Tom Izzo: Michigan State basketball ‘legitimate contenders’ for title

 

Would Miles Bridges come back? It would be answered in April, when Bridges took a stage with Tom Izzo in front of MSU’s iconic Spartan statue.

A few hundred yards away from old Jenison Field House, he made the declaration to follow the path of Magic Johnson. Bridges would return for his sophomore season. Just like Magic. The same NCAA trophy Johnson sought almost 40 years earlier became his sole mission.“I got some unfinished business here,” Bridges said as the crowd of 1,000 erupted into cheers.“I have personal goals here. I want to win a national championship.”

It appears the Spartans have the horsepower to do it. Last year, the Spartans were deficient in terms of size up front, but made the tournament behind the play of Bridges and a cast that included fellow freshmen Nick Ward, Cassius Winston and Josh Langford. In addition, Tum Tum Nairn Eron Harris, Alvin Ellis, Matt McQuaid, Kyle Ahrens and Kenny Goins completed the playing group that had only one player other than Bridges over 6’7″. Big men Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter were both out for the season with knee injuries.

This year the Spartans will have both Carter and Schilling back along with Ward and freshmen 6’11” Jaren Jackson and 6’8″ Xavier Tillman and Bridges to provide an imposing front court.

The backcourt will have Nairn, Langford, Winston and McQuaid who all have played significant minutes to provide Coach Izzo with his most talented team in his twenty-two years in East Lansing. Loyal Spartan fans are excited for the season to begin. Expectations are high!!!

Source: Tom Izzo: Michigan State basketball ‘legitimate contenders’ for title

Michigan State Basketball: Looking forward | isportsweb

For the first time since 2006 and 2007 Tom Izzo failed in consecutive years to take the Spartans to a Sweet 16. While it was more expected this year the Spartans would come up short, the performance put up by the freshman against Miami and Kansas gives promise for the future.

While many saw the dazzling play of Miles Bridges this season, Nick Ward was snubbed off the Big Ten all freshmen team and slid under the radar for the most part. The importance of Ward was shown late in the game against Kansas Sunday night. Ward had been playing with three fouls as the Spartans closed the Kansas lead to just one, but when he went up for an offensive board and was questionably given his fourth foul Kansas exploded. With Ward on the bench the Jayhawks increased their lead, completely demoralizing the Spartans in the final five minutes en route to a 20 point win.

The shortcomings of this team finally caught up with them. They didn’t have enough firepower to stay with Kansas with all of their weapons. Seventy points was not going to beat them.

Source: Michigan State Basketball: Looking forward | isportsweb

Michigan State Basketball: Did they deserve to get in? | isportsweb

A look at some reasons the Spartans deserved to get into the NCAA tournament, even with 14 losses. There are those who say that the Spartans got in the dance on reputation and not on merit. Too many losses and no signature win on the resume.

Source: Michigan State Basketball: Did they deserve to get in? | isportsweb