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College Basketball

Tom Izzo after Spartans’ third straight loss: ‘I don’t care about fan base’

Tom Izzo had a testy exchange with a reporter after the Michigan State Spartans suffered its third straight Big Ten loss, losing at home Tuesday 84-73 to the 20th-ranked Purdue Boilermakers.

Izzo’s lengthy retort stemmed from WXYZ’s Justin Rose leading with a question about the Spartans’ fan base. Izzo made it clear in a screed the feelings of the fan base are not among his concerns.

As transcribed by CBS Sports:

Reporter: “Tom, 12-9 on the season now. Fan base, you said earlier this week –”

Izzo: “I don’t care about the fan base.”

Reporter: “Understandable. But the team is in a situation where — you keep talking enthusiastically that they are getting better and whatnot. But maybe the record isn’t showing it.”

Izzo: You know the good thing about me? I’ve never BS’d one of ya in my whole 22 years. So if I say that, the good thing is that you know it’s the truth.

“If I say they’re not playing good then I’ll tell you just like it is. Sometimes it gets me in trouble. This is one time where we played good enough. I thought we got the short end of a couple of calls. And I thought that made a difference and we just don’t have the bodies.

“So I’m not worried about anything but the next game. And I’m not worried about them until I get done with tonight and tomorrow. When I break down my game, I’ll worry about my next game. It’s not coach speak. It’s not anything else. If people want to complain, I don’t care. I really don’t. I know what I’m doing. I know what this team is going through. Nobody knows what they’re going through because nobody has had to do it. I’ve been here before and got to the tournament. Do I sit here everyday and think ‘boy, this is going to cost us getting to the tournament.’ I don’t do that. I’ve had to win three games in the Big Ten tournament to get there and do it.

“Do I like where we are? I don’t like where we are. Do I understand where we are? I understand where we are. Am I going to worry about what somebody says that has no clue about what this team has gone through and what this team is doing? I’m not going to worry about that. I feel their disappointment. They’ve gotta be disappointed. Nobody should have been disappointed in the effort those young guys gave tonight. Nobody should be disappointed that I had to throw some guys in there that just aren’t ready, not good enough to play in those situations. I’ve got no problem with that.

“I thought the fans that were there did a great job. If some are at the local pubs and complaining, that’s their freedom of speech. It’s a great country.”

Suffice to say, Izzo’s frustration with the Spartans’ disappointing season boiled over there with that exchange.

Izzo’s sour disposition after the loss probably should have been expected given the revered head coach suffered an in-game meltdown, during which he snapped a clipboard during the second half.

The Spartans currently sit at 4-4 in the Big Ten and 12-9 in overall in what has been a profoundly disappointing season. But with Izzo running the show, there’s no reason to count out Michigan State just yet.