Izzo Comments On Dawson’s Broken Hand
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan State’s latest film session was a major flop.
Junior forward Branden Dawson will be out four to five weeks after breaking his right hand Thursday when he banged it on a table while watching video.
Dawson said he was reviewing film of the third-ranked Spartans’ win over Indiana with teammates and coach Tom Izzo and became angry with his play of late.
“I know I haven’t been playing how I know I can play and I got frustrated and slammed my hand against the table,” Dawson said. “When Dr. (Jeff) Kovan told me how long I was going to be out, tears came down my eyes because this team is really important to me and I love Michigan State. I want to be a part of it, playing.”
Dawson was scheduled for surgery Thursday night, and the Spartans (18-1, 7-0 Big Ten) will be without him for Saturday’s home game against No. 21 Michigan (14-4, 6-0).
In addition, Adreian Payne has missed MSU’s last four games with a foot injury, and Izzo said the senior center probably won’t be ready to play against the rival Wolverines in a showdown between the only Big Ten teams without a conference loss this season.
“His chances of playing Saturday are slim to none,” Izzo said. “When he’ll play is going to be strictly between me and him. The doctors are in it only to give me information. I swear to you, he’s champing at the bit to play.”
Payne was averaging 16.6 points and 7.7 rebounds before sitting out wins over Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois and Indiana. Izzo didn’t totally rule out a Saturday return for Payne, but insisted it’s unlikely.
“He won’t practice (Friday),” Izzo said. “If he wakes up Saturday morning and can run 10 miles on the treadmill and come in here and cut and jump, I’m starting him.”
Michigan State must also replace Dawson in the starting lineup after he broke the fifth metacarpal in his right hand Thursday morning.
Dawson ranks second in the Big Ten with 8.7 rebounds per game. The most likely candidate to start in his place is forward Kenny Kaminski. A redshirt freshman, Kaminski has appeared in 12 games this season and made 17 of 31 attempts from 3-point range.
“I came out in practice today knowing my role is going to be a little bigger,” Kaminski said. “I’m not going to be sleeping too much until Saturday. I’m going to live in the film room, live in the gym, just trying to prepare.”
Izzo said he isn’t sure who will start against the Wolverines yet, but someone will have to step up in Dawson’s absence. He’s also hoping this becomes a teachable moment for Dawson.
“Somebody else is going to get another chance,” Izzo said. “If you want to try to find the silver lining, then my hope is (Dawson) sits back, looks at things and figures out he is a difference-maker for us.”
Dawson addressed the team before practice Thursday.
“I’ll be ready around tournament time,” he said. “I’m going to do whatever it takes to help this team out on the bench, in the locker room, during the game, in practice, just to see those guys do great against Michigan and from here on out.”
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