Published December 18, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Tom Izzo watched his team play on TV from his home a few miles from campus.
Izzo had to like what he saw during his one-game suspension, even if he probably didn't like having to serve it.
Durrell Summers scored a season-high 25 points, leading the 14th-ranked Spartans to a 90-51 win Saturday night over Prairie View A&M.
The NCAA forced Izzo to miss a game because the school employed someone associated with a potential recruit during a basketball camp in June. The person was paid $475 for five days to work with middle school-aged campers.
"I know he was dying," Michigan State forward Draymond Green said. "Coach isn't the type of person to miss a practice or film session, let alone a game. Knowing the type of person he is, it was eating him up inside."
No one with ties to Izzo recalls him missing a Michigan State game since Jud Heathcote hired him away from Northern Michigan to be a part-time assistant in 1983.
"I'd love to know who turned him in on this," Heathcote said in a telephone interview Saturday from his home in Spokane, Wash. "It sounds to me like a crock. It's ridiculous."
Associate head coach Mark Montgomery led the team in Izzo's absence and said he didn't get any tips from his mentor during the game.
"There was no halftime talk," Montgomery said. "No text messages."
The Spartans (8-3) won easily, as expected.
Green scored 11, had eight rebounds and four assists, Kalin Lucas had 10 points and a season-high eight assists and Delvon Roe added 10 points.
Michigan State's Korie Lucious, who aggravated his injured right ankle, was limited to eight minutes and Keith Appling didn't play in the second half because he was dizzy.
"I don't think it's a concussion," Appling said.
Trant Simpson scored 17 and Demondre Chapman of Flint had 13 points for the Panthers (2-10) from the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
Prairie View coach Byron Rimm said he was disappointed he didn't get to share the same sideline with Izzo.
"Tom Izzo has been one of my idols for a long time," Rimm said. "I'm not going to say it depressed me, but I really wanted to see him and go against him.
"But if you had to pick a game — I'd pick Prairie View, too."
The Texas-based school extended the longest nonconference road losing streak in Division I basketball, dropping its 64th straight since a win at Houston in 2002.
"It was one of those games that our team is going to learn from," Rimm said. "Even though Izzo wasn't here, that's a great basketball team."
Michigan State won its 52nd straight game at home against nonconference teams — since to a loss to Duke in 2003 — and that streak will be probably get tested Wednesday night against No. 22 Texas at the Breslin Center.
Izzo will be back for that game and likely will be even more fired up to coach.
"I know he's ready to get back at it," Green said. "We have film at 10:30 in the morning and he'll probably be here at 7."
Izzo told his team after practice Friday that he had been suspended, then told reporters he was upset about the situation he called isolated and inadvertent before leaving on a recruiting trip.
The coach with a national championship and six Final Fours on his resume returned to observe Michigan State's pregame shootaround from a distance in the arena.
"He didn't say anything," Lucious said. "He just sat there and watched. I knew it was hard for him and it was different for us."
The Spartans, playing for the first time in a week, looked fresh and focused from the start against Prairie View.
Michigan State scored the first seven points of the game, quickly built and maintained a double-digit lead and was ahead 42-27 at halftime. Summers' slam gave the Spartans a 30-point lead midway through the second half and they cruised to the easy victory.
The Spartans have won two straight after losing three of six — to Connecticut, at Duke and against Syracuse.