Spartans Playing for Big Time Respect against Boilermakers Today

Hondo S. Carpenter

My email is always an interesting thing. I got several about today’s game against the Boilermakers and here are just a few.



I think Izzo needs to rest Roe, Suton and Morgan today. He has nothing to play for. If he wants to start Suton because it is senior day that is fine, but he needs to be the first off the court.




The Spartans have nothing to play for. They have already won the Big Ten title.




I fully expect the Spartans to lose on Sunday. Their work is done until the BTT and the Boilers want and need to make a statement.



Now I respect those three, but I have to wonder what people are thinking? Not playing for anything? A number one seed is huge and the Spartans will get one if they win today and win the BTT. A number one seed would keep them close to home the entire tournament and in my opinion give them an inside track for a Final Four.Â


This team also can’t afford to take their foot off of the gas. They need to keep pushing. A number one seed means a lot to the Spartan Nation (and it should) but nationally a number one seed speaks volumes for respect and that is what this program craves and needs.


Today when they take the court they are playing for a lot more than the Boilermakers. They can’t win the BTT and they are already in the tournament. The Spartans have bigger goals than just winning this game, and they can’t reach them without the W today. They will get it. This team has blossomed and taking their foot off the gas would derail the rest of the season. It won’t happen, and this team will keep focus heading into Indianapolis.


On another note, we say goodbye today to Goran Suton, Idong Ibok, Marquise Gray and Travis Walton.


Suton has had a career better than many anticipated when he arrived, and he is a great Spartan on and off the court. He will be greatly missed.


Marquise came in with so much fan fare. It is fair to say that he didn’t live up to all the expectations and hype that accompanied him here, but he is one of the happiest and nicest young men that I have ever met. His smile can brighten any mood and although we will look back and think about what might have been, he will leave with a soft spot in my heart and many others for his sense of humor and the joy he has brought to many off of the court.


Travis Walton is not the most gifted shooter that has ever played at MSU, but he is a tough as nails competitor and is the epitome of what Tom Izzo wants defensively from a Spartan. He might not leave with a multiplicity of offensive records, but he must be remembered as one of the greatest defensive players ever to wear the Green and White.


Finally Idong Ibok. I must confess that having traveled to Africa to do a documentary on his trip to America and his family that we have grown into good friends. You can watch Idong Ibok: Behind the Jersey by clicking on the Hondo’s House ICON on the left and scrolling down to the one hour documentary and enjoying it free and in streaming. Because Idong and I have become great friends, I am sad. I am not sad to see him graduate. I am sad to know that his family won’t be at Breslin today, and I am sad that he once again will walk out without his family. I pray daily for my sons and I ask God that they turn out like him. I am honored to have covered him, but I am blessed to have made a life long friend with him and his family.


Today we honor four great young men. Not one of them had any off court issues and they continued to represent the Spartan Nation. All are good kids and all deserve a big thank you. Thanks guys.

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