Answering Your Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails…

Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard

Hi Hondo, what happened to the days when they would slap the floor on an important d stop; can we bring that back?  Brad H. Class of ’09 Portland, ORE

Brad, that is the pure emotion that Izzo loves and craves.  Sadly, when it happens because a coach calls for it, it looks contrived and is, thus defeating the desired effect.  When it happens as part of a spontaneous emotion, it has an amazing result.  Sadly, emotion and leadership can’t be contrived and I agree. When done in the right context, it is amazing.


Hondo-You had a great article on Brandan Kearney a couple weeks ago. Too bad those pieces aren’t what sells mainstream newspapers and those glimpses of athletes are rare. The transfer news took me by surprise even though on a lot of levels it makes sense and the timing does too so he can play next January. With his talent and size, I figured it would just be a matter of time until it came together for him at MSU.  Todd Burkhardt

I agree. Brandan is a great kid.  I wish him well.  He comes from a super family and I have no doubts that Brandan Kearney’s best days are ahead of him.


Hondo, I have a simple question.  I have read that Kearney’s teammates really didn’t care that he left.  It was implied that he wasn’t well liked.  Is that why he left or the other reason was over playing time?  Kyle

I have not read any reports that he was not liked and if you have, I can assure you that they are untruthful.  Kearney was very well liked and is a great kid.  As far as playing time, this was not the reason for his departure. He was playing.


Hondo, was reading on a message board (not the Phalanx) that when you reported Tom Izzo wanted to be football coach, they were floating that to you to see if they could trust you to be quiet.  You have a lot of great access to MSU basketball, so it didn’t sound right to me.  Can you comment?  Stephen

That is very funny and whoever said that is lying.  Sadly, I can’t respond to cowards who hide behind message board anonymity to attack.  My name is on everything I do.  Tom Izzo was well aware of the report I made PRIOR to me making it.  With as much scorn and ridicule that he took for that report, if I had made it up I would not get any access and as you stated I do.  Despite the obvious, please don’t take my word for it.  Tom speaks regularly in public and on his radio show and takes questions.  Mention to him what you read and what I just wrote and tell him (in public) that I asked you to ask him if I was credible.  That will tell you your answer.  Ask him.


Hondo, I want to thank you for your coverage.  You certainly have a pro MSU standpoint, but you also are very willing to take a contrarian angle if you feel it is right.  I have a question about Izzo.  You get to be at practice and see things that we the general public do not.  What do you think is Tom Izzo’s best strength as a coach and maybe a weakness?  Thanks for taking the time.  Mike in Muskegon

Mike, that is a great question.  Here is a shortened, long answer.  J  Tom is meticulous when it comes to minor details.  He frets over them.  I remember last year before the Illinois game he had an open media practice for us to watch.  He had the floor all taped up with different spots on the floor and he worked for over an hour on some things he had seen the Illini do in their previous game.  Without being specific, he drilled and drilled his guys on something new that Illinois was up to.  In the very first few moments of the game Illinois did it and the Spartans failed to properly handle it.  The look of anguish on Izzo’s face was so telling.  People at home or in the stands wouldn’t have understood why, but he had done all he could.  He had caught something through hours of endless tape watching, he had spent a ton of time preparing his guys, and they failed to execute.  It was the player’s mental mistake.  His attention to the minor details is simply amazing and something that can only come with hundreds of thousands of countless hours not seen in public.  All wasted with a simple mental mistake.  A player can come to the sideline and say flippantly “My bad” while Izzo literally suffers.  Tom is the master of doing the little, dirty junk things that most coaches overlook or dish off.  Not him.


As far as a weakness, we all have them so this isn’t a pot shot.  I would say listening could be a weakness.  Tom is the leader, the commander, the general.  Sometimes I think he would better serve himself to listen better.  Again, he is a first ballot hall of fame coach, but in trying to answer your question truthfully that would be my answer.


Hondo, I was recently watching ESPN praise Boeheim for winning 900+ games.  When you look at Izzo’s record it isn’t close and I do think that Tom is a much better coach.  Am I right about Tom being better and what would you attribute Tom’s smaller amount of wins?  Benjamin in Toledo, Ohio

Great question, Benjamin.  First, I can tell you that I can’t stand Boeheim for a ton of reasons and he doesn’t belong in the conversation with Izzo as far as coaching acumen.  Boeheim is notorious for playing an easy pre-season schedule and has even called Tom out for the way he schedules.  I didn’t see this, but someone told me yesterday that they saw a media outlet calling out Boeheim for how many of his wins took place in New York.  If Izzo scheduled like Boeheim, he would have another 200 wins on his resume and if Boeheim scheduled like Izzo, he would have 250 less wins.  Every year Spartan Nation moans and groans, but that is one thing I love about Izzo.  He schedules right. 


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 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 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.

One Response to “Answering Your Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails…” Subscribe

  1. martin Hersh January 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm #


    On the Kearney issue, I can understand the kid wanting a bigger role and leaving bcse that wasn’t forthcoming at MSU. But my feeling is that his action was extremely selfish and costly to the team. If he wanted to leave fine but my feeling is he should have either done before the season of after it. During the season shows a complete disregard for the team and his coaches. What are your feelings. I know you kike the kid I am asking you for your opinion on his action not on him as a person