Never doubt Tom Izzo. How many times does the Michigan State Head Coach need to prove himself to the haters? It started with doubters saying Coach Izzo can’t recruit anymore. Michigan State just signed a top 3 2023 recruiting class.
It continued with the question mark of how would this team handle its gauntlet of a schedule. So far, to start the season, the Spartans lost to No.2 Gonzaga by one point and just beat No. 4 Kentucky 86-77. This is one of the hardest non-conference schedules Tom Izzo has ever had, and his team has responded well.
It starts with the experienced guys on this Spartan roster. Joey Hauser had 23 points was 4-for-7 from beyond the perimeter and 8-16 from the field. Then Malik Hall had 20 points including two massive buckets to send it to two overtimes. Hall and Hauser both decided to return to MSU another year, and Spartan fans couldn’t be happier. Both MSU forwards were there when called upon. And expect that to be a recurring theme.
Inside the numbers of Michigan State vs Kentucky
The biggest what if was is Oscar Tshiebwe hadn’t fouled out in OT would Kentucky have been able to hang on to win. Even though Tshiebwe didn’t start for the Wildcats, he proved that he’s one of the best in the country. Tshiebwe had 22 points with 18 rebounds and went 9-17 from the field. Sahvir Wheeler had filled up the stat sheets as well with 16 points and eight assists. Cason Wallace was a factor too with 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The interior defense continued to be a problem, but when you play Drew Timme and Oscar Tshiebwe in your first two games, that’s kind of expected. Tom Izzo will be very pleased by his team’s heart to start the season. It’s very early in the year, but there’s a reason why Izzo scheduled his season this way, and all roads lead to March Madness.
Michigan State plays a struggling Villanova team at the Breslin on Friday in what will be a huge recruiting weekend for the Spartans.