It hasn’t been the most ideal series of events for the Michigan State Spartans in recent weeks. Losing big man Adreian Payne a couple weeks ago to a minor foot injury seemed like a slight setback until Branden Dawson broke his hand after showing frustration in a team film session. On top of all that, Payne is still set to be out a week or two more and the Spartans lost the Michigan Wolverines at home.
With all of this bad luck, it would seem like the Spartans should be in low spirits, right? Wrong.
After the loss to their in-state rival, the Spartans were devastated. In the locker room after the game, Tom Izzo showed a side of himself that his players had never seen before. He walked into the locker room, teared up, told them how proud he was of them — and especially an extremely banged up Keith Appling — and walked out.
The players were touched. However, many disagreed about being proud. In fact, Appling claimed that even though Izzo was proud of the way they fought through injuries to fall short 80-75, they should never lose to Michigan at home.
Big man Matt Costello said that was the type of thing they never expected to see out of their fiery head coach, but it was something that was much-needed at the time. Sure, Payne might be out for the Iowa Hawkeyes road matchup on Tuesday and even a couple games after that, but the Spartans are only getting stronger.
This team has the most talent of any team in the Big Ten — when healthy — and this injury-ridden streak has only made the Spartans a deeper team — just ask freshman Alvin Ellis III.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.