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Five Most Interesting Things Tom Izzo Said: October 20, 2021

Michigan State Head Basketball Coach Tom Izzo met with the media today for media day.

Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo met with the media today and of course was a treat for all media members.

Izzo discussed a number of things today from his Spartans being unranked to another high-impact transfer with the last name Walker.

"I think (Kenneth) Walker has done an unbelievable job. I hope our Walker is as good as their Walker."

It's a little bit ironic that both Michigan State football and basketball got a high-impact transfer in the last year. Neither program has really used the transfer portal that much over the last few years but with the landscape of both sports and COVID-19, both needed to make changes. It is also ironic that both of the players last names are Walker. Of course, Kenneth Walker is a household name now, but Tom Izzo believes his transfer, Tyson Walker from Northeastern can be the next household name.

Izzo continued on Walker: "He's a multi-dimensional kid. He's got phenomenal athleticism. He's a true point guard, he can pass it, he can shoot it."

Walker enters Michigan State this season going into his Junior season after spending his freshman and sophomore seasons at Northeastern University in Massachusetts. Walker averaged 18.8 points per game, 4.8 assists, and shot 35% from the three point line last season. Walker is quick, but a little bit undersized. He gets wherever he wants off the bounce. He has just as good of a knack for scoring as he does as creating opportunities for other, similar to Cassius Winston. His basketball IQ is excellent his biggest down fall is his size, although it's not much a concern at his position.

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Izzo on Max Christie: "He's got the whole package. He's got deep, deep, deep range."

 Max Christie comes in as one of the highest rated recruits in the Izzo era. He has the ability to come in right away, and be a high impact player as a freshman. His range is well-documented if you take a look at his high school highlights where he is shooting from near half court, and making the shots with ease.

"Not being in the preseason top 25 ticks me off."

For the first time since Draymond Green was a Senior at Michigan State in the 2011-2012 season, Michigan State is unranked in the preseason poll and it hasn't sat well with Izzo. Michigan State did have the most votes among teams not ranked which essentially ranks them 26th. Izzo isn't used to this kind of underdog role most seasons, although the last time they were unranked to start the season they won a share of the Big Ten and made the Final Four.

"When you get stronger, you get tougher. We weren't the toughest team in America last year."

Of the course of his 25 year Hall of Fame career, Izzo and Michigan State pride themselves in being tough. They usually are among the leaders in the country in rebounds and defense, stuff that takes heart and hustle rather than skill. Last season was a different story though with the Spartans struggling to find that edge. This off-season, Izzo took it as a challenge to make his team tougher. He also noted this has been the best off-season he's had in ten years."