Byrd is a great kid and should be on the court sinking three pointers in 2011-2012. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

Hondo can you give us an update on Russell Byrd when you know something?  George in Birmingham

 

Hi George.  The surgery went great.  He got a new screw and a bone graft.  Four months is a very safe bet, but could be as few as twelve weeks.  I expect Russ to have a complete recovery and do well in 2011.

 

Hi Hondo,
If the Spartans don’t have the full services of Byrd next season where will their 3-point shooting come from?  I know Green can hit some.  How about Appling and Wood, are they good 3-point shooters? John -  Lansing

Russ is a lights out shooter.  He very well could be the best shooter on the team.  Thankfully I think he will be back, but Wood will certainly help.  If Byrd isn’t available (again I expect him to be) then look for those points to come by committee more than one person in particular.

Hondo, do you know who took Monty’s role as the lead assistant?  I was eating out last week and heard a former player sitting near me saying that he had heard there was some tension with Fife taking that role.  Is that true?  Chris in Okemos

Chris, I wasn’t sure if Fife got that title or not so I emailed Matt Larson, the MSU SID, who sent this to me:  “All three are assistant coaches – none are associate head coach.”   I can tell you that you aren’t the only one to ask me how the staff is taking it.  It will be an interesting dynamic to keep an eye on.

 

Greetings Hondo!  Do you have any idea/anticipation of what weekend Midnight Madness may be held this year?  I am assuming it will be Friday, October 14 before the Michigan game, but wanted to make sure so that I can make plans accordingly.  Thanks for the indulgence!
 Matthew Means

You are correct.  Midnight Madness and UM football in the same weekend.  Dare I declare:  Giggity!

 

Hondo, I read last year your thoughts on staff changes and as you alluded to a few weeks ago it happened just as you said it would.  This may sound weird, but you don’t hold back with your answers.  Does it ever make it tense around a player or coach if you are critical?  I know that you weren’t critical when you referenced staff changes, but I can’t imagine that it is always comfortable.  Carl

 

Carl, I have never been uncomfortable when I was reporting something.  If I report it, it is truthful.  I knew when I reported that Izzo wanted to be the football coach and had talked with the powers that be about the job that the story was 100% accurate.  I also knew the reaction wasn’t going to be good and the old adage about don’t kill the messenger certainly came to mind.  I don’t take cheap shots or make personal attacks.  If I am tough it is warranted.  From time to time are others uncomfortable? Sure.  That is normal.  Someday I will tell some stories, I am sure you will find them funny.  I show up…at everything.  If I write it, say it on TV or radio I am accountable.  I have nothing to hide.  I give my opinions and thoughts in public and I can handle people not thinking I am right.

 

Hondo, you mentioned that you thought Izzo and the staff had something to prove with Pain and Nix.  I couldn’t agree more.  I think it hurts us that MSU basketball does a great job with guards and forwards, but not the big guys.  I think that they are really being judged as coaches with those two.  They wanted them, they got them, and they need to make them better.  If both of them don’t reach their potential, with the past failures of big guys, I think it falls on the staff.  Am I right?  Blaine

 

Blaine, I think the staff has a lot to demonstrate with Nix and Payne.  When coaches go after and recruit players you have to remember that they wanted them.  They wooed them and brought them in.  Certainly, some guys don’t work out, but this position has not been one of great reward and those two have so much talent and potential that I totally agree.

 

Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the new Friday column.  If you aren’t aware, on Fridays I answer some of your email in a Q and A column about Spartan basketball.  If you have a MSU basketball question you would like answered send me an email at SpartanNationMail@yahoo.com and please put in the subject line Basketball question.