Last week, St. Cloud State went to Michigan State for one of those basketball exhibition games that's supposed to allow the bigger, better team to experiment and give the lesser team a chance to play higher-level competition. Quite expectedly, Tom Izzo's Spartans beat St. Cloud State 101-46 on Friday night.
Then came the unexpected part: On Saturday, Huskies coach Matt Reimer invited Izzo to talk to his team -- and tell the players what he really thought of their play.
Andy Rennecke of the St. Cloud Times wrote "nothing gave the beleaguered Huskies more of a shock than having ... Izzo lay into them early Saturday afternoon before they watched video of their 101-46 loss to Michigan State. Izzo, who is marking his 20th year at the helm of the Spartans, let St. Cloud State know exactly how he felt about their performance against his team. Izzo didn't hold back in calling out the Huskies' lack of leadership and their individualistic tendencies."
Izzo had reason to expect better. St. Cloud State played his team two years ago and lost 62-49.
The session was arranged by Matt Reimer, the Huskies' longtime assistant and first-year head coach, after Izzo spoke to the media Friday night.
"I think (Izzo) was as shocked as we were at our performance," Reimer told the St.Cloud newspaper. "I think he was especially shocked at the play of our upperclassmen. We showed we could compete with them two years ago. I can't thank Coach Izzo enough for what he did and to talk to our guys that frankly. He told them the way they played Friday night was embarrassing. We needed that."
Reimer will find out if the lessons will stick this Friday and Saturday, when St. Cloud State goes to Las Vegas for a tournament.
You can read Rennecke's full report here.