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Sunday, May 4, 2014


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See Part 1 of this interview HERE.

Is it your understanding that the Branden Dawson hand-vs-table incident occurred during a coach/player team "intervention" aimed at getting Dawson to bring his game up during the first Michigan week?
I think Drew Sharp is the only reporter that is running with that version of the story and Sharp seems to think that stirring the pot is the best way to report (see his comments about MSU's football team last year). But regardless if the broken hand was because of comments by Dan Dakich, because of an "intervention" or something in the middle it makes little difference. BJ is an outstanding athlete who is a match-up nightmare for opponents. We saw what a motivated BJ could do to some solid competitors after he returned. With some more refining of his game and that chip on his shoulder, could he be the guy that has everyone chattering next season? I think he is pretty close to being able to shock a lot of people in college basketball and beyond, and this is a guy that wasn't exactly shabby last year.

What's your opinion of the way the (so-called) "new foul rules" impacted the college basketball season?
I think the new foul call rules created a ton of inconsistency in the game. Not only was their a great chasm between game to game, but even from half to half. I don't know how many times I saw a no-call thoughout the game that suddenly was getting called with a guy looking confused. I don't know how the final numbers played out but I didn't see a ton more scoring. And if they were hoping to make the play of the game smoother, it seemed like there was a lot of stoppage for ticky-tack fouls. There was one game where MSU's opponent fouled us 3 times in 30 seconds and nothing happened. That was basically 30 seconds of the game run off the clock with no action. Not exactly going to draw in the casual fan with that kind of play.

What is your take on MSU's recruiting in football and men's basketball?
I don't think much has changed in the area of recruiting. Both Izzo and Coach D seem pretty set in their ways of getting their guys and if those guys don't want to be in East Lansing, they are not going to go out of their way to "sell" a recruit on being here.

I have seen some comments regarding the football recruiting that Coach D is going after bigger names. I think it's more that the that the top-flight guys are starting to pay attention to MSU and listen to what the coaches have to say. They are bigger names, but they are still guys that fit the system that Coach D wants to run. And I doubt you are going to get a lot of guys getting sales pitches. Coach D is going to tell a guy where he sees him on this team and that he is going to have to work to get there. He will take a guy that wants to be here over a guy that might have a higher ceiling. I mean look at the lengths that McDowell went to. Do you think he wants to be a Spartan?

As for basketball, Coach Izzo wants guys that fit his system. Harris was a great scorer but he could also rebound and was a defensive presence on the court. I think a lot of people turned on Izzo a bit with not pulling the big name recruits that showed early interest in MSU, but I think Izzo wants guys that want to be here and part of the team, rather than be wined and dined with their egos getting stroked. Guys like Bess, Tum Tum, and Clark are guys that Izzo seems to love to coach. They are solid players that have a bit of a chip on their shoulder because they got overlooked a bit. With some polishing they can become a solid group. Even a guy from the 2015 class in Deyonta Davis seems to fit the Izzo model of a player and is showing that he can run with good competition with the numbers he is putting up at Nike Elite Youth Basketball League.

Overall, both Coach Izzo and Coach D have given fans very little to worry about in the guys they bring in. They seem to be able to win regardless of the general perception of the talent level and I think that has to do with they are always bringing in their guys.

See Part 1 of this interview HERE.

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