NCAA tournament: Screams inspire Sutton
By Larry Lage
DETROIT ó Tom Izzo has screamed at Goran Suton more than any other Michigan State player in the past four seasons.
It seems to be paying off.
Suton is averaging 14.3 points and 11.5 rebounds in the NCAA tournament, making a couple more shots and grabbing a few more rebounds than he did this season, quieting his hard-driving coach.”We are down to the nitty, gritty, and our relationship is probably the best that it has ever been,” Suton said. “It has been a tough love type of thing. He always jokes that he doesn’t know if he loves me or hates me, but I can tell you right now that I love him.”
The feeling is mutual.
“You won’t find a better kid, a better student, a better person, a better teammate,” Izzo insisted. “I just want him to learn to work harder every single minute he’s on the court.”
Suton’s play and past ó which includes escaping war-torn Bosnia as a child and avoiding land mines near his backyard hoop when he returned ó has made his story a compelling the past two weeks.
“It’s a gift and a curse,” he said. “All the attention gets a little annoying, but you have to feel good about getting to Detroit.”