News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 02/25/10 Edition

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Don't bet against Izzo with one game for a banner on Sunday.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Don't bet against Izzo with one game for a banner on Sunday. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.


Tom Izzo was on the Dan Patrick show this week and was a strong supporter of expanding the NCAA tournament. I couldn’t disagree more with him. He has cited in the past coaches who are fired for making or not making it as a reason to expand it. He is being the supportive colleague and is about to take over as the head of the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches). I am in no way saying he isn’t sincere, but I think that clouds his judgment. To expand the tournament allows more mediocrity and I for one hate it. It will render the regular season almost worthless. It is not a bad idea it is a horrendous idea.


On that same show Izzo candidly expressed his dislike of the one and done rule. As much as I disagree on that expansion argument cited above, I agree that strongly on this issue. Allow a high school player to go, but like football if he goes to college he has to stay three years.


I sure hope Purdue’s Robbie Hummel is healthy on Sunday. I do believe the Spartans have a shot at this game, but I never want to see kids hurt or to not see teams truly win something.


Is it just me or has this season seemed to last forever. Usually basketball season seems to go by in a blink. This one has dragged on.


I have never hid my displeasure for the Big Ten tournament. I don’t like that the winner gets the automatic birth. It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy it. If you are a basketball junkie it is incredible. I always look forward to it from a viewing stand point, I just don’t like that the birth in the dance goes to the team that plays best over four days and not over the season.


I respect Kalin Lucas for getting up at the podium and telling he media he was sorry for leaving after the Ohio State game. Respecting him for it doesn’t mean that I think he owed it to us. Sports are a game of emotion. It is the gas that they are played on. Kalin stands like a man for every game and this one hurt badly. In fact, I am glad he walked out and showed the emotion. Many earlier in the year when he had his much-publicized issue with Izzo and didn’t go to one practice called into question his heart. That was NEVER the issue. The issue was that Izzo wanted him to be more vocal in leading. Well what did walking out do?


Against OSU Draymond Green had his 16th double figures scoring evening. The Spartans are 12-4 when he does that. By the way thanks for that stat Matt Larson. At some point I really want to see him start. Give Raymar a chance to see the game and come in as a reserve. Draymond’s emotion and leadership could be a great way to start a game. Why keep him as a stopgap if he could be the catalyst to avoiding an early struggle? I realize that there is concern with Raymar emotionally and how he would take the coming off the bench, but he is a senior and the year is almost over and at some point you have to quit worrying about Raymar’s mental status.


The amazing thing for this basketball team and me comes from an email from Carrie. She said to me on Tuesday, “Do you notice how everyone acts like the sky has fallen? With three games left last year in the regular season how many thought this team would make the national championship game. I didn’t, did you Hondo?” No Carrie I didn’t and your point is dually noted here for everyone else.


So many teams right now are looking at their talent deficit and asking themselves how can they make a splash. The Spartan Nation is in great shape sitting here looking at the talent surplus and asking how can we get it all to hit at once? Of those two scenarios whose do you like better? Cheer up Spartan Nation.


MSU has a one and done game on Sunday for a share of a banner. A Big Ten title. In that game with the talent he has on his team and a week to prepare I could never bring myself to bet against Izzo. He is simply the greatest basketball coach in the land. Look at UNC and Roy William who have seven McDonald’s All Americans and fighting to make the dance. I understand people being disappointed, but the frustration level shocks me.


Lastly until tomorrow’s news and notes column, there has been a lot of talk about distractions with this team. To his credit Izzo addressed it the very first day. A lot of people area reading into that and thinking there are internal strife/dislike issue and I am telling you that there aren’t. Sure you have the usual issues that all teams or any group of two or more have, but this is the most varying group of non-personality issues I have seen. This is a superb group of kids working through some tough times. Remember that at the water cooler. Bobby Knight is famous for a lot of things, but I love this quote: “It is not the will to win that determines a champion, it is the will to prepare to win.”