Thursday, February 29, 2024

Izzo voices frustration with Big Ten over possible Minnesota reschedule, provides update on Cooper’s injury

February 24, 2023
<p>Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Izzo (left) gives sophomore guard Jaden Akins a quick word of instruction on the sidelines of the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. The Spartans beat the Buckeyes 62-41.</p>

Head Men's Basketball Coach Tom Izzo (left) gives sophomore guard Jaden Akins a quick word of instruction on the sidelines of the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. The Spartans beat the Buckeyes 62-41.

Photo by Jack Armstrong | The State News

In a meeting with the press following practice Thursday evening, Michigan State University head mens basketball coach Tom Izzo discussed the state of the team in relation to last Monday's mass shooting on campus, gave an update on the health status of freshman center Carson Cooper and voiced his frustration’s with the Big Ten’s handling of the rescheduling of the postponed Minnesota game. 

The team, the campus and the community are still in recovery from the Feb. 13 shooting that left three dead and five more injured. After two straight games chock-full of emotions, the world is still turning and Izzo and MSU still have to carry those emotions to Iowa on Saturday.  

“It's a little easier and I guess everybody would say every kid is handling things differently,” Izzo said. “I think in general, time heals. It's not going to happen immediately.”

The game against the Golden Gophers, scheduled for Feb. 15, was postponed as a result of the mass shooting that took place just two days prior. There has been no word from the conference or the schools on whether or not the game will be rescheduled. 

“I’m not going to lie to you, I'm frustrated with the Big Ten office and the way it's gone,” Izzo said. “There’s nothing. That’s my disappointment, nothing.”

That matchup against the Gophers, who are ranked dead last in the Big Ten with a 1-15 record in conference play, looms large with the postseason around the corner. Every game is important at this point with every team so tightly contested in the middle of the standings. 

In the Big Ten Tournament, the top 10 teams in the conference are given a bye in the first round, and the top four get an additional bye. It looks like a race between Purdue and Northwestern for the conference crown, but below those two, it’s anyone’s game (except for Minnesota and Ohio State, both dwelling quite comfortable in the basement of the standings). 

Izzo also provided an update on Cooper’s injury status. He missed Tuesday’s game against Indiana due to a low-ankle sprain suffered during practice. 

“This kid is number one tough and number two a quick healer,” Izzo said. “It really showed me a lot, because it was a pretty bad sprain.”

Cooper was last seen in a boot in warm-ups against the Hoosiers, but he participated in practice Thursday. Izzo said that Cooper could be ready as soon as Saturday. 

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