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Michigan State trying to find its way out of 0-3 rut

The Spartans are struggling to find their alpha of the group
(AP) Wisconsin's D'Mitrik Trice, left, shoots against Michigan State's Joshua Langford during...
(AP) Wisconsin's D'Mitrik Trice, left, shoots against Michigan State's Joshua Langford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in East Lansing, Mich. Wisconsin won 85-76.(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 6:42 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - As of December 31, the Michigan State Spartans are 0-3 and in last place in the Big Ten. They haven’t won a game since Dec. 13 against Oakland.

“Are we a little shaken? Probably. Are we lost in confidence? Probably,” said head coach Tom Izzo.

It’s been a tough season so far playing in a pandemic with no fans, and in a deep Big Ten conference.

“Nothing good comes overnight. Just understanding that you can’t hit the panic button no matter how bad it’s going or how good it’s going,” said Junior Forward Aaron Henry. “You have to stay even keel and keep that neutral mindset because you’ll go crazy if you don’t.”

Coach Izzo says his team’s biggest problem is reflected in society as a whole.

“We have such a soft society right now. They want to keep making it softer if you ask me. You know, let a kid do whatever he wants. People aren’t programmed to be the alpha dog. I mean we give trophies for 37th place,” said Izzo. “I mean that’s what people wanna do now, so how do you become an alpha dog if you’re always satisfied for what you’ve done? I still think the Josh’s and Aaron’s have to take on some of that, but I think some of it’s gonna have to fall on me too.”

Specifically in his handling of the point guard position, he admits he shouldn’t have tried to shoe-horn Rocket Watts there.

“We were gonna try to make Rocket play more of the point because it was what I needed done, which was very unfair to him,” said Izzo. “We’re asking a guy to change in a lot of ways and some things he did very well, and some things he didn’t do as well.”

Izzo thinks having a normal summer and fall to practice would have helped him realize that sooner.

“It was all some individual work. You don’t learn how to make decisions with individual work. We couldn’t have team meetings up in the locker room,” said Izzo. “There were some things that took away... that hindered different people’s development.”

The team heads to Nebraska on Saturday, hoping to break the 0-3 conference play record.

UPDATE: They were able to break that record winning against Nebraska 84-77.

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