Answering Your #1 Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails...

Jaren Jackson (3J) with the dunk vs. Northwestern (PHOTO: Starr Portice)
Jaren Jackson (3J) with the dunk vs. Northwestern (PHOTO: Starr Portice)

Answering Your #1 Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails...

Hondo why would Tom Izzo disrespect his own players by saying they didn’t deserve to win? I took offense for them when I read that on Twitter. They deserved that win at Northwestern. Julie Bronson

He said exactly this: “We needed the win, don’t get me wrong, but they deserved to win. They outplayed us for two-thirds of that game in every fashion. For us, you’ve got to win a game like this once in a while.” I don’t see that as a disrespect of his team, but the video will be after the next question for you to judge yourself.

Hondo I heard that Tom Izzo was heckled by ESPN at Northwestern and was frustrated. What was the in room temperature like? Ron Johnson

I wouldn’t say heckled but I would say persistently questioned and he said "I'm not going to talk about that. Right now my focus continues to be on the healing process of those survivors, our university, our community and my team. And that's what I'm going to stick with." He was frustrated and I put the video right below this for you to see and judge yourself.

Hondo, are the slow starts because of all the turmoil on campus? Caleb Nguyen

No. I am not saying they aren’t aware of the issues, but that is not the reason for the slow starts. Izzo said of the turmoil and the impact on his team that, "On college campuses, sometimes there's not a lot of normalcy, it’s been challenging at times but I think that speaks. I think that should speak more than anything about players. Have had to really grow up and I think they've done a helluva job." 

Hondo, has Coach Izzo’s traditional style of coaching plus this dynamic (super talent + polite demeanors) served as an impetus for change for Coach in his methods? I’m not sure if he has ever had this level of super talent combined with super politeness (on the court). Dan W.

100% agree. Going back to Draymond’s senior year this program has been changing. This is Tom Izzo’s most talented team and top to bottom best group of people. It has changed him. It has moved him and it is different. It is hard to scream at guys who desperately want to please him and feel terrible when they don’t. Great observation.

Hondo I recently read on Sports Illustrated, “It's Time for Tom Izzo to Start Being Held Accountable.” When does this end? Kris Williams

I think you will get more of an idea about that in an EXCLUSIVE story I have coming on Thursday. Do not miss it. It is time for MSU to punch back. Today’s media has really lost so much credibility not just in sports, but everywhere by “reporting” opinion and not the facts. I get asked all the time, “Why does Spartan Nation put up so much video?” I have said for years that people do not need to be told what to think, you do need to be told what happened so you can make their own opinions.

Hondo I saw a headline on the internet that said, “Tom Izzo won't comment on another scandal brewing at Michigan State” is there a scandal I am not aware of? Shane D.

Nope. Just another click-bait piece of crap by a clueless person wanting some clicks. Not sure how you have a scandal when a player is immorally named publicly for an alleged crime that may not even get prosecuted or committed. Journalistic malpractice in my opinion.

Hondo I have been a big critic of Tum Tum because he isn’t a great player. Why do people seem to be so high on him? Kevin Gill

The only people critical of Tum Tum Nairn are those who are not close to the program. He has for four years been Tom Izzo best recruiter, including the 2018 class and its leader. Are you glad that Jaren Jackson (3J) is a Spartan? Miles Bridges being here and coming back? You thank Tum Tum. Izzo said. “I mean, Cash took Tum’s spot. And they’re best friends, and they’ve been embraced ever since. I’m just not sure everybody could do that.” Cassius Winston said looking ahead to Tum leaving, “It’s gonna be a sad day when Tum Tum leaves the program.” Ben Carter said of Tum Tum yesterday, “He is the epitome of what is Michigan State basketball.” He is the heart and soul of this team.

Hondo if you had to rank the Big Ten basketball teams in a power ranking type format how would you place them? Jordan Rhyme

  1. Michigan State 2. Purdue 3. Michigan 4. Ohio State 5. Nebraska 6. Penn State 7. Maryland 8. Wisconsin 9. Indiana 10. Northwestern
  2. Minnesota 12. Illinois 13. Iowa 14. Rutgers

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There you go, everyone. Another week of your MSU Basketball Q and A in the books. Make sure to send in your questions for next week. Simply email them to and put weekly Q and ABasketball in the subject line.