Tom Izzo Clarifies Why Javon Bess Didn’t Play vs. Indiana and His Answer May Surprise You!

Javon Bess vs Nebraska 2016.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard
Javon Bess vs Nebraska 2016. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard

Breslin Center

East Lansing, MI

Javon Bess started over a dozen games for the Spartans so far this season. He is a very good player and a great kid. That is why when Tom Izzo played 15 players against Indiana and kept Bess on the bench, my email went crazy with people asking what Bess had done to be, “In Izzo’s doghouse,” and “On Izzo’s (Poop) list.” I tried to explain to people that line of thinking was not accurate, but people simply would not listen.

That is why today I asked Izzo about Bess and whether or not it was simply a mistake. So don’t take it from me, take it from him.

“Not a mistake other than not going down and talking to him. When you are a starter, a guy that has started 13 games, you are less apt to put him in with a minute or a minute and a half left. That was totally the thought process. I talked to Javon about it yesterday. That had nothing to him doing anything wrong. I put Colby (Wollenman) with like five or seven seconds left in the Maryland game because his parents were in town. I asked him beforehand. Colby is in a little bit different role, I put those other guys in with a minute, minute and a half, but in a blow out game I wouldn’t normally put a guy like that in. I think the only mistake was that I probably should have told him after. I didn’t, but he understood. I think he probably would have agreed with it if I had went down and asked if he wanted to go in. But then the problem with that is that if they say not really then you are half mad at them. So it was nothing. You said a mistake? Yes I guess you could go to a mistake, but it was really calculated. I am not going to do that to a guy that has started.”

So relax. Bess is a very good player and has plenty of minutes left playing for the Spartans this season. Perhaps as early as Thursday night when the Spartans tip off against Wisconsin at the Breslin Center. That game tips off at 9PM and you can see it on ESPN.