March 21 (UPI) -- Michigan State players had to restrain Spartans head coach Tom Izzo after a verbal exchange with freshman Aaron Henry during the team's first-round win over Bradley in the NCAA tournament Thursday.
Izzo ran up to Henry as he came off the court and began screaming at him during a timeout in the second half. The exchange became intense enough that the two had to be separated by Michigan State star guard Cassius Winston.
The heated argument continued in the huddle, with Izzo lunging at the freshman player. The longtime Spartans coach defended his actions after the game.
"What's wrong with challenging a kid that makes some mistakes?'' Izzo told reporters after the game. "Aaron Henry, trust me, did some things that you can't do as a starter on a top-5 team at the end of your freshman year. They were effort-related.
"I did get after him. He did respond. He did make a couple of big buckets. He did make some big free throws but that's not good enough. It's one-and-done time. The 'my-bads' are out the window.''
Izzo has coached his players hard throughout his extensive coaching career. For Henry, he said it's nothing new and he didn't have any issue with his coach's words.
"It's nothing new, it's just responding to it, accepting the coaching, not having a pity party for yourself, just being a basketball player and go respond," Henry told the Detroit News.
Henry had eight points, three rebounds and one assist in the Spartans' 76-65 win over No. 15 seed Bradley. Winston finished with a game-high 26 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
Second-seeded Michigan State plays No. 10 Minnesota on Saturday in the second round.