Now that is what I was talking about!
Only a few days after taking the Izzone and the crowd at Breslin Center to task for the less then strong effort against the Wildcats, they came strong yesterday.
â€œAll the credit goes to the crowd, you could just feel them pushing usâ€ was how Marquise Gray described them.Â â€œI just canâ€™t say enough about the crowd.Â We needed them and they just poured the energy into us tonightâ€ was Drew Neitzelâ€™s thoughts.
Let me first say that the Izzone was in it from the beginning.Â They were early and loud, and one high-level football recruit told me late in the second half â€œif they are like that for basketball, I can only imagine what playing across the street would be like.Â WOW!â€
Sadly vast amount of normal seats were empty to start the game and the student (non-Izzone) sections were clearly empty the whole game, even thought normal seating did fill in at the start of the second half.
One man named Jessie stopped me in the hall as the game ended with a â€œhey Hondo, think we stepped it up tonight?â€Â Yes Jesse you did.
A statement was made.Â This team was flat and played terrible in the first half.Â The fan base and the team got the hint and in the second half it was the Breslin of old.Â A Big Ten win and a Big Ten crowd.
One member of the Illinois delegation told my cameraman â€œwhen this place is on, it is the best arena in the nation.Â When those kids are alive, they are so much better than the Orange Crush.Â This place just rocks, when it wants to.â€
Great job Spartan Nation.Â I still implore you to give your tickets away if your not going.Â We canâ€™t let up now.Â Izzo rarely shows pleasure.Â Like he has said before, â€œafter a loss youâ€™re miserable and after a win youâ€™re thinking of the next game.â€Â He made it very clear yesterday when asked to look ahead to the PSU game â€œI am not trying to be a jerkâ€¦but right now I want to take an hour to enjoy this.â€Â He then went on to praise the crowd.
Great job Spartan Nation.Â Now just take a piece of advice from Izzo that he gave to a player in practice this year:Â â€œyou canâ€™t let up!â€Â