East Lansing, MI
The Michigan State Spartans are 20-4 (7-4) and headed to West Lafayette, Indiana tomorrow for a big tilt with the Purdue Boilermakers. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t reflective. Izzo couldn’t hide his excitement as a coach who preaches defensive intensity, that another defensive team beat an offensive minded team in the Super Bowl.
Izzo was very loquacious discussing the Super Bowl here today. "You know what, I thought Carolina, I said I thought Carolina could win, I always hope. I heard Mike Golic say something this morning that was awesome. He said 10 out of the 12 times that the number one defense has made it there they’ve won. He says ‘when am i going to get smart enough to just realize that and go with that team?’ Being a domer I don’t know if he ever will.”
He went on to expound that, “I think, you guys wouldn’t believe it, but I do research baseball, hockey, football, basketball. It is just amazing how those teams year-in year-out; I mean it just happened in college football again, it happened in pro football again. It’s great for me because it’s something, it’s great for all coaches, cause all of us are gonna get better offensively.”
Izzo equated it to his team’s destruction of Michigan on Saturday in Ann Arbor. “As well as we’re shooting it what I was proudest of in that game was we didn’t go crazy from the three, and we did go in to Matt in the second half. We don’t want to be taking thirty-some threes a game cause you live with that you’ll die with that. I mean again, it depends what you’re trying to do, and there’s been a couple, there’s always a couple, you know, two out of 12 that can win the offensive way, but the consistency of trying to win four, five, six games or three games to win the conference championship or five or six to win the national championship; pretty hard to rely, someone’s gonna take something away from you, they can’t take your defense away which, they shouldn’t be able to take your rebounding away. And for us that’s another plus because then we got our running game going, if we defend and rebound right and aren’t taking it out of the net, we’re taking it off the boards, and we’ve got some bigs that can run too. We felt in our game, in the first half, Matt and Gavin ran so well down the middle, and on the film they were pinching in, and that got Bryn and even Eron one time and Matt McQuaid one time shots on the perimeter. So they work together they go together.”
Here is a stat that will really put this MSU team in perspective. MSU ranks fourth in the nation in both 3-point field percentage on offense and 3-point percentage on defense. Perhaps that is a reason Izzo can show his players that Denver defense and the Super Bowl title to show them they are on the right road.
The Spartans game versus Purdue will tip off at 7PM on ESPN.