East Lansing, Mich. – If you are a fan of Michigan State basketball and Tom Izzo, prepare for the opposite of a farewell tour.
He doesn't plan on giving anyone a fair warning.
"When I do it, I'm just leaving," Izzo said on Wednesday.
The 66-year old is entering his 27th season leading the Spartans and will continue to address the topic of retirement; however, he's not ready to call it quits just yet.
The loss of three prominent figures in college basketball, including Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina's Roy Williams, and Oklahoma's Lon Kruger, prompted another response from the Hall of Famer.
"It's interesting, guys, because you get asked those questions and I say 'Hell, (Krzyzewski has) got eight, nine years on me, so I've got plenty of time. The day that I don't feel like taking red eyes from Vegas to Orlando, or the day I don't enjoy what I do; I mean I love my job. I'm a little leery of where our profession is going right now, but I do love my job," said Izzo. "I really got a good group – academically, athletically, and basketball-wise. So we're going to see. I'm excited to still try to get that elusive second championship. That's what the goal is."
With 643 victories at Michigan State, Izzo is closing on Bob Knight (659) to become the winningest coach at a Big Ten University.
Though, he's got some work to do.
Following a disappointing season and an offseason that featured more roster turnover than Spartan Nation is used to, Izzo said senior forward Gabe Brown "has taken a massive step forward," while redshirt senior Joey Hauser "looks like he's back in form."
Izzo added newcomers Jaden Akins, a freshman, and Northeastern transfer Tyson Walker will continue to evaluate MSU's point guard play, their biggest weakness last year.
"I think with Jaden and Tyson and AJ Hoggard has come back, he's now 33 pounds less than when he came here; I think that's going to make a big difference. Max Christie is a McDonald's All-American. Pierre Brooks is probably as good a shooter as we've got," Izzo said. "He's Gatorade Player of the Year, Mr. Basketball in the state. I think we've really recruited to our needs, and I think our needs are going to give us a good chance to have not a good team but maybe a really, really good team."
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