Tom Izzo Defends Yelling at Aaron Henry During Michigan State's Win vs. Bradley

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2019

DES MOINES, IOWA - MARCH 21: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans glares at Aaron Henry #11 after a play during their game in the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Bradley Braves at Wells Fargo Arena on March 21, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo defended himself after cameras showed him yelling at Spartans forward Aaron Henry during the second half of Thursday's win over Bradley in the 2019 NCAA men's basketball tournament.

During a stoppage in play, Izzo began chastising Henry, so much so that MSU guard Cassius Winston stepped in to hold Izzo back.

"What's wrong with challenging a kid that makes some mistakes?" Izzo said after the game, per ESPN.com's Adam Teicher. "Aaron Henry—trust me—did some things that you can't do as a starter on a top-five team at the end of your freshman year. They were effort-related."

According to Teicher, Izzo was upset with Henry after he didn't get back on defense quickly enough during a sequence in the second half.

Opinions toward Izzo were mixed on social media after he laid into his player:

Mike Lupica @MikeLupica

Tom Izzo goes at one of his players, Aaron Henry, so hard during Michigan State-Bradley that Izzo has to be restrained. But the guys on TV tell us it's okay, because the coach just loves his players so much.

Seth Davis @SethDavisHoops

I often cite Izzo as a prime example of a coach who gets on his players but remains effective because he takes so much time off the court to talk and listen and tell them he loves them. There's a reason his guys play so hard and his teams win so much. https://t.co/b5fgY988cq

Jordan Brenner @JordanBrenner

Unless Henry just threatened Tom Izzo's family, that's a really bad look.

Brendan Quinn @BFQuinn

Fact is, whether you agree w/ his style or not, this is the way it is at MSU. What happened is no different than a game at Breslin. It just happened to be on CBS during the first day of the NCAAT and turned into a meme. You can dislike Izzo's manner but this wasn't an "incident." https://t.co/CKtoR0qrnR

The 6'6", 210-pound forward downplayed the significance of Izzo's outburst.

"I've heard worse from him," he said, per Teicher. "I've got it worse in practice before."

The freshman, ranked as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports out of Indianapolis, finished with eight points and three rebounds in 29 minutes on the floor.

The Spartans are acquainted with their opponent in the second round. The 10th-seeded Minnesota Golden Gophers defeated the Louisville Cardinals 86-76 to advance out of the first round.


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