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Tom Izzo critiques exhibition opponent day after blowout

Following Michigan State’s exhibition victory of St. Cloud State on Friday night, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo wasn’t pleased with the caliber of play from his opponent.

While the Huskies had played Michigan State to a competitive 62-49 exhibition in 2012, this exhibition was anything but that as Michigan State cruised to a 101-46 victory.

So Izzo decided to take matters into his own hands on Saturday morning. After being arranged by first-year St. Cloud State head coach Matt Reimer, Izzo spoke to the Huskies for 40 minutes, criticizing the team’s captains for a lack of leadership and challenging them to be better.

According to a report from Andy Rennecke of the St. Cloud Times, Izzo specifically called junior point guard Jordan Poydras out for his 1-for-7 performance on Friday night and for being a team captain on a team that didn’t bring a great effort.

“I think it helped us get our heads on straight,” Poydras said to Rennecke. “It’s nice hearing that feedback from somebody who has been around the game so long. He knows so much. For him to talk to us, and the things he said, really means a lot.”

After talking to St. Cloud State’s players and addressing them bluntly, Izzo took questions from the group and the team watched Michigan State practice. Overall, a unique learning experience for St. Cloud State’s players, but a little surprising that a head coach like Reimer would give up leadership of his team like that.

It’s a learning moment for Reimer as well, and nice for his players, but that’s tough to move on from during a first season as a head coach.

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