East Lansing, MI – Michigan State basketball's non-conference schedule is officially complete seven days before the Spartans are set to tip-off the season against Eastern Michigan at the Breslin Center on Nov. 25.
It's been a weird year, in large part due to the coronavirus, and it probably won't change anytime soon, which is precisely what the Spartans are preparing for, especially since coach Tom Izzo tested positive for COVID-19.
"We're going to have to try to get used to stuff like this … anybody could go down at any point in the season," said MSU big man Thomas Kithier. "We could have an assistant coach go down; a player go down, our trainer go down. So, we just gotta be ready for stuff like this and expect the unexpected."
Without Izzo, others have had to step up and help push the Spartans through a period that doesn't include the level of intensity they are accustomed to receiving from their head coach.
"It's been very hard a little bit … he's our coach; he's the main the guy that's in practice always getting us hype," junior forward Gabe Brown said. "So, it's our job to really pick ourselves up and the other coaches to pick us up too. It's been a little bit challenging, but I feel like we're pushing through."
The Hall of Famer is always searching for a player-led team, and being sidelined, now more than ever, Michigan State is looking for leaders in the locker room.
"I think with coach Izzo going out and unfortunately getting coronavirus Josh (Langford) has really stepped up even more as a leader and really has improved said Kithier. "Josh is always the one talking to us … I think Foster (Loyer) has done a great job too. I think Foster doesn't get as much appreciation as he should. Him and Josh are right there as being one of the top two focal leaders on our team."
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