Tom Izzo struggles to find answers for his most talented group of individuals, but maybe not one of his best teams.  Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

Tom Izzo struggles to find answers for his most talented group of individuals, but maybe not one of his best teams. Photo courtesy of Mark Boomgaard.

The woes for the Michigan State men’s basketball team continued this week. The Spartans headed into two hostile environments on the road and were soundly defeated in both contests. The Spartans 4-3 record in Big Ten play continues to illustrate this team’s fall from grace. Through the midst of this disappointing season, Tom Izzo took the podium for his weekly press conference to elaborate on his team’s progress and their inability to win a big game. Notable excerpts include:

 

“We’re not a program that should be totally rebuilding.”

 

“You’ve got to deal with the cards you’re dealt.”

 

“The cards you are dealt, is that we have the number 1 RPI in the country. 

 

“We have made some progress, but we ran into two tough teams on the road.”

 

“ I don’t like the fact that I’m talking about feeling somewhat excited about taking steps in the right directions, we are losing games.”

 

“ I’m not sure anybody predicts that we win at Illinois or Purdue most years, so I’m not sure if this year is different than any other year.”

 

“ We played good enough but made a couple critical mistakes.”

 

“I think they are better than their record (Michigan).”

 

 

It is amazing to see that Tom Izzo has not lost confidence in his team, however one has to question if he is totally being honest with himself. Is Tom Izzo in denial? While the Spartans have improved greatly, they are still not good enough to win close games against ranked competition..

 

This team has been to two final fours, why has the bar been set so low for this season? While Izzo continues to treat us with the cliché line “We are getting better”, I don’t see progress as far as the mental toughness of this team as a whole. While a few players do possess it, it is definitely missing from players that MSU relies on to be successful.

 

What started off as a quest to win a national championship, has quickly turned into a fight to become tournament eligible. “We are getting better”, is a line that is quickly wearing thin with many of us out in “Spartan Nation”, however we will continue to bleed green because we do have “Mr. March” on our side.