Punch or no punch Branden Dawson and Michigan State get the best of Purdue again

Kyle Ringo
The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Did Michigan State sophomore Branden Dawson throw a punch into the stomach of Purdue's Travis Carroll during the Spartans' win over the Boilermakers on Saturday?

A YouTube video of the play shows Dawson making what looks like a punching motion toward Carroll , but Carroll doesn't react as if any blow connected. Dawson and Purdue's Terone Johnson were assessed technical fouls after Johnson confronted Dawson immediately afterward.

But the incident was not discussed by players and coaches after the game. If there was a punch thrown, it would qualify as the most passive response by officials and coaches to such an act in recent memory.

“We've had the opportunity to review multiple angles and didn't see anything that would necessitate a statement,” Michigan State spokesman Matt Larson said in an email when asked about the subject.

It might be easier to believe a punch was thrown when viewed from the Purdue fan perspective. Purdue lost a recruiting battle for Dawson two years ago and last season Dawson and Purdue coach Matt Painter had words during a game.

Few of the stories about Saturday's game from outlets covering both teams mentioned the play and fewer mentioned the possibility of a punch. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo praised Dawson for the way he played in the second half in one story on Mlive.com. Dawson finished the game with 14 points and 11 rebounds with much of that production coming after Izzo talked to Dawson at halftime.

"I was really pleased with him and told him before the game and I told him after the game that that's the way he's got to play,” Izzo told Mlive.com.

This seems to be a case of the video not always being trustworthy.

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KyleRingo

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