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The Izzone is no Black Hole

  • Blog Post by: Darren "Doogie" Wolfson
  • April 4, 2009 - 8:59 PM

A little birdie told a columnist across town that the Wolves could make a run at Michigan State's Tom Izzo. The chances of Izzo stalking the sideline at Target Center next season are the same as Lisa Lampanelli never again referencing a certain body organ during any Comedy Central Roast.

Why would Izzo leave arguably the best college program of the last 11 years?

With all due respect to Florida's Billy Donovan and North Carolina's Roy Williams, Izzo is to college basketball coaches what Cossetta's is to pizzas. He's the best!

He has led Michigan State to a fifth Final Four since 1999. That's more Final Four trips over that stretch than the entire Pac-10 (four). Every player who has completed his eligibility under Izzo has played in a Final Four. That's one superb recruiting tool when entering a kid's home - a near guarantee that before his time is up, he'll make it to the pinnacle of the college basketball universe.

They cut down the nets in 2000. And could repeat that feat Monday night after defeating a very good UCONN team in the first national semifinal Saturday night in Detroit.

Izzo's career record, in 14 seasons in East Lansing, is 336-135. He's won at least 20 games in 10 of the last 12 years. The Spartans have made 12 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. They've won five regular season Big Ten titles and two Big Ten Tournament championships.

He's an easy guy to root for. No one can convince me that he doesn't come off as a guy you would really like to enjoy a cold one with. The scary thing is - Izzo is only 54 years old. Presumably, he'll stay in East Lansing for at least another 10 years. It makes me wonder, when his career is all said and done, where will he rank among the all-time greats? No one touches John Wooden, but could Izzo enter the top 10? I say without a doubt. He's a lock to enter the Hall of Fame one day.

Louisville Coach Rick Pitino, who's team was manhandled by the Spartans last weekend, told the Detroit News - "There's no better than Tom Izzo in our game."

We agree.

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