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February 17, 2011

Summers fires back

Durrell Summers just gave the best quote of his career, in what might have been the best interview of his career. In response to a question about trending on Twitter and all the fan chatter aimed directly at the Spartans (and mostly him of late), Summers said: "That's why we're wearing the jerseys and they're wearing their Twitter badges or whatever."

    Wow. At least for anyone who has been around Summers for any amount of time. He is as laid-back as they come, he is as non-controversial as they come, he is as playerspeak as they come. But he had some words today. After an energetic practice (I know, why even mention it). After he pulled his teammates together and addressed them, a few moments prior to practice, just to let them know "I have their backs," he said.

    There's no telling if Summers will score another point this year, but he isn't quitting. Not that that was ever a legitimate discussion anyway. Try playing a high-level sport in front of 15,000 people, with at times millions watching on TV, with intense media coverage, and see if it's even possible to "quit." It's possible to lack energy, lack awareness, lack confidence (Summers is lacking all three lately), but quit? Way too strong a word.

    Speaking of strong words...

    "I'm gonna get through it," he said, "and when I do, we'll see what you have to say now."

    Again, wow. Not Summers-like. He was asked about the play that gave him a seat on the bench at Ohio State, the layup by Aaron Craft after Summers stood and watched the ball soar into the backcourt after a Garrick Sherman save. Summers said he made a mistake and thought the ball was going out of bounds, but bristled at the idea that he gave up on the play.

    "I'm not that type of person," he said. "I'm as competitive as they get. ... The way things are going, people probably think I just quit on the play, but I never quit on a play."

    Tom Izzo said today that Summers is "hurting," and Summers acknowledged as much. Izzo said his message to Summers is that shots may fall or not, but he has to give this team some energy, some defense, some rebounding.

    "I've got an obligation right now to get him out of this funk," Izzo said.

    All of which sets up for quite a "GameDay" story line entering Saturday's game against Illinois.

    Also at practice, Delvon Roe did not go and said he still has pain when he tries to move laterally. He agreed that he was at a "15" on a pain scale of 1-10 Tuesday, and he clarified his apologetic "tweet" from Tuesday afternoon, saying he knew he was going to play, but he also knew it would be spot duty only and that he wouldn't be very effective.

    Roe had the knee drained, but the prognosis is positive and it's just about that bone bruise healing, the pain subsiding, the lateral quickness returning. Of Saturday he said: "I believe I will play," but it sounds like a lot of progress will be needed in the next 48 hours for him to contribute significantly.

 

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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