Breslin Center East Lansing, MI
The NBA and college basketball other than representing the same game, are very different. The NBA has farther three point lines, faster shot clock, six personal fouls over five, quarters instead halves and many more. Tom Izzo has never hidden his fondness for the pro game and he certainly made it even more clear recently.
Izzo was asked about wanting more NBA rules in the college game and he was emphatic! “I 100 percent, I told you, I’m 100 percent. And they did move the ball too, I guess, I didn’t realize they did that. I’m 100 percent for NBA rules, total, to me, total NBA rules. Same court, we don’t have to look at nine different courts; same lines, we don’t have to look at nine different lines; same rules. Somebody could watch a game and if they’re watching – to me a perfect world would be high school, college, pro, everybody’s the same – there’s no real disadvantage in my humble opinion. So, that’s my stance on it that would probably ruffle some feathers. But, it’s not an advantage for me or a disadvantage, I 100 percent believe it would help the players transition into the league they want to get to. It would help fans watch a game of any level and see the same things called. I think it would bring some excitement with the few little rules they have. I like the quarters because then you don’t have 12-13 minutes left to go in a game and you’re in the double-bonus.”
So why has the game changed? Why hasn’t college basketball moved more towards the game played at its highest level? Is it tradition more than anything else?
“You know, that’s the way I think it is with a lot of things. It’s old school thinking, where we don’t want to change the things just for the reason you know we don’t want to change uniforms. It might be old-school, but I’m not wired that way. I think it would be TO ME and I got to make sure I say to me, I think it would be best for the game of basketball. I really think it’s best for the game of basketball everywhere and that’s, I don’t know what that does, I’m not even sure, that the international rules are so much different and everything. But if I was the czar for the day, from China to Los Angeles would have the same rules, Olympics to college, to high school, to pro. And that way we couldn’t have people say ‘Well, we’re not preparing our kids right.’ We couldn’t have my mother saying ‘Why does those lines get bigger on the pro court than college?’ It just makes too much sense so it won’t happen.”
The Spartans head into action tomorrow night at 6:30 PM against Ohio State or Penn State. You can see that game on BTN.