Is this the year that Spartan Basketball snaps their drought of winning the BTT? Photo courtesy of Bill Marklevits.

 

Hondo, Will the Spartans play any exhibition games in August or was Coach Izzo just thinking out loud at the end of last season?  Thanks Hondo, Russell

Russell, it is a TBD thing right now.  Still being talked about and discussed, but nothing solid or concrete.  Stay tuned.

Hey Hondo: I look forward to reading you every week.  Have we heard anything new re: Garry Harris?  If we do sign him, do you think that will move us into the top 5 or 10 teams in terms of national recruiting?  Go Spartans, Mark from B’ham

Mark, I have a two-part answer to your two-part question.  That is original.  First, they are doing well with his recruitment and I can tell you that I believe there will be some surprise in the Breslin if they don’t get him.  Is it a lock?  No way, but they are very much in the hunt.  As far as your second question, I have never wasted one ounce of energy on rankings.  I truly believe that they aren’t worth crap.  Rate a class when they graduate.  That is what matters.  I liken it to people that are angry at where some people have MSU football ranked right now.  If they take care of business, where they are ranked in mid January is what counts buddy!

Hondo: One of the things I miss about Spartan Basketball is the Antonio Smith -Al Alagonye – Andre Hutson type player.  The characteristics of these players are that they were big, physically tough, mentally tough, and core program young men.  It seems that in the past eight (8) or nine (9) seasons this type of player is no longer on the team.  Is Coach bypassing those players for more of the talented? Dan

Dan, there is a big element of that going on.  Coach has gone after a different type of player.  I know that some former players from that era have mentioned that to me also.  What matters is that he is still going to Final Fours.  It isn’t like he has failed, and I don’t think you are implying that he has.  I do think there is some truth to what you say that his recruiting has changed, and the players are different.

 

Hondo, this isn’t really an MSU basketball question, but it is about basketball in a way… Austin Hatch the UM recruit and Russell Byrd’s (MSU guard) best friend.  I know that you reported Russell was with him at the hospital, but since he is a UM recruit with no family have you heard if Coach Beilein has been around.  I just am heartbroken for the kid.  Charlie

Charlie, here is how stupid the NCAA is.  Because he was not yet a player on campus Coach Beilein couldn’t head to the hospital to be with Austin.  He had to wait to get NCAA approval.  Now, Coach Beilein is a kind of man that takes a father figure role with his players and recruits that way.  Here is a kid that lost both parents and his birth mother previous and had to wait for clearance?  How stupid and sad.  I can tell you that I really like Coach Beilein and he is doing all he can.  Just keep Austin, his family, and of course the Wolverines in your prayers during this dark time.

 

Hondo, have you made a prediction on the Spartan’s season next year?  I always look forward to hearing your thoughts.  You are not Kool Aid guy.  You are always pretty close so I would like you to give us a look ahead in your weekly question article.  Diane

Diane, I have no clue.  The schedule isn’t even fully released.  Glad you are fired up, but I need to see the entire schedule and get some more info before that.  Let’s talk the last week in October for that one my friend.

 

Thanks for all of the great comments and email for the 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.