After the fourth run in the US state of Michigan, they used the experience of last year to motivate them for more this season. Filmed on Media Day October 15, 2019.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

EAST LANSING – For a few days in mid-March, the talking heads of the college basketball world pinned themselves to face Tom Izzo and Aaron Henry Confrontation.

It remains confusing how and why this moment has turned into such a national focal point. It remains, however, the crucial moment in which Henry recognized his importance for basketball in the US state of Michigan – and vice versa.

From a beginner playing a game for a few minutes, to a beginner who plays more than 30 minutes per game in the postseason.

Tom Izzo yells at Aaron Henry during an action against Bradley in the NCAA tournament on March 21. [Photo:KirthmonFDozierDetroitFreePress)

From a fingerprint of his trainer, because he had not frantically made enough energy and production available to drive the Spartans into Izzo's eighth Final Four ,

"It was not like he was going to attack me, but it was almost like he was helping me because I did not get it through my head," Henry said Tuesday at the MSU Media Day. He just tried to make me understand it. I can not be mad at him. … I do not know if he knew I was prepared for that, but I think he saw that I was prepared for it.

"I will accept everything he says, because he does not want anything for me except the best.

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Henry enters his second season as a returning starter who has become a major player for The US rose to Spartans, who went 32-7 last season to win the Big Ten titles in the regular season and in tournaments. That was before the first round of the NCAA tournament against Bradley in Des Moines, Iowa, when television cameras caught Izzo shouting at Henry.


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CBS has played it over and over again and the video became viral, much to the surprise of coaches and players. It was a time out for Henry about the need to play each ball hard.

He responded with an average of 10.4 points and 5.3 rebounds, scoring 58.3% overall and 40% from the 3-point area in the NCAA tournament. This included a career-high 20-point game in the victory of the Spartans against LSU (Sweet 16).

"There are things everyone has learned, including me," said Izzo on Tuesday. "But at the same time I would not change anything if I had to do it again because there had to be a reason. And there is this line of demarcation in every life in which you go left or right.

"If you watched Aaron Henry from two plays later in the game until the rest of the year, you looked in his summer – and I told him the other day, I just laugh about it. I said, "Aaron, I do not think I talked to you about getting hard. I do not think I said a word to him all summer.

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James Henry was not surprised how his son dealt with being shouted at by Izzo. The approach to hard love was exactly what he wanted for Aaron, and something he saw him thrive on at the AAU circuit and at the Ben Davis High power plant in Indianapolis saw father proudly. Because he saw his son practice the two words he imprinted on him as a child: empathy and reflection.

Aaron Henry speaks to reporters at the Breslin Center on Tuesday of Media Day. [Photo: Nick King / Lansing State Journal]

"Aaron gets kicked since he plays AAU ball," Henry said Tuesday. "I've always been the type of parent that's best for teaching a child that it's right with him, because the world will not harm you." They might fall dead in the middle of the road or wherever and they might step on you instead of running over you, but it will not stop. And the best way for you to handle live is to find your groove, find your rhythm, and roll with the beats.

"I've always told him, 'You can not be mad at (coaches) and the message if it's true.

Aaron Henry's rhythm was up and down as a freshman, but mostly because injuries to others compelled him to make an urgent contribution.

The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Swingman began The season is expected to be a role-player from the bank. And he was also in the first 13 games, where he scored an average of 4.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 14.5 minutes. Then came Joshua Langford's season end foot injury. And still back problems for Kyle Ahrens. Suddenly, the two players were missing in front of him.

Henry started 22 of the last 26 games of the Spartans, including the last 16, and his minutes rose to 25.8 per game. He scored seven points and 4.4 rebounds on average after Langford injury. He was trained to become a full starter this season.

"It's very difficult," said Cassius Winston about Henry's early role. "Maybe a game If you have 12 points and the next game you might have four, just because you do not know how to play at this level, how to play or carry yourself for so long, and keep that energy running for so long Fortunately, he was thrown out there when he did, because he was able to grow, grow, grow at the end of the season, and he could consistently do that and transfer it to next year. "

Aaron Henry enters his second season with plenty of experience after a productive 2018-19 season. (Photo: Vincent Carchietta / USA TODAY Sports)

Izzo's finger started wagging again on Tuesday when he talked about Henry, but in a good way, almost as I told you.

"I better watch myself forgo my finger I will P create robleme, "joked Izzo. "You should honor Aaron for not blinking from day one. I never complained about it, said he deserved it. I did not take him out of the game. I did not put him on the bench. I just sat there and told him that he should learn better to walk harder and play harder.

"Boy, if there is ever a time when I'm proud of a child, his next two weeks have been phenomenal. That's okay, because that's short-term. His spring, summer and fall were off the charts in terms of his work ethic. "

James Henry said he does not want Izzo rejecting Aaron," because sometimes he needs that hard love. "And he knows his son is ready to take the next step where the cameras are coming to him more and more to see how he plays, rather than something happening on the bench.

Aaron Henry, too.

"I think in the end, it was a matter of time when I'll play hard. When will I change things for myself? ", He said. "(Izzo) may want things for me, my dad can do things for me. But when do I want things for myself? And here I need a higher level of difficulty. Just learn how to play, and adapt to the speed of the game and adapt to the team's improvement.

Contact Chris Solari at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @chrissolari . Read more about Michigan State Spartans and sign up for our Spartans newsletter.


Tom Izzo answers questions to his Michigan State basketball team on October 10, 2019 in East Lansing.
Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press

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