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Tom Izzo has nothing but praise for Cassius Winston

Michigan State’s Cassius Winston
Michigan State’s Cassius Winston.
(Associated Press)

Playing just one day after his brother died, Cassius Winston scored 17 points and had 11 assists to lead Michigan State to a 100-47 victory over Binghamton on Sunday evening, and afterward, coach Tom Izzo was emotional talking about it.

“There was a lot of love in that locker room, and a lot of love in that arena,” Izzo said in the postgame news conference. “But it’s going to have to probably double, because I think the road gets a little tougher for him.”

Winston’s 19-year-old brother, Zachary, reportedly stepped in front of an Amtrak train in Albion, Mich., on Saturday and was struck and killed.

“I guess if I was to be honest,” Izzo said, “I expected him not to play, but everyone grieves a different way, and we left it 100% up to Cassius. His brothers are the world to him. I’ve never seen a kid over my years that was as close with his brothers. Zachary grew up around the team so much. He grew close to all the guys.”

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Izzo concluded by saying, “When you leave here tonight, whoever it is — son, daughter, older mother, father, wife or husband — it would do you good to tell them you love them and you appreciate them. It would do you a lot of good, and any of the people closest to you, that you say that. You say it, and you say it, and you say it. Because one morning you wake up, and everything’s one way, and by 9 o’clock that night, everything’s another way. And then you don’t get a chance to say it.”

Truer words were never spoken.

Rick Pitino’s new role

Longtime college and NBA coach Rick Pitino, 67, took over as the coach of Greece’s national team on Monday, and he will try to guide them into the 2020 Olympics. Pitino became very popular in Greece after coaching Athens club Panathinaikos last season.

″Coaching Greece is the crown jewel for me as a basketball coach,” Pitino told the Associated Press. “This is one of the greatest honors I’ve had as a coach. I consider this so special because it’s a mountain that is so worth climbing.

“And for the next eight months, I’m not American. I’m not Italian. I’m Greek. And that’s the way I’m going to carry myself. You won’t see anybody who will bleed every possession like I will bleed to try and win a game.”

Who’s going to win?

The new college football national championship odds are out, courtesy of BetOnline, and Ohio State remains the favorite. A look:

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Ohio State, 2-1 (5-2 previously)

LSU, 5-2 (9-2)

Clemson, 3-1 (11-4)

Georgia, 9-1 (10-1)

Alabama, 10-1 (11-4)

Oklahoma, 16-1 (20-1)

Oregon, 25-1 (16-1)

Utah, 40-1 (40-1)

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Minnesota, 50-1 (100-1)

Baylor, 66-1 (66-1)

Penn State, 100-1 (20-1)

Florida, 150-1 (250-1)

Cincinnati, 500-1 (250-1)

Iowa, off the board (100-1)

Your favorite sports moment

What is your all-time favorite local sports moment? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com and tell me what it is and why, and it could appear in a future daily sports newsletter or Morning Briefing.

This moment comes from Martin Wauson of Westminster:

“My father and I were never close, even when I got sent to Vietnam he just wasn’t able to cross the divide between us. So my favorite sports moment is actually the moments that we would sit in the living room on the couch and listen to Chick Hearn call a Lakers game on the radio. Those were moments of rare calm between us coupled with excitement for the game as Chick called out that the Lakers ‘were dribbling left to right across your dial.’ ”


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