EAST LANSING - After Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo looked at the film of his team's exhibition season finale against Northern Michigan, he was just as unimpressed as he expected to be, but Izzo is taking the sloppiness that MSU exhibited against NMU in stride.
``Well, the game looked as bad on film as it did in person," admitted Izzo. ``It wasn't just one guy or one part of it. It was almost the 'Bad News Bears' of basketball as far as the number of errors. The first thing I did this morning with my managers was look at all the top-20 teams in the country and believe it or not, turnover wise, we weren't far off."
Izzo said that early in the season a lot of head coaches are using players and combinations to find things they can rely on later in the season when games become more meaningful.
``I think everybody's trying to play a lot of guys right now, everybody's trying to do some things to see who's ready to play, who's not, see what combinations [work]," said Izzo.
Still Izzo wasn't happy with his team's execution. ``If you watch the film I think the first three minutes of the game we had two dunk opportunities on breakaways and wide open shots we passed up and it just kind of got worse from there."
The coach plan to use what he saw on the court and on film as an opportunity to educate his players, but he isn't going to accept the sloppiness much longer.
``Panic over it? Not at all. Concerned over it? Not really. Disappointed? Yes. That's kind of the best way I can put it. I was just disappointed because you want to play better each and every game," he said.
The Spartans head to Hawaii to face a decent Rainbows team that blew out Division II Hawaii-Hilo 110-55 in their only exhibition tuneup. Six players scored in double figures for the Rainbows.
The teams don't expect to encounter any of the hostility that is displayed when the football teams match up. For one thing, Izzo and Hawaii coach Riley Wallace respect each other despite being fierce competitors.
But Hawaii is calling for a 'white out', asking all their fans to wear all-white to the Stan Sheriff center in an attempt to rattle the experienced MSU team. The Rainbows have extra motivation to pull off the upset, it would give Coach Wallace his 300th career victory.
You can catch a videocast of the contest by going to http://www.hawaiiantelmedia.com