Traverse City Record-Eagle

Sports

June 27, 2014

Izzo talks Spartans, NBA, media

EAST LANSING — Tom Izzo had some things on his mind.

Scheduled to talk to an annual meeting of Michigan sports editors and reporters at the Michigan High School Athletic Association headquarters for a half hour, the Michigan State men’s basketball coach went on for just over an hour as he discussed recruiting, the NBA, the media, social media and a bevy of topics affecting basketball today.

Here are some of his thoughts on those topics ...

On the 2014-15 Spartans

“You know, I’ve only been with my guys for two weeks and I uncharacteristically, optimistically, feel good about my team. I like the energy, I think Denzel (Valentine) is gonna be a great, great leader. I think we’ve been lacking a little leadership. I think guys have played hard. I think I’ve got more shooters. I think, right now, I like where we are. Now, a month from now, I might not like it, but I really have seen some things that I think we’re gonna be not only better than I thought we could be, but I like the direction we’re going again.”

On the NBA Draft

“I’ve always been a firm believer that it’s nice for your ego to get drafted first, third, fifth, ninth. I’m bigger on getting to the right team. So many guys are having a cup of coffee in the league right now. If you look at the last couple years, there’s getting to be more guys that are in and out, or in the D-league or in Europe, compared to staying in the league. Whenever I talk to a player about leaving early or anything else, I say, ‘Do you want to get drafted in the first round, or do you want to have a career in the NBA?’”

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