appling who both will be in the league next year.  Compare that to say GR3 and Nik for us.  Then you have Valentine who is a glue do everything guy who'd parallel to Caris for us.  Costello is their one big I'd really like to have on my team - been sick a lot this year but he is very comparable to what a Horford or Morgan brings.  Trice has hit some big 3s for them lately and is like a Spike.  Etc.


They are actually very loaded and deep this year which is why they have 1 loss despite a litany of injuries.  Payne is a matchup nightmare in college since he is a 6'10 type guy who can go out and hit the 3 - a poor man's Rasheed Wallace. Just like Nix was a matchup nightmare for UM in particular who never seemed to have a body to bang with him (McGary at the time was still freshman McGary rather than demon child NCAA McGary).   But its at home, they live for beating UM, the fans will be rabid and the talent is quite equal.  I expect a tough game.


January 24th, 2014 at 11:45 AM ^

Yep.  Izzo's the sandbagging master, with chapped saliva paste permanently attached to either side of his frothing mouth.  But no matter who Lil Bro puts on the court, the real enemy will be ourselves and if we can put the ball in the hole.  Wisconsin was an aberration in that for some reason, we always shoot like shit in big road games, especially in the first 10 minutes.

As an aside, every time I see State's fans scream with rapturous, maniacal joy when they have a chance to beat us in any sport to satiate that inferiority complex, I think of Ohio and how fortunate they are not to have a Lil Bro in their own state, competing for recruits, and affirming its existence 100% by whether it beats its in-state rival or not.  Ohio gets to enjoy silence.  We?  All things Sparty.

Just not fair...  

Anyway, this game is house money as Brian said, so If we can just play solid D and shoot well, and just continue the trend of showing well on the road, I'll be OK either way, Payne or no Payne.


January 24th, 2014 at 11:48 AM ^

My favorite Izzo moment was the game at Crisler a year or two ago where Draymond Green missed a top key shot and subsequent tip at the buzzer, if you watched Izzo the whole time, he wasn't even watching the play so much as focusing on the refs and frantically trying to come up with something in his head to scream at them to get them to call something in State's favor... Absolute, 100% Grade A weasel.


January 24th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

He plays; he doesn't play; none of it matters.  If we win, "You only won cause Payne was out and you're a walmart wolvie!!!"  If we lose, "Oh dang, we beat scUM and didn't even have our star center da floor!"  

* Side note, McGary's injury doesn't count because the team/coach doesn't complain about it.  Things only matter if the suited leprechaun deemeth them so.

* Side side note...If there ever was a place, a people, an athletic program better suited to the discount rack at Walmart than MSU, I do not believe it exists.  


All Day

January 24th, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

FWIW, the follow up tweet from one of the sparty beat writers was something along the lines of "for those thinking Izzo is being Coy, Payne hasn't done anything in practice."


I really wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't play. March > January. 


January 24th, 2014 at 12:27 PM ^

Fair to be skeptical, but I think it's at least a possibility Payne actually doesn't play - or plays limited, possibly ineffective minutes.

Bottom line is we've been handed a golden opportunity by the sports gods (how is that for unusual) and have a great shot to snag a road win in a rivalry game against a top five opponent.  I don't care if sparty whines afterward about injuries.  I don't care if the media wants to downplay the victory by blaming it on Payne's absence while conveniently forgetting about McGary.  All I care about is getting the W and taking over first place in the conference.  If we can stick a banner in the rafters saying Michigan basketball won the Big 10 for the 2013-14 season, years down the road no one is going to say, "Wasn't that the year one sparty had a bum foot and one dude broke his hand?"  That banner isn't gonna have any asterisks.  It's only going to say "champions."

We've got a great chance to help our title chances a whole lot Saturday.  Let's get it done!


January 24th, 2014 at 12:58 PM ^

Whereas this may be a smokescreen I think losing Dawson might have actually increased the chance that Payne doesn’t play since Payne would have to play more of an offensive rebounding role without Dawson in there to clean up the boards.

I would think he dresses and he plays only if he victory is possible but I think Izzo views this team as his best and maybe last chance at winning a national championship and he wouldn’t risk that even to beat Michigan.

Cold War

January 24th, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

Nix tweets:

I wish i was in Lansing, I would slap the shit outta bj. #why?

Hondo tweets:

@DerrickNix25 thank God none of your teammates took to Twitter and talked when you had MUCH BIGGER mistakes

CRISPed in the DIAG

January 24th, 2014 at 2:25 PM ^

Izzo understands his alumni and fanbase as well as any college coach should.  It makes complete sense to talk about injuries in a game against a blood rival.

If Payne can give him at least ten minutes and State wins, their fans are ecstatic (Payne is a true Spartan and understands what it takes to win).  

If Payne goes limited minutes and they lose, he can mention injuries  as a possible cause (but injuries are no excuse in this league or in this rivalry and we'll gear up to beat 'em in A2 when we're full strength).

 If Payne doesn't play and State wins he can play off the strength of the program (we recruit and coach to win. That's why we've had so much success here blahhhhh).


January 24th, 2014 at 3:00 PM ^

Will be Nik Stauskas. His been the player of the year in the big ten so far this year and he has unfinished business in that building. Payne or no Payne we win.