MSU and the Injury mantra

Submitted by ijohnb on January 26th, 2014 at 10:09 AM

A viable reason can easily become a sad excuse.  Just as easily "bad luck" can reveal itself as part of an identity.  Nobody ever wants to see a team decimated by injuries.  Injuries are a variable that many times do come into play in terms of how things play out for any given team in a season.  That being said, this display from Michigan State as to the extent of their injuries and the effect it had on last nights has truly become embarrasing for them.  From the miniute Brandon Dawson puched Dan Dakich in, table, table I guess, the rhetoric gushing out of East Lansing and onto ESPN and finally, desperately, pouring out of Dick Vitale last night when it became clear Michigan was leaving with a W has left me losing a certain degree of respect for Michigan State's basketball program.  In one way or another, injuries have taken stage front center of the multitude of excuses coming out of East Lansing in the last several season for results on the court.  They are an ace in the hole, a fallback that can be dispersed it seems at the will of Tom Izzo to justify any form of underperformance from his team, in a loss, in a close win, in November, in March, whenever it is needed it is there, and the local and national media just start lathering up in it at a moments notice. 

I used to really respect Michigan State as a basketball program.  At one time, they were a no non-sense, no excuses outfit.  They were tougher than you and they wanted it more that you, and you knew it.  Now, they are a program that diverts the attention from a truly remarkable basketball game last night to an excuse for their loss, and basically, refusing to acknowledge the result of the game as legitimate.  I have never liked Tom Izzo or Michigan State, because they are Michigan State, but I have always respected the hell out of them for the type of program they were.  It was the type of program that I wish Michigan had.  I now could not be prouder of the distinction between the programs and the way it responds to wins and losses and the way it carries itself in regard to a worthy opponent.  That was a great win for Michigan.  There is no asterick, there is no qualifier.  That is the headline after last nights game and I would have a lot more respect for Michigan State basketball if that was their bottom line after a really great college basketball game.


LS And Play

January 26th, 2014 at 11:42 AM ^

Agreed. The thing is, both teams had lost their All-Big Ten caliber big men. Everyone else was playing. I'm sorry if I don't put the Dawson "injury" in the same category. It's not Michigan's fault that our players don't do stupid shit like that. 


January 26th, 2014 at 1:02 PM ^

 I watched most of the second half due to work. I dont know baout the frst half but for whoever complains about injuries at MSU they should look at the officials as the reason that game was even close. 9 times out of 10 when a player drives to the basket and there is a lot of contact there is a foul. Michigan had 4-5 plays where the player drove and there was a lot of contact and nothing was called. There was also the Spike timeout right in front of a ref that didn't get called and the Jordan Morgan ( was there even contact?) foul.

 Michigan beat a very good MSU team on the road. Injuries or not


January 26th, 2014 at 2:45 PM ^

sometimes the better team does not win.  However, this was the case where we were the better team, poor officiating or not.  I had tickets for the game but the weather was not good.

This is the first time since 1987 where a team has beat 3 Top 10 teams consecutively.  We showed why we are the best team in the Big Ten and possibly the entire Country.  I cannot wait for the polls to come out.  Maybe a top 5???

Now I will also agree that we get preferential treatment, all things considered.  But I am not complaining.


January 26th, 2014 at 10:22 AM ^

Izzo relied on having more talent. Now, B1G teams have hired coaches that can recruit, like Matta and Crean. There are a few guys who can coach AND recruit, like Beilein and Ryan. Izzo's coaching "edge" consisted of rolling out and NBA-sized front line, and out muscling under-equipped Big Ten teams. Basically, the league caught up to him, and now he's using the injury excuse to explain his losses.


January 26th, 2014 at 10:23 AM ^

Appears to be the one to their pride.  They're making excuses because they have to.   Good.  

I say let them not take us seriously.  Others, including recruites, already do.  And by the time they catch on, the table may have completely turned. 

Mmmm Hmmm

January 26th, 2014 at 10:33 AM ^

In the legal profession, there's an old saying: "If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the facts are against you, argue the law. If both are against you, pound the table."*

I have never heard this said about journalism, but to coin a phrase: "If the story isn't compelling, rely on your writing. If your writing isn't good, rely on the compelling story. If you are a talentless hack and couldn't recognize a compelling story if it bit you in the ass, troll the hell out of a fanbase and claim you are keeping it real."

(* So, I guess by this logic, the facts and the law were really against Dawson, amirite?)


Mr. Yost

January 26th, 2014 at 10:31 AM ^

Sharp is just the biggest troll of ALL time. It's not even close.

It's funny at this point. It's so blatant.

If I ever saw Drew Sharp...I'd kick him in the stomach then knee him in the face. Say "Go Blue" and walk away.

Then he'd go ahead and sue the entire University of Michigan.


January 26th, 2014 at 1:21 PM ^

I think Jason Whitlock was an even bigger troll when he was at the AA News.  Dunno if he's still pulling the troll act in KC or whereever he "writes" these days.  Talentless hacks, both.


January 26th, 2014 at 10:25 AM ^

Pushing the injury meme, complaining that the refs were biased in favor of Michigan, bitching about how Stauskas is not classy.... They're doing everything but say Michigan played a good game. Even the ESPN headline was "Michigan downs short-handed Spartans".

I had to tweet to Jeff Goodman of ESPN because he was going on about Payne and Dawson. I'd also have a lot more sympathy for Dawson if he were out because of basketball and not slamming his hand on a fucking table during film.


January 26th, 2014 at 2:23 PM ^

The best part is, they are all acting and talking about their basketball team in the way they accuse us of acting and talking about our football team. Take Valenti for example. His theme on the Friday show? "This game doesn't really matter to MSU" and "we don't care about beating Michigan, we only care about a national championship while Michigan doesn't have national championship expectations"


January 26th, 2014 at 10:27 AM ^

Straight from coach Izzo.

I'm his interview after the game he said sobbingly , "if Gary Harris isn't the best player in the Big Ten, god bless whoever is." Poor Izzo, dealing with injuries in sports is so unheard of. Losing five out if seven hurts too.


January 26th, 2014 at 11:20 AM ^

Conversely, many highly educated, good-looking, well-liked, affable people who are kind to both strangers and animals, contribute to charity, inspire greatness in others and generally make the world a better place don't think Harris is the best player in the B1G 10.

I'm one of those guys.


January 26th, 2014 at 11:43 AM ^


Timmay you actually thought i was being serious and not teasing MgoBender about his use of the phrase "many reasonable people"?  Wow I figured it was so over the top anybody could see it it.  Guess not.

Dude you really have to get over this thing you've got against me.  It's not healthy.


January 26th, 2014 at 12:03 PM ^

It's still early for me, late night. I did 100% think you were serious, or I obviously wouldn't have said that. In fairness, all of those things you mentioned, you have mentioned before (except for calling yourself good looking). I epologize for my over-reaction. 


January 26th, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

No problem and thanks for saying that (I think).  Hey -can we call a truce and start over? Generally speaking I agree with most of your points and if you've noticed I havent talked about the thing that got you riled up in several months.


January 26th, 2014 at 12:41 PM ^

I don't hold any grudges or anything like that. I'm just very quick so say what I'm thinking I guess... Let's hit the "RESET" button (no politics). 

And yes, I'm glad for all of our sake that "that thing" that caused us all so much grief is over and done with. May we all prosper from said thing! 

Win one for mother Russia. 


January 26th, 2014 at 11:44 AM ^

Ummm... ok?

I don't know what your point is.  Are you just patting yourself on the back for all your wonderful attributes?  Are you saying I'm not educated?  That I don't contribute to society?  That I think people that think Stauskas is better are bad people?  Did I say that?

My only point was that it's not ridiculous to call Harris the best player in the B10. It's a great debate to have and its awesome that the two best players in the league (Payne is up there too) are on teams from this state.  I think getting on Izzo for saying GH is the best is lame - why shouldn't he back his player after a great performance?  I'd expect JB to do the same thing.

I think last night Harris proved he's a notch ahead of Stauskas in the race, but I'd love to hear arguments otherwise.  That's my certified E-pinion.    I've watched the game twice now and I think they are similar shooters (slight edge to Nik), similar creators, and similar finishers (slight edge to GH).  I think GH showed he's got a discernable edge defensively and athletically, though.  Then, at the same time, Nik hit the big shot and GH front rimmed the big shot late. (Nik was 5/6, GH was 4/6 from 3 last night).  GH was able to get his shot with more regularity and obviously pouring in 27 is a big deal.  All that together, I think GH is the better player.  I think it's clear, but I also don't think it's clear by a wide margin, if that makes sense.

I think it's very even, it's an awesome matchup, and I can't wait to see it again.  To say it is definitive or discount GH is wearing the maize and blue glasses.   


January 26th, 2014 at 3:31 PM ^

Note to self - don't tease MgoBender.

Ha, okay.  I still don't understand what your entire point was, even with the sarcasm.  Your point was to tease me?  That's... strange... but whatever. 

Like I said, it's a great debate and I sincerely would love to discuss it in detail.  Unfortunately, I guess you only were looking to tease.  Which, in that case, why post?  Anyway, moving on.

Space Coyote

January 26th, 2014 at 10:30 AM ^

Complaining so much about MSU's complaining is getting just as tiring. MSU does have significant injuries and have has significant injuries. While I'm sure Izzo and Co could just deflect and act like they put their best unit out there, they didn't. Beilein doesn't talk about McGary, I respect him for that, but does any of it really matter?

This, again, is people taking way too much from press conferences. A lot of what is said in these pressers is for the team as much if not more than for the actual media. Like how Michigan coaches in both football and basketball use the media, they do it in a way that they feel helps their current team the most. MSU isn't really that different. You talk youth, luck, injuries, etc, if your team needs it to get to where it wants to go. You don't if it just coddles them and doesn't help in the long run. In the end, it doesn't really matter though, in regards to that game.

Michigan won. Get over the rest. You have the upper hand; the high ground. Michigan won. Everything else is just hope for the future and speaking for the team. This may be unpopular opinion, because obviously there seem to be a lot of Michigan fans that really care if MSU has injuries and if they are allowed to talk about them, but why? I don't understand. Michigan won.

I do find it pretty funny how similar Michigan basketball fans are to MSU football fans and MSU basketball fans to Michigan football fans, though. Honestly, the parallels and the way we treat each other is freakishly similar.

Space Coyote

January 26th, 2014 at 10:48 AM ^

I feel like all fanbases look for reasons to get angry. The media is against them. The commentators are against them. The refs are against them. Luck is against them. The world is against them.

But it doesn't matter. We won; Michigan won. Stop getting so upset about the rest of it and just be happy Michigan won instead of looking for things to be upset about, especially things that don't even speak to Michigan. Michigan has won 5 out of the last 7 and two at Breslin. They won again last night. Who cares about the rest of it. Worry about Michigan.