Thursday, May 23, 2024

Ethan Conley

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Hoops teams look to future

Editor's note: State News men's basketball reporter Ethan Conley and women's basketball reporter Matt Bishop recapped their respective teams' seasons and look ahead to next year. The men's team The MSU men's basketball team wasn't supposed to be much of a threat during the 2006-07 season. Three players from the previous season were on NBA rosters. The recruiting class was nothing to scoff at, but none of the incoming recruits were expected to carry the team. And the best returning scoring option was a 6-foot point guard who spent his first two seasons in green and white deferring to other players. "It's going to be a working man's year," head coach Tom Izzo said at the beginning of the season. That was an understatement. Despite razor-thin depth in the backcourt, an inconsistent frontcourt, a rash of injuries and a torturous conference schedule, the Spartans finished the season with a 23-12 record (8-8 Big Ten). They topped Texas (and eventual AP Player of the Year Kevin Durant) at Madison Square Garden in mid-November.