Amid rumors of a possible departure from the college game to coach basketball in the pros, Michigan State's Tom Izzo recently cleared up some of the speculation. Izzo was interviewed earlier this week on ESPN's "SportsCenter" and made it clear that his current occupation in East Lansing is nothing he is ready to part with anytime soon. It sounds like the Spartans will not have to look for a new head coach after all.
Not too long after the abrupt firing of Maurice Cheeks as the head coach of the Detroit Pistons, rumors surfaced about the Motor City franchise setting its sight on Izzo. The Pistons, only 26-44 on the season, have had a disappointing run to say the least and are all but out of NBA playoff contention by this point. This season's disastrous outcome is a red flag that the team needs a big turnaround and major changes are expected to be made in the upcoming offseason.
Tom Gores, the owner of the franchise and conveniently a Michigan State alum, is apparently not as far along recruiting the legendary coach as people might have believed. After a team practice on Tuesday, Izzo stated that he has not had any communication with Gores or any other representative of the Pistons. He even added the fact that he and Gores have never actually met. Izzo gave praise to MSU's president and athletic director by calling them both "great." He also said that the university is "a pretty good place for [him] right now" and feels like he still has "much more work to do" at MSU.
Of course, nothing is set in stone just yet. Speculation will undoubtedly continue to brew among basketball fans and the media. However, after these recent statements from its beloved coach, Spartan nation should be able to breathe a little sigh of relief for the time being.
Izzo and the Spartans, the number four seed in the East bracket, are currently awaiting their Sweet Sixteen matchup in the NCAA tournament against the number one seed Virginia Cavaliers. The game is set to tip off on Friday (March 28) at 9:57 p.m. in New York City. The Spartans are coming off of a nail-biting thriller against Harvard in the Round of 32, which they won 80-73. The Spartans are slightly favored over the Cavaliers, who are coming off of a blowout victory against Memphis.
President Barack Obama has picked Michigan State to go all the way and win its third national championship.