Answering Your Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails…

Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard

Answering Your Michigan State Basketball Questions and Emails…


Hondo, Cliff Alexander was considered an MSU lean and then he comes out and says there is no relationship, do you have any idea how such an about face occurred? Grant Crago

Hi Grant.  This is a difficult question for me to answer.  I have no idea where you heard he was a “LEAN” but I had Cliff on my show the first time three years ago and have said for nearly two years he was not going to come to MSU.  I can also say that some view the word relationship in different ways.  Some as talking, some as more involved.  You can look in the radio archives with all my interviews with B1G basketball recruiting GURU Jeff Rabjohns and we have talked openly that MSU was out of the picture and was not getting him if you doubt that.


Hondo, I have always enjoyed your thoughts and inside information with basketball at MSU.  I was really encouraged with your talk about Izzo and the team.  We often hear about the players’ chemistry with each other, but you are the first to talk about the coach and the team.  I get nervous when I see players ignore him and argue, glad that has stopped.  Carl

Not sure why you think that will stop.  This is the best Izzo to team chemistry since Mateen was here, but that doesn’t mean the ignoring or the arguing will stop.  Izzo loves that stuff.  He wants guys who get emotional and fired up like he is.  My dad (who has been married to my mother for 60 years) once told me that, “Find a married couple who says they have a good marriage who don’t fight and squabble and I will show you either a liar, or someone living in a fake world that their partner is happy.”  Every relationship to be healthy has to have an outlet and I commend Izzo for that.  That stuff won’t stop, and Izzo wouldn’t want that.


Hondo, I really appreciated your commentary about Keith Appling and Adreian Payne and missing class.  I hadn’t noticed that they were cheerleading and being great teammates.  I guess sometimes we don’t look for good in all things.  Thanks for bringing reality to a difficult situation with them getting benched.  Aaron Keuhn

A difficult situation?  They skipped a class.  Did you not go to college?  Even Izzo said it wasn’t a big deal.  People made far too much out of it.


Hondo, I realize that you’re fat, dumb, and ignorant and your vision is probably impeded by your ugly bright pink shirt.  Are you really so ignorant that you can try to make it seem like Payne, Dawson, and Appling being benched was not a major issue?  It is that kind of selfish action that can rip from Spartan Nation a national title and you downplay it.  Izzo was obviously outraged and you ruined what he was trying to accomplish by painting those selfish children like grownups.  F*&^ you fat boy and try working with Izzo and not against him.  Randall

I am sorry that talking with Izzo and him telling me it wasn’t a big deal, and observing them being good teammates was wrong.  To quote Izzo I should “Get you on dial a clue” and stop listening to the head coach before I give commentary.  Let me simply say this, if MSU loses a national title because three players skipped a class, MSU was never going to win it. I agree with what Izzo said and did, and he 100% agreed with my commentary.  I will pass it along that he and I should look to you for our responses.  By the way, I now weigh what I did as a junior in high school and although I have more to lose, I can.  It is hard to fix stupid and you sir live in that world.


Hondo, would you anticipate Izzo continuing to develop Russ Byrd or will he pretty much be an end of game player for us?  I like the kid, but as Izzo talks about shortening the bench I think he has done all he can do.  Michael.

Michael, Russ has been through a lot.  I do expect him to get minutes in spurts and certain situations, but I would also say that the “development” phase is over and we know what we have in Russ.  Super kid.


Hondo, I am concerned about Gavin Schilling.  He has a freak body, but seems at times to be swimming on the court and thinking too much.  Mark

He just turned 18 last week.  That is normal.  Relax.  Step away from the keyboard and take a big breath.


Hondo, I am depressed to see our rebounding and defense in the toilet. I just don’t see a Final Four team here.  Alex

So, you don’t think the new rules are impacting the game?  You don’t think when your shooting percentage is significantly higher and you are scoring more points that the number of opportunities to get said rebounds on offense are down?  If you can’t grasp the impact of those two big dynamics, I just don’t know what to say.


Hondo, I heard you after the first week talking about Izzo and how he has grown and changed and from my seats I can tell you that you are spot on.  It was been more fun to watch him this year than the kids.  So proud of this team and coach and I wouldn’t have noticed the changes without you pointing them out.  Elizabeth

Thanks.  It is fun to watch a coach who has every reason to be set in his ways grow, and I agree that watching him this year has been as fun or even more fun than the players.


Hondo, I am a big Dane Fife fan.  I love every part of the way he coaches and the way he played.  Do you think he is legitimate high level head coach material?  Kris

Yes.  He is the real deal.  He has great vision as far as reading players and good coaches have strong convictions about winning, but learn to adapt and how to relate to people.  The new and improved Keith Appling is in great part to Dane.  Add to that his personality, and he is a can’t miss head coach candidate.


Hondo, I respect the fact that whether it is football or basketball you are straight on honest.  No B.S. no sugar coating.  In the past you have said when you didn’t think a team was good enough or even why.  Sometimes I think the media think they are cheerleaders.  There is no doubt that you love MSU, but your ability to be critical in your analysis is great.  I love your optimism with this team.  That really excites me.  Stan

Thanks Stan.  That is my job.  I want MSU to be successful and to be good.  I also know that I am not a cheerleader.  I don’t care how much weight I have lost, that isn’t a pretty thing.  My job is to call them like I see them, but to put the work in so that right or wrong I am informed.  I am optimistic about this team.  The most I have been for any team since they won the title.


Hondo, in the past people have asked about the next coach after Izzo retires you said you thought it would be Brad Stevens who was at Butler.  Now that he is with the Celtics would you expect him still or when Izzo leaves do you think Hollis would stay in house or go outside?  If he goes outside, who would you speculate?  William

At this point I would not expect Brad to leave the Celtics.  However, the NBA is VERY fluid so when the time comes that Izzo hangs them up, we will see.  Assuming Brad is off the board, Hollis WILL NOT go internal.  I would expect Sean Miller, the coach at Arizona, to be the Spartans next head coach.


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.

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