Michigan State Basketball: Players-Only Meeting to Help Team Long-Term

By Connor Muldowney
Michigan State
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There’s no way around it, the Michigan State Spartans are struggling right now. Losers of six of its past 10 games, Michigan State is looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, but it may take a players-only meeting to change things up. Following a loss to the lowly Illinois Fighting Illini at home on Saturday afternoon, the Spartans dropped to 22-7 and help a “team-only” meeting to hash out some issues.

While Tom Izzo thinks that players-only meetings are the biggest joke in athletics, it was something the team needed desperately at the time.

Talent is not the issue for the Spartans, so a 4-6 record in their last 10 games has been a tough pill to swallow. Izzo has even stated that this team is the most talented he’s had in a while. It’s not chemistry, because this team is as close as any in the nation, but it could be communication problems holding them back from greatness.

Izzo may not like the idea of a “players-only” meeting, but until the team comes out of the tunnel for senior night on Thursday against the Iowa Hawkeyes, no one can be sure if the meeting helped.

Some guys have come out in support of what happened after the Illinois loss. Matt Costello said that players were finally voicing their frustrations and getting their thoughts out in the air. Branden Dawson said that Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine were doing most of the talking and players were starting to air everything that was bothering them.

Since the meeting, practices have gone much smoother, apparently. Keith Appling has had his best practices in a while “by far” and he is starting to get his confidence and shooting touch back. Adreian Payne will be coming out of the tunnel with Keith on senior night and it will be a high-emotion game for both of them during their last game at the Breslin Center. Heck, it might be Gary Harris‘ last home game, too.

Losing on senior night is not an option for this team that is fighting to come together at the right time. Watching the Michigan Wolverines win the Big Ten title outright had to light a fire under this team and we will see that on Thursday evening.

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 connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.

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