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Former Michigan State Players Stand Up For Tom Izzo

michigan state head coach tom izzo during a game

DES MOINES, IOWA - MARCH 21: Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans glares at Aaron Henry #11 after a play during their game in the First Round of the NCAA Basketball Tournament against the Bradley Braves at Wells Fargo Arena on March 21, 2019 in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Former Michigan State men's basketball players have taken to social media to stand up for head coach Tom Izzo following the head coach's fiery moment with a freshman during the Spartans' first round NCAA Tournament victory.

Izzo, 64, had a heated interaction with freshman forward Aaron Henry. The head coach screamed at his player on the floor and had to be restrained by his own players.

Michigan State's head coach didn't apologize.

"What's wrong with challenging a kid that makes some mistakes?'' Izzo said after the win. "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."

The moment went viral on social media and there was an outpouring of criticism for Izzo. Several former Michigan State players have spoken out in support of their college coach. "Stop being soft," former MSU star Miles Bridges said.

"So coaches cant yell at players now? Lol Izz cares about his players more than half these other college coaches. 600+ wins for a reason," Gary Harris wrote.

"U gotta wanna be pushed from a coach to bring out everything you can do," Jaren Jackson tweeted. "it’ll only help u."

Tom Crean, who coached under Tom Izzo, also spoke out:

"Love pushes you and hugs you. Tom Izzo makes everyone around him accountable and responsible. I’ve been gone 20 years from his staff and there is many a day I wish he’d tell and yell at me again. It always made me better," he said.

Michigan State advanced to the second round with the win. The Spartans will take on Minnesota on Saturday.