With a very important week coming up for the No. 17 MSU men’s basketball team, head coach Tom Izzo spent the last 15 minutes or so of his weekly press conference talking about fan expectations and how the sky-is-falling reactions of said fans has upset him a little bit.
Judging by comments on some of our stories, there are plenty of people who think Izzo will magically turn things around come NCAA Tournament time.
The other side of that is people who think he doesn’t coach as hard during the first half of the season.
Izzo was asked by two separate reporters about the expectations he has built for the program and how it leads to the expectations of fans.
Here are some bits and pieces of what Izzo had to say:
“A coach can make a difference in some areas, but a coach isn’t God. He’s not going to cure a guy’s foot injury. A coach isn’t going to bring them back any faster. A coach doesn’t know what a kid is going through”
“I’m not a halfway coach, if I hear that one more time, I’m going to go ballistic. I don’t take off the first half of the season to go golfing. ... You can’t golf up here now and I don’t like bowling.”
“This about ‘He coaches half of the season. Who cares about his schedule, who cares about this or that?’ To be honest with you, I don’t care about those people. We’re doing it the same way we’ve always done it. There’s different personalities on every team every year. There are some things that we should control, and I don’t think we’ve a good enough job with turnovers early. ... There’s some things you can’t control, injuries and factors that play into that.”
“This year has been probably my toughest year as far as trying to get everybody on the same page because of factors that you don’t have. I want to run, I’d like to pressure a little bit more, can’t do that. I wanted to play Draymond at the 3, well you can’t do that and do those things.”
“To run a championship organization, forget basketball, football, business, media, whatever venue you’re in, It’s hard to do it, unless you have everybody on board. I bet you there’s not a person in here that would disagree the Wisconsin game was won by the students that got the green seats going, that got everybody going, that got us going. There is not even a doubt in my mind. That (win) shouldn’t even go on my record.”
“That’s the (Syracuse head coach Jim) Boeheim Theory. Why put yourself in the position to hear the negative things when you could be 14-1? And then does it weigh on you? I think the most frustrating thing for me … is when people make comments that they don’t know. If some of you understand what Kalin Lucas is going through, call me.”
“I created the ‘play anybody anyplace anytime.’ I did it for a reason. I still schedule for a reason. Michigan State doesn’t get the same accolades that other schools just are given. We have to earn ours so we go out and play them. I wouldn’t change that for the world.”