Tom Izzo Selected as Candidate for Naismith Coach of the Year

Tom Izzo Selected as Candidate for Naismith Coach of the Year

From our buddy, MSU SID Michael "MEX" Carey:

East Lansing, Mich. – Michigan State men's basketball head coach Tom Izzo was one of 15 coaches selected as a late-season candidate for the 2019 Werner Ladder Naismith Men's College Coach of the Year.

In his 24th season at the helm of the Spartans, Izzo has guided Michigan State to a 23-5 overall record and a 14-3 mark in the Big Ten Conference.  MSU is ranked No. 6 in this week's Associated Press Top 25 and No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches poll.

The Spartans, coming off a 77-70 win at then-No. 7 Michigan on Sunday, have been ranked among the top-10 teams in the country all season, despite losing two starters to injuries.  Junior guard Joshua Langford, the team's third-leading scorer with 15.0 points per game, has not played since late December and had season-ending surgery in January.  Junior forward Nick Ward, who is second on the team in scoring with 15.1 points and third with 6.7 rebounds, has missed the last two games after suffering a hairline fracture in his left hand.

Michigan is No. 6 in the NIET ratings, has 10 Quadrant 1 wins, tied for the most of any team in the country, and is rated No. 29 in the country by strength of schedule.

Michigan State is ranked No. 34 in the country in scoring offense (80.1 ppg), No. 18 in field goal percentage (48.6 percent) and No. 34 in 3-point field goal percentage (38.6 percent).  The Spartans are also ranked No. 46 nationally in scoring defense (65.8 ppg), No. 3 in field goal percentage defense (37.3 percent) and No. 43 in 3-point defense (31.2 percent).

The Spartans play their final regular season road game this weekend, visiting Indiana on Saturday, March 2.  Tipoff at Assembly Hall is slated for noon on FOX.

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