News and Notes from Spartan Basketball 03/25/10 Edition

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Tom Izzo says a lot of things that are incredibly revealing, but I am not sure I have ever heard one as deep as this, “Problems can break a team, but adversity always brings it together.” Izzo is a lot of things, but insincerity is not one that would fit him. He wears his emotion on his sleeves and he is VERY optimistic about-facing NI.


Delvon and Chris didn’t practice to start the week. Allen expects to be about 85% (his words) as long as nothing else gets injured and both will play. Make sure you check back later today when we will have pictures of Allen at practice and some video so you can see for yourself how he looks.


This Northern Iowa team doesn’t look great on film. What does stick out is that they play well as a team.


When watching NI you see a team not as athletic as Wisconsin, but bigger and stronger.


One of the biggest concerns of Izzo ahead of this game is that, “Northern Iowa makes more free throws than opponents shoot.” Normally Izzo doesn’t mind some fouls from his physical teams, but he is spending a lot of time reminding his guys to not give them any freebies from the line.


Speaking of Izzo comments, he mentioned this about his team success in March, “You don’t have to come here to win games. A lot of places win games.” You come to MSU for more than just wins. I love his spunk.


Izzo is a motivated man. He also seems a little disrespected when he said, “OK it’s time to move on. We have good players, a good system and a good game plan.” I mentioned last week against Maryland how he uses motivation and this is another. The best thing for the Spartan Nation is that all of the talk nationally is what NIU can do and how they will beat Izzo. In the words of Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friends.”


Izzo made a bold and accurate statement in my opinion when he opined, “We will not lose because of depth as long as we get 15 minutes by Roe and something by Allen.” He will get both so erase that concern about the game.


Korie Lucious is a “Gunslinger.” With the size of NIU he can’t drive the paint as deep into the lane. He has to pull up or dish to avoid being used as a human volleyball. Korie isn’t going to change, but he is a smart player and will do just fine.


Izzo called Delvon Roe, “The toughest player since Cleaves.” He is spot on. What Delvon has given him all season is amazing, plain and simple.


Lucious has to keep a better eye on the game clock and use the two hand pass. Lucious respects Lucas and Kalin can talk to Korie. Kalin’s choice to stay with his teammates rather than get immediate surgery will make him like an extra coach and that will only help Korie.


Derrick Nix and Garrick Sherman are critical for this game. Perhaps more critical than any game this year is their play Friday. They don’t need forty minutes, but they do need to be solid. Both have improved each time on the court in the last month and that is promising.


When the season is over, Izzo is going to challenge Draymond to add a three point shot to his repertoire. I don’t want to look ahead to next year yet, but how many Big Ten schools will have nightmares over that.


Lastly, an Iowa basketball note that is in a round about way linked to MSU. Iowa is under a lot of pressure from donors to pursue Bruce Pearl the Tennessee coach for their vacant job. Speculation is that he won’t in the end take it, but will use it for a monster raise from the Vols. So who would be next?


Iowa AD Gary Barta has immense respect for Izzo and as we have already told you if the right offer is put on the table I KNOW that Brian Gregory would be very interested. It would have to be the right offer since he already has a ten-year deal. Utah head coach Jimmy Boylen, the man many close to the program see as the heir apparent when Izzo retires, could be an even better fit and I know that Iowa has already made overtures to him.