Hear the Conversation 27:27 – 15.7 mb mp3
“When it ends like it ended, what makes it neat, is when we’re all gone, there will still be people talking about that game,” Spartans head basketball coach Tom Izzo tells President Simon and AD Hollis on MSU Today in reflecting on MSU’s exhilarating football victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 17.
“I’m proud of what Mark’s done and what we’ve done because I do know that injuries matter, and he doesn’t use that as an excuse. I can speak from what it’s like to try to keep chemistry and comradery” on the team.
Coach Izzo talks about how he sees himself first and foremost as an educator. And he talks about how Draymond Green and Steve Smith are two of his former players who most enjoy coming home to talk with his current team. And Green and Smith are always giving back to MSU in a variety of ways.
“I like my team right now,” Izzo says in previewing his 2015/2016 Spartans. “I really have a lot of depth. We have two freshmen who I think are going to help us immediately. We have some veterans who have been here for four years. And we have some guys sprinkled in between.
“Last year we won more on chemistry than on talent. This year I think our talent is better, but I think our chemistry has remained as good. And that’s a good sign.”
In referring to his Spartans’ August trip to Italy, Izzo says “It was typical Michigan State because most people go over there and play club teams. We played one and won by 35 and then we played three Olympic teams and got our brains beat in a little bit, but I think that did nothing but help us.”
Izzo says he’s a fan of two new rules coming to college basketball season: the 30-second shot clock and the end of the 5-second call.
“I personally would like to see it go more toward the NBA rules. Just like any other walk of life, you try to get kids ready for what they’ll face in their professional lives.
“We’ve got some things going right now athletically and academically, and I think with just the way our university is exploding – if there’s a golden era, this is it.
“We’re more on the same page than we’ve ever been since I’ve been here from top to bottom.”