Hondo, I hate to say it, but you are 100% correct about this team and when Trice is at the point and Appling.  We are much better when Appling is at the two.  Don’t know why something so simple is missed.  Keith

Keith, I wouldn’t say missed, Izzo did play them like that.  I think it gives MSU their best opportunity to win.  Appling is not a big time PG.  Can he have good games?  Without a doubt, but I stand by my thought that this team is better with Appling at the two.


Mr. Hondo Carpenter, Thank you for taking the time to review my correspondence.  I am not a fan of football as it strikes me as a much brutal game.  Where I am from basketball has gained the attention of many people because of the style of the sport and the fact that it is a much enjoyable game to watch.  I know that there seems to be great concern about the attendance for Michigan State games and the energy of enthusiasm among those in attendance.  I think that head coach Tom Izzo could help himself if he were to put attention on acquiring players from Asia.  That would bring in more fans and the enthusiasm at games is much more evident when comparing at home and here in East Lansing.  Thank you for taking the time to read my correspondence with you.  Xao

Xao, thanks for the email.  I think Tom would walk and swim to the east if he thought he could get a player.  Glad that you care enough to send an email.  I am sure if you become aware of a great player they wouldn’t mind you sending any information to the basketball office.  Be a role model and show those fans how you cheer, if it helps, that is a good thing.


Hondo, I know that you probably can’t say this, but I am so sick of people dumping on the Izzone.  It isn’t what it used to be.  Never will be.  My older sister was in it back in the day and compared to what we have to go through now, it is so regulated and boring.  No one thinks to blame the powers that be about how we are censored and told what we can or can’t say.  I agree the Izzone isn’t what is used to be and the folks in control ruined that.  Chris

Chris, I have heard your argument many times.  I think it is germane.  The Izzone has changed and I think a great part of that is the regulation, but I also think that the newness and the excitement have been lost some also.  It is normal after so long, but somehow I think the Izzone needs a shot in the arm.  Still full of great kids, but I don’t have the answers.  There has to be a happy balance, I just am so focused on the game I don’t really pay attention.  I am going to pay closer attention this year.


Hondo, I have a simple question.  I am one of the old “Green seaters” that the kids love to chide about not standing up and being as loud as the Izzone.  Why is it that every time we play some raucous music to get the crowd fired up and excited the band jumps in to cover it up.  I would get it if the band played different songs and was more a part of the game day experience.  I wish they would let the disc jockey play more or make the band actually learn some new songs.  We went to a game in Madison and their band was outstanding.  Perhaps our leaders could take a drive and get some ideas?  Stan

I like the mix of band and DJ personally, but I have heard a lot of complaints about this issue and game day as a whole.  Unfortunately, it is one of the things that I don’t think will ever be settled.  Is there a balance?  Yes.  What is it?  I have no clue. 


Hondo, I am embarrassed by the loss to Connecticut.  Since this team beat Connecticut to go to the championship game in Detroit we haven’t won a big game.  Maybe we are getting too impressed with ourselves.  Perhaps we are getting too much Broadway and not enough Iron Mountain?  Could you share your opinion please?  Isaac

Well, I disagree with your premise.  That win on April 4, 2009, in Detroit was big, but I think Izzo has earned some others.  I think on March 28, 2010, the upset of Tennessee was big to send MSU to the Final Four.  Now I would argue that the loss to Butler that followed was the biggest loss of the Izzo era.  I thought the OSU win on March 11, 2012, was another big one.  I see your point about losing early, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.  I also take issue with your use of the word embarrassed.  I think that should be reserved for when guys aren’t playing hard or glaring coaching mistakes.  I saw a team with far more talent lose to UCONN.  I didn’t see a team of quitters or glaring coaching mistakes by Izzo.  It was a bad loss, not a season ender at all, but FAR from an embarrassment in my opinion.


Hondo, we have got nothing out of Russell Byrd.  Nothing.  Austin Thornton wasn’t a starter, but he contributed.  Russell seams lost on the court.  Am I missing something?  Sean

Sean, the good news is that this is only one game and two exhibitions into the season.  There is a long time to see him develop.  The bad news is that this is one game and two exhibitions into the season and we haven’t seen anything.  I think it is fair to say that he has to step his game way up.


Hondo, I don’t get something.  I was shocked like everyone else when Izzo let Byrd and Nix be picked as captains.  Then he went to the Big Ten media day and didn’t bring either one.  Any explanation?  Joel

None whatsoever.  Didn’t make sense to me on more levels than I care to discuss.


Hondo, if you were picking the MSU starting five what would it be?  Garrett

I would start 1) Trice 2) Appling 3) Harris 4) Dawson 5) Nix



Hondo, I really love the Q/A articles, and can’t wait for basketball to come back.  Do you like the Twin Towers approach with Nix and Payne together?  Patrick

Patrick, I can see it at times, but I don’t like it.  Playing them separate allows you to keep a bigs presence in there more because they can sub off of each other and you can go small when need be.


Hondo, you Tweeted another sportswriter’s comment that it looked like Alex Gauna was the whipping boy this year.  I really think he can play, but how can he when everything he does gets him screamed at.  Izzo admitted that the year he redshirted he would have played so let him. Lamar

I think Gauna is a player.  I retweeted that thought because it makes no sense to me.  Izzo already controls playing time; I don’t see how berating him in public does much to change the problem.  I want to see more from Gauna and I know that he has a role on this team.  Whether or not it develops we shall see, but I am 100% convinced he has a role on this team.





There you go everyone.  Another week of your MSU Basketball Q and A in the books.  Make sure to send in your questions for next week.  Simply email them to SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and put weekly Q and A Basketball in the subject line.


About Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.

View all posts by Hondo S. Carpenter Sr.
Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. is the founder and publisher of SpartanNation.com and all of the family of services. The idea was birthed when overseas he ran into a Spartan not native to the United States who was wearing his Green and White proudly. He is dedicated to bringing you the latest and greatest information about Michigan State and Detroit Sports News every day. He resides in the Mid Michigan area. Follow Hondo on twitter here: @hondocarpenter.

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