Izzo emotional about Jud Heathcote tribute game

Posted at 9:35 PM, Feb 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-10 23:32:01-05

If anyone would have appreciated the tough, grind it out nature that was on full display on Saturday, it would have been Jud Heathcote.

His coaching and teaching styles are woven into both Michigan State's and Purdue's makeup as the rich history of both programs have heavy ties to the the college basketball Hall of Fame coach.

Tom Izzo was an assistant under Heathcote, and was his hand pick successor when he retired in 1995.

Purdue head coach Matt Painter was recruited to play for Heathcote, at MSU, but instead went to Purdue and played for Gene Keady, who had a great respect and many coaching battles.

On Saturday, his former rival, Keady, as well as many former Spartan players were on hand for the tribute game as MSU and Purdue played.

Izzo was emotional after the final buzzer sounded, and looked up to the heavens after the game, acknowledging Heathcote as he wiped tears from his eyes.

"Jud's last parting shot, was 'how do you want to be known?' and he said I want to be known as a guy who did it the right way, and a guy who cared a lot about his players," Izzo said.