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Spartan Nation Mailbag: Tom Izzo & the Michigan State Basketball Staff

Spartan Nation publisher Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is here to answer all your questions regarding Michigan State basketball.

Here at Sports Illustrated's Spartan Nation, we endeavor to be one of the fans' most interactive sites. With that in mind, we present your weekly Michigan State Basketball Questions and email.

Hondo, were you surprised by Tom Izzo's new-look staff? C. Jenkins

I was a little bit, but the more I thought about it, I was not. Tom has fewer years ahead of him than behind him. He has built a family at Michigan State, and this demonstrated that.

Hondo, can I get your thoughts on the new staff? Thank you, Patrick P.

Sure I can; Doug Wojcik being promoted to Assistant Coach was a no-brainer. A terrific coach and person; he is a super addition.

Tom Izzo said of adding Wojcik, "Doug has been a vital part of our success over the last three years since he returned to East Lansing. As our director of recruiting, he was the lead for us with an incoming recruiting class that is among the top in the nation. I've known Doug for more than 20 years, and he's one of the best basketball minds I know. It was natural for him to move into our assistant coaching position when that opened. He's got tremendous experience, is a man of incredible character, and has a work ethic that is unmatched."

Adding Mark Montgomery as the recruiting coordinator allowed Tom to again add someone with who he is familiar. Izzo said of Monty being back, "When we knew we were going to have openings on the staff after last season, Monty was one of the guys I had in mind. He played here under Jud and was on my staff for 10 years when we really got things going. As a head coach for 10 years and someone who has more than 20 years of experience recruiting in college basketball, he will be a great fit for us as a recruiting coordinator."

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I believe the most underrated was seeing Austin Thornton return as the video coordinator; it was a brilliant move. I have long thought that Thornton had coaching talent and to get his foot in the door was brilliant.

Izzo said of Thornton, "Austin Thornton is one of the hardest working and most humble players I have coached during my time at Michigan State. I loved having him on staff as a graduate assistant, and he's worked really hard on the high school level to get himself ready to take a college job. It's great to have him back."

The addition of Matt McQuaid as the assistant director of operations was the biggest surprise, but not as a negative. He is a fantastic young man with a large amount of talent. I thought he could have started at a much-higher spot, so I was shocked he agreed to start here. I think Matty will be a head coach one day.

Izzo said of adding McQuaid, "I'm really excited to have Matt back with us, and he really is excited to be on staff and start his professional career. He'll be a great addition and someone who can relate to our players. I think this is the start of what could be a great career for Matt."

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