Tom Izzo thinks it’s too early to declare anyone the best team in the country. So when it comes to his Michigan State Spartans squad he’s laughing off the early season praise.
“We lost more than people think,” said Izzo. “(Nick) Ward was a starter for most of his three seasons. Of course, (Matt) McQuaid was just one of those glue guys, so was (Kenny) Goins. They were 30 points and 15-16 rebounds, and a lot of experience.”
However, it would not be strange if Sparty ended up being one of the top teams in the country at the end of the year. Michigan State is traditionally a very tough team, especially come tournament time. Additionally, they have some key guys coming back this season that have put in a ton of work in the offseason.
“I like my team a lot,” he added. “I’m just not sure if we’re ready for (the preseason number one ranking). But I also embrace it because it’s a great compliment to the program.”
One of those key guys is Cassius Winston.
“We thought his strength and his defense had to improve. He really worked on his strength over the summer. We’ll see if that adds to his defense. That’s half me, half him,” Izzo said about his star point guard.
“Probably at the end of the year I ran (Winston) into the ground. He was playing too many minutes because we had all those injuries,” he added.
Winston hopefully will be relied on less this year, although we all know what he is capable of. Plus he’s had the ears of Magic Johnson, Steve Smith, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Miles Bridges. Those former Spartans are invested in getting him ready for the next level, which includes finding a way to improve this year.
Izzo dives in on this year’s team, what’s facing Kansas, and what he thinks about pay-for-play on this week’s Good ‘N Plenty. Make sure you subscribe to the show on iTunes and Stitcher! And make sure you follow Jeff on Twitter here!
2:41 This team is NOT the #1 team in the country
12:22 Izzo’s thought’s on latest Kansas news
22:53 Plan for Cassius Winston
29:25 Athletes getting paid is a murky idea