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By LARRY VAUGHT
Just how good did Michigan State coach Tom Izzo think Julius Randle was Tuesday in Chicago?
“He just – I give him a lot of credit. We did a heck of a job the first half; we really did on him, too. We game-planned it just like we wanted to. Se kept him out of the paint, did some things,” Izzo said. “John (Calipari) made a couple nice adjustments at the end of the half, started spreading it, started opening up a little bit more, and then they started going in to him.
“We said they were going to at halftime. But we didn’t double – we haven’t had that much trouble over the years. Then we sometimes double on the dribble. With him, I would’ve doubled when he came onto the half court; forget where the ball is. That’s how we should’ve guarded him.
“But we had some bizarre guys guarding him, too, at times. So I think Randle – what I loved about him: he gritted his teeth, was ornery and nasty, and he wanted to put them on his shoulders. And for a freshman, that speaks volumes. Nobody else did that. He completely did that. You could hear him talking. You could see it in his face. You could see it in his body language. Tough kid. Like him. Love him.”