Michigan State's Coach Izzo Analyzes Additions of Fidler, Zapala

Michigan State men's basketball added two solid players this offseason via the transfer portal. Coach Tom Izzo broke down how both additions help the Spartans.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA tournament West Region second round at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, March 23, 2024.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against North Carolina during the second half of the NCAA tournament West Region second round at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, March 23, 2024. / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Coach Tom Izzo and Michigan State are coming off a disappointing end to last season but hope offseason additions to the roster will help get them over the hump this upcoming season. Coach Izzo took a hard look at the strengths and weaknesses of his team and decided there were changes that needed to be made.

Izzo said regardless of what those on the outside looking in may believe, he and his coaching staff did what was best for the team. 

"We just felt like we needed some things," Izzo said at a Detroit Economic Club meeting at Little Caesars Arena on June 7. "Everybody wants us to go out and do certain things, but we think we did the things that was best for our team, for our program, and for the players that we have.

"You have obligations to people to give them a chance to grow and develop. If they don't take advantage of that chance, nowadays, they're gonna be replaced. Right now, we've got some guys we think are developing, and we think these two guys add to it."

Izzo added two significant pieces to Michigan State’s offense via the transfer portal this offseason. The Spartans received commitments from Frankie Fidler and Szymon Zapala earlier this offseason.

Izzo noted both players’ strengths. 

"Frankie brings size, he brings strength, he brings the ability to get fouled, he brings a good shooter, he can play multiple positions,” Izzo said. “Szymon, he was a late addition," Izzo said. "He brings size. He brings some things that we think he's just coming on, and that sounds weird late in his career."

Izzo took a moment to reflect on his tenure in East Lansing. He noted how, historically, he has had pleasurable experiences with the players on his roster. Although the transfer portal is taking over college sports, Izzo has always valued the chance to develop his players athletically and academically, with most players starting and ending their careers with the Spartans.

"What I've enjoyed about my situation, I haven't had a lot of kids that left, but even these guys haven't left, really, they graduated," Izzo said. "But it's always, 90% of the time, been very amicable. I helped them. They helped me.

"But having the rest of my core back is important to me, and now those guys gotta get better, and that'll be what's interesting. As we look around in our conference alone, we have schools with ten, 11 new guys. Other people did it a different way. There's a lot of ways to skin a cat, as they say. We'll see how it works out."

Don’t forget to follow the official Spartan Nation Page on Facebook Spartan Nation WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE, and be a part of our vibrant community group Go Green Go White as well WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE.


Published |Modified
Ezekiel Trezevant

EZEKIEL TREZEVANT

Ezekiel is a former Sports Editor from the Western Herald and former Atlanta Falcons beat writer.