Spartans look better but the crowd was terrible!

Hondo S. Carpenter

January 10, 2007

East Lansing, Michigan

Breslin Center

It didn’t take long tonight at the Big Ten opener to thank God that Northwestern was on the plate. Coming off of a 0-2 Big Ten start, the Spartans couldn’t have ordered a better opponent, and they needed.Â

The Spartans held the lowly Wildcats to only 4 first half rebounds and had the edge for the game at 37-13. The story however was the fact that Marquise Gray lit up the night with a string of acrobatic dunks ala J Rich and he was the story. He had 16 points and 5 boards in only 26 minutes and Izzo even talked about his play. “I think it was great to see Quise do so well, but I really don’t want to praise him, lets just see it continue.”

To me however, there was a bigger story. The Izzone, which I have defended for a long time, was beyond pitiful. I counted at one point, in the first five minutes of the game 21 different kids sitting in one section alone. The crowd mirrored the apathy of the group however with multitudes of empty seats. I understand when we play the lesser schools in the beginning of the year people not being shall we say enthused. This was the Big Ten opener and the crowd was pitiful. Memo: if you can’t use your tickets give them away. Why let them sit empty. It was an indictment of the fan base that we can open the Big Ten season with terrible attendance and a crowd that was louder for the shoe shuffle contest on the big board, then ANYTHING else all night.

To his credit, I was very frustrated and asked Izzo about the pathetic crowd, and he held his tongue. I won’t. Izzo deserves better. A Big Ten game with that crowd is not acceptable. If you want a Big Time program then the fans have to be a Big Time crowd. Tonight they weren’t.

The Spartans manhandled the Cats and the final score was 66-45. Sorry but I am still stuck on the crowd. Time to get with it people.

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