Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Coach Stays

Tonight is one of my many favorite nights during the college basketball season. Two games at Madison Square Garden.....4 top 15 team teams.....and in between games you get to see Jimmy V's famous speech from the ESPYs (Don't give up, Don't ever give up).

In this year's edition of the Jimmy V Classic - you have Memphis v. Kansas and Syracuse v. Michigan State. The second game is what I'd like to focus on, and no, not because I am a Syracuse alum.

Jimmy B and Tom Izzo (AP Photos)
I want to say thank you to Tom Izzo.  Thank you for staying at Michigan State and not leaving when the Cavs came calling last June. It might have been more money than Michigan State could offer, but seeing Izzo on the sideline of an NBA team, trying to motivate a sub-par squad on the second game of a back-to-back on a long road trip in February, would be the equivalent of seeing Derek Jeter in a Red Sox jersey.....just doesn't look or feel right.

In a time when coaches are always looking for the next move, the next challenge, the next contract, its great to see a coach that stays at home (props to Jimmy B as well - he's kept his talents and grumpiness in Syracuse for a century). Its tough to root against Izzo....his teams play hard, they are tough, disciplined and are always peaking in March (6 Final 4s in 13 years - not too shabby). When you hear his players talk, its always about the Michigan State Basketball Family...and Izzo is the one who has created that culture. Coaches that stay at one school are a dying breed in college athletics, but tonight we'll see two of the best. Hopefully they will serve as an example for up and coming coaches like Brad Stevens (Butler) and Josh Pastner (Memphis).

Now, Coach Izzo...please take it easy on the Orange tonight.

No comments:

Post a Comment