It was once one of many things the Spartan basketball program hung it’s hat with pride. Key timeouts by Izzo often led to amazing inbound plays. The Spartans were renowned around the basketball world for it. It was like playing Lombardi’s Packers. You knew it was coming, but you couldn’t stop it. Those day have changed.
Now teams want to get MSU in an inbounding situation. Now the most excitement you see is a long bomb pass to a guard at the other end of the court. You saw one of them get, “Intercepted” on Saturday against Ohio State at the Big Ten Tournament.
So I asked Izzo about it. How could this once weapon in his vast arsenal become such a weakness? Izzo wasted no time in addressing it. “Well, yeah, I can. I don’t think we’ve worked on it hard enough, and that’s my job. And then I sometimes put Denzel in a bad position having him take it out. I thought we had something that we saw on film, and I think we did have it and we just made some crazy plays.”
He went on to add, “Yeah, I think that falls on me to be honest with you. You know, you start picking apart what you can work on, what you can’t work on. You don’t want to wear people out. And I think I’ve neglected that area because we were one of the best, and we weren’t a lot this year. So that’ll be something I’ll take into the tournament, get a couple extra days here and try to do a better job of it.”
If you doubt Izzo this time of the year you are nuts. It is not nuts to at least watch it closely. Teams like Ohio State exploited the weakness in the Spartans inbounds game and if this team wants Izzo type glory in the Final Four, other good teams will exploit it also. It has to get fixed and soon.