During his weekly press conference, Tom Izzo took the podium and elaborated on what was a very eventful week for his basketball team. It was a week that saw Michigan State fall out of the national rankings for the first time in five years, and a week where the Spartans gutted out two overtime wins against Wisconsin and Northwestern.

 

While many of us out in Spartan Nation have serious doubts about this team, Tom Izzo still seems to possess confidence that his players can overcome their mediocre season. Notable excerpts include:

 

“The biggest issue with us is shooting. We just aren’t shooting the ball well.”

 

“It’s a huge week for us. Illinois and Purdue are two of the toughest places to play in the league.(Big Ten)”

 

“I think right now Keith Appling is one of the better defensive guards.”

 

“Delvon Roe is making a case for “Defensive Player of the Year” in our league.”

 

“It has been one of the harder teams I’ve had to coach.”

 

“ I was looking at the schedule trying to find automatic wins for anybody in this league, and I can’t find any.”

 

“…in the Big Ten there are a lot of teams playing good, not sure if many are playing great, and not sure if many are playing poor.”

 

“What a difference a week makes.”

 

The Spartans are moving into a very tough stretch in their schedule, but what else is new? The Big Ten is arguably the toughest conference in the country this year. While serious doubts remain about how successful the Spartans’ season will be, one thing remains clear. Tom Izzo hasn’t hit the panic button.

 

The team seems to be making great strides. The free throw shooting has been significantly better, and the turnovers are down. The Spartans deserve an extreme amount of credit for not giving up, and showing heart in their comeback wins against Wisconsin and Northwestern. These wins could very well be wins that save their season. The emergence of Keith Appling and Delvon Roe as lock down defenders is certainly a pleasant surprise.

 

While all of these positives are reasons to hope, we can’t help but to wonder where has Durrell Summers been? While we shouldn’t look much into his refusal to go in at the end of the Northwestern game, one can’t help but to notice that he is not the same player that had an extraordinary NCAA tournament last March. We can only hope this team will get it together in time to live up to the pre-season hype.