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February 25, 2012

'We're just gonna go at it'

Reporter (usually with a drawl, or maybe that’s just my imagination): “Coach Izzo, could you talk about the War Drill and how that came about?” Welcome to March on the Michigan State basketball beat.

    Oh, and welcome back to MSU basketball, War Drill. Tom Izzo busted it out at Friday’s practice after seeing his team outrebounded in two of the past three games (by Wisconsin and Minnesota).
    “It kind of put that instinct in you,” Green said of a drill that hadn’t seemed as necessary lately for one of the best rebounding teams Izzo has had.
    If Green’s instincts lead him to produce Saturday night, he’ll become the fourth player in MSU history to collect 1,000 rebounds. He needs 10 to do it. If MSU can play seven postseason games between the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament and Green can maintain his 10.3-per-game average, he’ll pass Greg Kelser (1,092) for first on the all-time list.
    Green has already passed Delvon Roe (who will be honored on senior day along with Green and Austin Thornton) for No. 2 on the blocks list. Green has 107, Roe had 106 and Drew Naymick looks safe in the top spot with 134. Green has moved into a tie with Travis Walton on the steals list at 167. One more ties Green with his former assistant coach, Mark Montgomery. Green has a great chance to finish second ahead of Scott Skiles (175) but would have to duplicate his four-steal night at Minnesota a few times to threaten Mateen Cleaves (195) for the top spot.
    This has been mentioned a few times, but once again -- we’re talking about larger players and better leapers on two of those lists, and a bunch of point guards on the other one.
    Green, by the way, reiterated what he said on Twitter after the Minnesota game – that he wasn’t limping because of any kind of foot issue. It was a tape issue.
    Izzo, by the way, was asked about bringing back the War Drill.
    “Yeah!” he said with some enthusiasm. “That’s the funny thing, you take things away … I was just telling Suzy Merchant, she goes, ‘Well, you’ve got to do things different (now).’ I said, ‘When I had Cleaves I didn’t.’  Did (the War Drill) the day before the championship game, you know? Andre Hutson got hurt and nobody cared. We just kept playing, you know? So it’s a mentality a little bit but part of it’s me too. I told them we were gonna be tired and worrying about it. Now I’m telling them we’re not gonna be tired. We’re not gonna let them be tired. We’re just gonna go at it like we always go at it.”

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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