Tom Izzo’s unranked Michigan State team faces tough tests

East Lansing, Michigan. – Tom Izu insists he has no plans to call it a career anytime soon.

Hall of Fame coachwho turns 68 in January, is entering his 28th season in charge of the Michigan State program and his energy level has missed nothing.

“When the time comes that I’m not having fun, and when the time comes that I can’t take the red (flight) from Vegas to Orlando, it’s time to get out,” Izu said. “This is not where I am now in any way, shape, or form.”

Attributes running out of contemporaries.

Former Vilanova coach Jay Wright He surprised many people by retiring at 60 last spring, saying he had lost the “edge” needed to continue training at the championship level.

“I’ll do it like Jay did,” Izu said.

Mike Krzyzewski left Duke at the age of 75 last spring, after a year Stay away from Roy Williams In North Carolina in the 70’s.

“I’m not as big as these guys,” Ezzo said.

The Spartans have had some success in recruiting high-profile players in the future, giving Ezo a boost that continuing his coaching career is the right decision.

“I have a few things I would like to accomplish as coach for Michigan State and Dorina,” Ezo said. “We have to win another Big Ten. We mean Michigan State, but we mean the Big Ten.”

The Big Ten hasn’t had a school win a men’s national basketball championship since 2000, when Izu led the Spartans to a national title in one of their eight Final Four games.

Michigan ISO signed for A new five-year contract In August she was worth $6.2 million on the season, giving him about an additional $2 million each year.

missing men

Last season’s top three scorers – Gabby Brown, Marcus Bingham and Max Christie – play professional basketball. Striker Julis Marble moved to his home state to play for Texas A&M after making 90 appearances over three seasons for the Spartans.

The losses have left Izzo’s team not ranked in a pre-season poll in consecutive years for the first time since their first two seasons in 1996 and 1997.

They are back

Michigan State will lead a quartet of experienced players: Joey Hauser, Tyson Walker, Malik Hall and AJ Hoggard. They combined to average nearly 32 game points last season, and they may have to double that production to make the season a success.

“We have a great core returning group of guys,” Hauser said.

Center Madi Sissoko, goalkeeper Pierre Brooks and goalkeeper Jaden Akins, who is expected to return soon from surgery on his left foot, will also be in the mix.

old school

Izzo only has 10 players in Sports Scholarships, three less than the maximum allowed, and refused to take advantage of the transfer portal to at least add more depth.

“I decided to stick with the ones I had,” he said.

This choice seemed to boost the confidence of his players.

“He’s just showing his confidence in us,” said Hauser.

consecutive undertaker

Michigan State secured a place in 24 consecutive NCAA championships, trailing only Kansas (32) between the active streaks and North Carolina’s 27-year run from 1975 to 2001 all-time.

difficult tests

Izzo will have November to remember, although he may want to forget about it.

In one week, Spartans played No. 2 Gonzaga on an aircraft carrier In San Diego, No. 4 Kentucky in Indianapolis, and No. 16 Villanova at home. At the Phil Knight Invitational in Oregon, they’ll face No. 20 in Alabama with a No. 21 prospect in top-ranked Oregon and North Carolina.

“I’m excited about what will be the greatest no-conference schedule in Michigan history,” he said. “And perhaps one of the greatest that anyone has played, if you ask me.”

Michigan State will wrap up the season’s inaugural month at Notre Dame, which like the Spartans got votes in AP Top 25 pre-season.

“We bit off more than we can chew,” Ezzo said. “We knew it. It was the chance to play in some matches that I didn’t want to miss.”

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