Answering Your Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails... (even a stupid one)

Hondo, you repeatedly refer to Purdue as "Purdon't" and make clear your contempt for Matt Painter. Why such disdain for the Boilermakers and their BBall coach? Thanks. Dave from Clarkston

Great question Dave. I have amazing respect for Purdue. In my opinion, it should be an elite CBB school. Disdain for the school is not there, but I think that they have WOEFULLY under-produced as a school in that sport; especially as of late. I don’t think they are an elite basketball school, but never should they be out of the top 25. They “don’t” do that. The underfunding the program that almost saw their head coach and alum almost leave was an embarrassment to a program of that level. As far as their Coach goes, I am not a fan of his recruiting tactics. I do NOT think he cheats. Please don’t infer that. I just talk to a lot of recruits who say the same things and I think he hurts himself and the school in a bad way. Thanks for asking me directly.

Hondo, settle an argument between me and my brother-in-law. He says that Tom Izzo is the greatest MSU basketball coach ever. I say Jud because he laid the foundation. Who is right? Curtis P. in Stillwater

Neither of you. Pete Newell was the greatest MSU basketball coach of all time. Most don’t associate this coaching giant with MSU, but he was here. Now, if you are asking as far as who had the biggest impact on MSU that would be Izzo, but even the great Izzo can’t match Newell as an overall coach. By the way, I ran your question by former MSU coach Gus Ganakas. He agrees with my answer.

Hondo, say what you want this was a horrible year for MSU basketball. I know you said Izzo was having fun, but it wasn’t fun to watch. We have a higher standard here. Carl

Carl, I live in a place called Realville. I happen to be the mayor. Let me welcome you to our little neighborhood and enlighten you. #1 I would agree that this is perhaps the least talented team of Izzo’s last 18 years. You can argue that (think 2007), but for this conversation I will cede you that. #2 He lost Harris early to the NBA. #3 Kenny Kaminski (who would have started) left this past summer. Not Izzo’s fault at all. #4 Star impact freshman Javon Bess couldn’t play essentially all year. So, he lost two starters and perhaps another, who at least would have been a big impact player on a team that went 12-6 in the Big Ten and 21-10 overall. As well as, Izzo has made 18 straight NCAA tournaments (4th longest current streak, top 10 all time) and won at least 20 games in 15 of the last 18 seasons. If that is not up to your standards then I suggest you run to Walmart (please use Walmart as I am a stockholder) and purchase the colors of any front running team and root for them because you fine sir are a moron. There is a reason multiple NBA teams begged him like a sex-starved husband to come coach their teams and he could have had multiple other college jobs (including Kentucky) had he chosen them. It is fair to say that this team has not performed at the highest level of their possibilities. Completely foolish and moronic to even type your thoughts. You had a roster of great kids. Not one of them did you as a Spartan (I use that term loosely as I am hoping your purchases after reading this improve my stock) have to worry about off the court. All of these young men are high quality people, gentlemen, and Spartans of the highest order. A Hall of Fame coach that did more coaching this year when frankly some of his “better” teams he was more babysitter, warden, and counselor. Izzo enjoyed doing what got him into this profession this year: he was a coach. He got to teach. I would argue this was his best coaching job outside of Neitzel’s junior year. He is reinvigorated. It was fun to watch him with these guys. MSU will be better next year because of this year. Izzo has set this season as the floor. Not the ceiling of what is acceptable and although it is fair at a program like MSU to be disappointed when a team doesn’t do more, it is asinine to act as if the world is falling. I have seen Izzo smile more, enjoy his job more, and frankly, get back to being who he is this season. In my opinion, this season added years on to the end of his career, while many of the past years took time off how long I thought he would be here. Last season was frustrating. They had the talent to win the national title and didn’t. That team, with all that talent by the way, went 12-6 in the Big Ten. The same as this year. Now, get in your car and head to Walmart. I hear they have Kentucky shirts on sale in aisle seven.

Hondo, thanks for all the press you have given Eron Harris over the year. Seems like the other media are catching on. Saw him a lot in high school and I think he is an NBA star. Clint in Carmel, IN

Hi Clint, when you watch Harris in practice, it is clear how good he is. I wouldn’t paint him with the NBA yet. He is a very good player, but don’t put that much pressure on him….yet.

Hondo, your thoughts on the Spartans draw in the Big Ten Tournament? Mandy

Christmas gift.

Hondo, were you surprised that no Spartans made the Big Ten first team? Thanks, Steve Thomas

You can’t just look at who didn’t make it. Look at who did and the seasons that they had. It isn’t always a slight at who didn’t; sometimes a bunch of guys had great years.

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 A Basketball in the subject line.