Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Collegiate Hoops: If Izzo Leaves, Is Mark Montgomery Poised to be the Next Coach at Michigan State

The current Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo is facing one of the biggest decision of his coaching career.

Not too long ago, baring a situation like this, Izzo expressed his loyalty to Michigan State by saying that he would not leave Michigan State until he has brought another title to the Spartans.

A few weeks removed from the statement, Izzo has shown tremendous interest in the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He has even went so far as flying out to meet with Cavaliers officials. In my opinion, he will be in a sticky situation if he decides to bail and go to the NBA.

Either he can go the NBA and gamble with the return of Lebron James. Or he can return to a National Championship favorite in Michigan State.

As much as I would like to see Izzo return to Michigan State, both the players and I know the chances are slim.

This leaves the coaching vacancy up for speculation.

Many may think, Michigan State should go after a superior coach like Bill Self, or I even heard Bob Knight's name thrown in the mix a couple of times. 

Michigan State is one of the top programs in the country. You can make an argument for them to go after big name coaches with smaller coaching gigs. Coaches like Brad Stevens, Mark Few, or Travis Ford.

Each one of these coaches would be instantly upgraded to one of the finest college basketball programs in the nation. Joining Michigan State, gives any coach an edge in recruiting, which is beneficial when coaching college basketball.

However, Mark Montgomery should be the front-runner if Izzo does decide to leave. 

Montgomery has been around Michigan State for some time now. He played there at Michigan State back in his college days where he was a Big Ten All-Academic Honoree. Not to mention, he was a four-year letter winner for the Spartans.

There are a few players with the mindset of leaving if Izzo decides to leave. However, throw Montgomery in the mix and he could help the players stay together.

He has been around the coaching staff of Michigan State basketball for nine years now. He was promoted to assistant coach in May of 2007.

Under Izzo he was able to benefit from the coaching expertise. Montgomery has three Final Fours and a National Championship to bolster on his resume.

If Izzo was to take Montgomery with him—if he decides to bail—don't be surprised if they reach out to Missouri's Mike Anderson. He did entertain Oregon staff for their coaching vacancy, and Michigan State is a total upgrade from both of the programs.


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