Spartans Ready For UCLA and to Win the Weekend!

Author:
Publish date:
Does Tom Izzo and his Spartan team have another Big March Run in them?  At this point, only a fool would count them out.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Does Tom Izzo and his Spartan team have another Big March Run in them? At this point, only a fool would count them out. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

 

 

Tampa Bay Florida

 

Earlier in the week before the Spartans boarded their charter flight here to Tampa Bay, Durrell Summers told Spartan Nation that, “I have my shot back.” If yesterday’s practice was any indication, he is right.

 

Head Coach Tom Izzo is respected around the world as Mr. March and getting Summers back to his previous NCAA tournament self could bring him more glory. It is fitting that on a green holiday such as Saint Patrick’s Day, the Spartans who suffered a perfect storm all season seem to have the stars aligning.

 

Summers is looking great, a green holiday and UCLA has issues. Lastly it is March and we have Izzo and the Bruins do not. Things are looking up.

 

The Spartans have had hammered into them by Izzo since he started recruiting them about the tradition of playing not only in March, but also against perennial powers like UCLA. The Spartans aren’t in awe, but are looking forward to the challenge. Freshman Keith Appling said of playing the Bruins, “They are a great team. I look forward to competing in my first NCAA tournament.” Senior Mike Kebler echoed the sentiments of his young teammate, “They are a good team. We have gotten a chance to watch a lot of tape on them. We know what they do. They actually run a lot of our stuff and have a lot of principles similar to us. They are a good team, athletic, it is going to be a good one.”

 

One of the big tests will be when Derrick Nix lines up against Josh Smith of the Bruins. Both of these truly big men have a lot to prove and Nix is looking forward to it. “I have to keep him away from the basket and try to check him the best I can. He is a pretty good player, but I am looking forward to the match up and the game itself.”

 

UCLA didn’t want to talk about the Spartans like MSU did the Bruins. Does that mean they are tight? Who knows? Josh Smith was short when asked about playing the Spartans, “With Michigan State, they are a good team. It is going to be a battle.” His teammate Jerime Anderson said a little more, but essentially said less when he declared, “To be honest, I try not to focus on the other team and what they are going to do and how they are going to play. I just know that if we go out and play hard and play our game, that at the end of the game we are going to have an opportunity to win. I think that is our focus all the time.”

 

A confident, but not cocky Delvon Roe summed up the Spartans confidence and very simple game plan, “If we can stop their transition game and prevent them from getting second chances at the basket, we will put ourselves in a good position to win.”