Each year, Tom Izzo vows to tone down on the preseason traveling for his basketball team. But now with each passing year I'm starting to believe him less and less, with good reason.
This morning reports surfaced that Michigan State will play UConn on November 9th at Ramstein Air Force Base in West Germany.
This means that a year after playing North Carolina on the USS Carl Vinson in San Diego and Duke in New York City four days apart, they'll do the same thing this year - with their Champions Classic game versus Kansas in Atlanta four day later.
Wow. That's about all you can say.
WHERE TO NEXT?
We all know that it's been in the works for the Spartans to play the Trojans (USC) in Greece. But I wonder how long that may take to get done with the economy and unrest in that country.
So where else would you want to see MSU play? Australia? China? Antarctica? THE MOON?!?!?!?
Or maybe some popular venues? Could they play under the Eiffel Tower? How about near the Pyramids. Or, could they play a game on the Golden Gate Bridge?
I wouldn't put anything past Mark Hollis and Tom Izzo at this [..]
Many fans love Tom Izzo for the program he’s built at Michigan State.
His seven Big Ten Titles, six finals fours and national championship deserve every fan’s respect and admiration.
But my favorite Izzo quality goes far beyond the X’s and O’s or the wins and losses.
He cares about his players.
He bends, but doesn’t break, unless absolutely necessary. Even if that means he doesn’t do the popular thing in the court of public opinion.
He does what he believes is right.
And again, this was evident on Thursday afternoon when Izzo reinstated Derrick Nix following his arrest nine days ago. Izzo has not suspended Derrick for a set amount of games - and he may not when all is said and done - but he did promise to make Nix’s life difficult as he works his way back into good graces with Izzo and the program.
“I sure don’t want anybody walking away here thinking that there’ll be nothing done, because there will be,” said Izzo.
And that's not just tough talk from a coach. You can trust Izzo because he’s had players in similar situations in the past and he’s stuck by them just the same.
“I think this [..]
The Spartans aren't flashy. They aren't "in your face" with egotism. And until the last couple of weeks, there weren't a whole lot of people outside of the Big Ten who could name more than a couple players on this team.
But that's not what Michigan State basketballis about anyway. MSU is about walking softly and carrying a big stick on the court. And opponents don't really know what that "big stick" feels like untilthey step onto the court with the Spartans.
Go toe to toe with Derrick Nix on the block and see if you don't leave with some bruises. Try taking on Keith Appling and see if you have any energy after 40 minutes, let alone a single possession. Go for a loose ball on the floor and see if Austin Thornton doesn't doesn't beat you to it.
No, those things aren't as beautiful as a crossover dribble and they're not as awe inspiring as arainbowthree from 30 feet. But that's not what Michigan State is about.
Can the Spartan players do those things? Yes. Do they care if that's what they're known for? No.
The Spartans care about winning above all else...far more than individual [..]