Friday, June 11, 2010

College Basketball: Michigan State's Success Depends on the Decision of Tom Izzo

If you are a Michigan State fan, you have to be enthusiastic about next basketball season. The Spartans reached the Final Four without their floor general Kalin Lucas. Not to mention, the Spartans were fortunate enough to return most of their roster that made it's big splash in the Final Four. 

Now add one McDonalds All-American, and two ESPNU top 100 recruits, and you are a true national champion contender.

That's exactly what Tom Izzo did and he gave the Spartan fans another reason to admire him. Izzo always seems to grab key recruits that help him stay consistent. Add the fact that every player that stayed four years under Izzo's wing, had the chance to play in the Final Four, and we're undoubtedly talking about a walking hall-of-famer.

Because of that, Izzo may be one of the greatest college basketball coaches right now. Well that is, if he stays in the college game. As more rumors unfold, it almost seems that Izzo's last chapter at Michigan State ended in the tournament.

Try to have a Michigan State fan digest that.

At Michigan State, Izzo is loved by many because of how well he prepares his team for battle. 

During the NCAA tournament this year, the Spartans lost their best player, and vocal leader in Kalin Lucas to an ACL tear that would sideline him for the rest of the tournament.

The injury happened in the second round of the tournament, and the Spartans were still able to make a magical run to the Final Four. That alone says a lot about the coaching of Izzo and how well he can prepare his team for victory. 

Now think about this, what if Izzo wasn't there when Lucas went down? What if it was another coach? Do you still believe they are able to pull off such a magical run to consecutive Final Fours? I don't think so, in fact, I don't believe some players would have grown so much over the years if they weren't under Izzo.

Look at what happened with Korie Lucious. Lucas went down, Lucious stepped right in off the bench and the offense of the Spartans didn't skip a beat. Lucious even went on to hit the game-winning shot against Maryland, and was a huge contributor in the win over Tennessee.

Let's face the facts, Izzo is a legendary coach that is hard to replace. After returning from his trip to Cleveland to meet with Dan Gilbert and other executives, a reporter firmly asked Izzo about his timetable for the decision. In reply Izzo stated, "It's not gonna be forever, that's for sure."

If the Spartans are able to retain Izzo the upcoming college basketball season should unfold in good ways for Michigan State. However, if they cannot retain Izzo I think we're looking at the same Michigan State Spartans.

Written by DeAnte Mitchell


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