Answering Your Michigan State Basketball Emails and Questions...

Hondo S. Carpenter

News and Notes from Michigan State Basketball

Hondo I saw your prediction on the teams record and it didn’t enthuse me. What is the biggest concern you have for this team? Carol

Carol I expect them to get blown out by UNC, and to lose to Duke. I don’t expect the Duke game to be a blowout. The question I have is how does this team respond to those two games? Will their confidence be shot? Will they be resilient? There are a lot of questions and areas of debate and that doesn’t bode well for a Big Ten contender. That is why I think 19-12.

Hondo, Coach Izzo has talked a lot of about leadership from last year. Is this team naturally better with the loss of Kalin and Durrell? Peter

Peter I thought it was unfair to allude to the leadership of the last year when Kalin and Durrell are gone. They don’t have the platform to defend that (even though they wouldn’t have) and if he had that to say publicly in my opinion he should have done it publicly when they were here. It is also unfair of the fans to assume it was only Kalin and Durrell. There were chemistry and leadership issues on this team from the staff to the water boy’s and the players in the middle. I would have just said, “Thank God last year is over and next question.”

Hondo you had high praise for Dawson on Twitter. Do you think he can learn to play Izzo defense? Steve

Great question and we shall see. There are not a lot of freshman that take that next step in the first year and learn it. Dawson is special. If he learns it, he can go from good to great. We will see early how he responds, but I love everything about his game.

Hondo you mentioned that Travis Trice had a high basketball I.Q. What exactly does that mean? Greg

Greg it means the understanding of how the game is played from every position and thinking ahead in both scheme and game plan. When you watch Trice he knows where guys are supposed to be. He always has his eyes up. When he makes a pass it hits a guy where he can immediately use it. He doesn’t have to move his hands or the ball. He sees the entire court and directs it. If you watch you will see it. There was NO freshman better than Drew Neitzel in the Izzo era.

Hondo with Nix in shape who do you think is the better center, he or Payne? Seth

Great question and I have to go with Nix. Payne is much more athletic, but Nix does more. Now that his shooting from the line is better I just like what he brings more. It doesn’t mean that Payne is a bad player or that I don’t like to watch him because I do. I just think Nix brings more to the court right now.

Hondo how do you think Dane Fife is doing as Izzo’s new assistant? Curt

There is an adjustment period, but this one thing is truer than anything. The assistant in college basketball is more valuable other than during the actual games. It would be unfair to judge him this early. I would give him an incomplete. I will keep you updated, but I do think he is going through an adjustment period.

Hondo do you think Gary Harris is a Spartan? Kyle

I think that this staff will be stunned if he doesn’t pledge to Michigan State and I think stunned is far from a strong enough word. They have poured themselves into this young man for a long time.