Your Weekly MSU Basketball Question and Answer Article

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Day-Day is the unquestioned leader of the Spartans and his zeal and love of the game are contagious.  Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

Day-Day is the unquestioned leader of the Spartans and his zeal and love of the game are contagious. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.


With all of the new freshmen, who do you think will have the biggest impact this coming season? Karl in Haslett


Carl, I think that this class has an abundance of talent, but since you specifically asked about next year I would say Travis Trice; a great defender, distributor and more importantly kid. I think all will have great careers, but Trice should have the biggest impact next season.


Hondo, I read the Andy Katz article yesterday. I realize that you may take me to the woodshed, but I am getting tired of Izzo taking shots at former players or fans in that case. Here is what he said, “We just didn't have great senior leadership,” making excuses for last season. So he takes a shot at Kalin and Durrell. Chris and Korie get booted and Sherm left. When do people like you in the media and the fans question Izzo? He recruited them? Getting mad when the Brez ain’t full? He do real well getting paid to coach here and it seems like he always has excuses why when it don’t work. Someone needs to hold him accountable. Larry in Detroit


Well Larry, I didn’t read the Katz article, but I can say this. There wasn’t great senior leadership on this team, but just like I said about Sherman a few weeks ago, there are two people at fault in that relationship. Do I think Kalin and Durrell could have done more? I sure do. Do I think Izzo could have done more when they were younger to help develop them? I do. I take issue with your comment that he isn’t held accountable. I have said that last year was his worst year as the head coach at MSU, but give the guy some credit. It's not like he doesn't win. As far as Sherm and what others say, I do agree. I think you can put Tom Herzog in that mix and even Idong Ibok. If a coach in any sport recruits a player then remember that HE WANTED THEM. If they don’t work out it is as much on the coach. My father spent years in industry and he always said that when he had to let someone go it was as much his failure as his or hers. I think the same is true in recruiting.



Hondo, excuse me for having an analytical mind, but as an attorney I do. I read a press release from MSU on Russell Byrd and it got my attention. Here is what I noticed: “we were reassured that Russell has received first-class care from the MSU medical and athletic training staff.” Two things stuck out to me. Their use of the word reassured and then mentioning how good of care he got, in my field sent up immediate red flags. Again it may be my training, but that sounds to me like there have been issues. Have there been questions with the quality of care? Bernie


Bernie, I can say that there have been no issues discussed publicly that I am aware of. I will tell you that I have had others mention that the wording was odd and when I reported last year that he was running and shooting on his own prior to even practicing I heard from more than one orthopedic surgeon who thought he shouldn’t have been. I am not a Dr. so I didn’t say anything, but one even used a study as an example. Here is what it said.Â

  - in the report by Larson et al 2002, 15 patients (mean age, 21.7 years) underwent cannulated screw fixation of a Jones fracture; 
     - there were six treatment failures: four refractures and two symptomatic nonunions; 
     - mean time to full activity was 6.8 weeks for the patients with failure compared with 9 weeks for patients who did not have complications; 
     - although all patients were asymptomatic and radiographically progressing to union before return to full activity, only one of six patients with 
         failures had complete radiographic union, compared with six of seven patients with no complications; 
     - there was a higher proportion of elite athletes (division I or professional level) among the failure group (83%) compared with those without complications (11%); 
     - return to full activity, especially among elite athletes, before complete radiographic union was predictive of failure; 
     - ref: Intramedullary Screw Fixation of Jones Fractures. Analysis of Failure American Journal of Sports Medicine 30:55-60 (2002)

The Dr. who sent this to me added bold to point out his concerns. Again I have not heard any public discussion, but I did hear from others that found it odd.

Hondo, I love the question and answer format articles. Keep them up. This one may sound simple, but here goes. I had the chance in the last year to go to three other Big Ten venues and during timeouts, halftime, pre game and other non basketball times I like some of the things other schools do. Does anyone from MSU who travels ever check out the other venues and get ideas? I love what we do, but I think we need to be more like our main man Izzo and always look to get better. Carlos


Carlos, they sure do. Kevin Pauga does a phenomenal job as the head of MSU basketball operations and he is constantly looking at how he can make MSU basketball and the entire experience better.Â


Hey Hondo, What is Adreian Payne doing this summer to develop as a more consistent contributor? With his incredible raw talent, I am anxious to see how he has improved his game for the upcoming season. Thanks! Mark

Hi Mark! One thing for sure is that Payne this year will get a full summer. Last year he was hindered. At times, last year on the court defensively he looked lost. Not because he can’t play, there is simply a learning curve. I think the summer workouts and open gym with some great players will make him a better player and hopefully his time in the weight room will make him stronger.

Hondo, I remember some great video when Kalin was a freshman of you guarding him and tackling him. That was hilarious. With his many interviews with you over the years he always joked about your defense. I know that you seemed close to him, so if you can be objective do you think he can play in the NBA? Thomas Battle Creek

Thomas, I do like Kalin a lot and I can say that without a doubt he can play in the NBA. He has all of the tools. I think he could be a great backup point guard and do well. Like almost every other rookie, he needs the right fit. That is stating the obvious, but I do think if you look at who has a seat at the table that there is no doubt he should have one.



Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the Friday column. If you aren’t aware, on Fridays I answer some of your email in a Q and A column about Spartan basketball. If you have a MSU basketball question you would like answered send me an email at and please put in the subject line Basketball question.