Izzo Hates Dudley - NOT!

By David Scott - November 29, 2006

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. - In the aftermath of getting out-Spartaned by the Boston College Eagles 65-58, Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo sought out Eagle co-captain (and 30-point scorer) Jared Dudley, for a few choice words.

“You’re one of my favorite guys,” the 12th year State head coach said to the senior, Dudley, “and I hate your guts.”

Recalling the brief conversation in the post-game, Izzo laughed at his own joke.

Far from hating the 6-foot-7, 225-pound San Diego native, Izzo actually loves the engine that drives BC’s train. He just wasn’t so happy that the performance (10-of-13 from the field, 3-of-3 from 3-point land, 7-of-9 form the line, 10 rebounds, three assists, a steal and one turnover) came against his team.

“He’s a jack of all trades and he does everything you ask to him to,” said Izzo, whose Spartans fell to 6-2. “He’s just one of the best players I’ve (coached) against. He’s all-around and he doesn’t need the ball necessarily to hurt you.

“I would guess,” said the coach who has led his program to four Final Fours and the 200 NCAA championship, “those kind of guys are fun to coach.”

Not that Izzo hasn’t had a few of his own who bring the skills and qualities of a Dudley to the floor. “But anybody I get like that, goes pro,” said Izzo, who has had 11 NBA Draft picks, including six first-rounders. “How do you get them to stick around here?”

The best comparison for Dudley that Izzo could come up with from his past Spartan players, was Jason Richardson who was the first college player drafted in 2001 (Golden State). But even Richardson, Izzo said, was smaller and not as strong.

“He can play at the next level,” said Izzo. “He did like a pro guy would do on a rookie, the way he spun on our (freshman) Raymar Morgan. Dudley has toughness without showing it, he just lets his play speak for it. There’s a calmness about him with an aggressive demeanor.”

That very demeanor is probably why Dudley began the season as a question mark for some NBA scouts, but the handful of NBA-types who were in the Conte Forum on Wednesday saw exactly what Izzo was raving about.

Or, more precisely, what he hated so much about the heart of the Eagles, Jared Dudley.

. . . As we had said in our post-game rap, Michigan State got out Izzoed by BC. “I like the way Al’s team plays. They play more like a Big Ten team, very physical, which is probably why they have success in the ACC,” said Izzo. “I probably would have enjoyed watching them if they weren’t playing us.”

. . . Sean Marshall had five blocks on the night, raising his season total to 24, an average of 8.0 per game for the junior.

. . . The game was a sell-out, with a crowd of 8,606.

. . . BC next plays UMass in Amherst on Saturday night at 7:30 EST (on CSTV) and Michigan State faces Bradley at home on Sunday at noon.

. . . Remember to follow along with Hang Time on Saturday night, as we live-blog from the Mullins Center for the BC-UMass tussle.

Posted by David Scott at 10:29 PM on November 29, 2006

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