KJ's back! He has an article on Basketball Prospectus that analyzes why and how Izzo-led teams improve over the course of a season. It goes without saying that it's well worth your time, so click on the link and read it now.
Interesting fact: Looking at the last 7 years of data for active Big Ten coaches, Tom Izzo teams rank 1st in the Big Ten in average adjusted offensive efficiency but only 5th in average adjusted defensive efficiency.
Fabulous stuff, as always, over at YABB.
Sean Yuille does the yeoman's work of transcribing press conference quotes from Simon, Hollis, and especially Izzo.
The story of the press conference clearly was the exchange between Lynn Henning and Tom Izzo, wherein Henning challenged Izzo's media silence, and Izzo proceeded to absolutely eviscerate him during a good ten minutes of back-and-forth. In case you're curious, Henning's column has already been posted, and contains this gem:
"Izzo has built a castle of a basketball production in East Lansing and could have the top-ranked team this autumn. His personal standing, even if he picked up a bruise or two during the Cavs vigil, has been impeccable. Which is why no one begrudged him taking a long look at Gilbert's overture."
Words fail me.
"If somebody feels we are the best thing to happen in sports here, that means a lot," Izzo said. "There are a lot of neat things that happen in sports in our state. Those mean more to me than national things. And that is coming from a Michigan guy. That is probably why I won't leave here. I do value those things."
"One through four we're probably as good as anybody in the country. But to be a great team, you can't have that void. Right now we have a donut in the middle. It's a big weakness at the moment."
Other items of interest:
1. Says Purdue is the favorite to win the conference. (I agree.)
2. Talks about where last year's Final Four ranks in terms of his life experiences.
3. Says MSU would really like to schedule Notre Dame as a nonconference opponent.
[Bumped. Rittenberg has a few more details. $2M bonus for Dantonio if he's here in 2016. -KJ]
"Dantonio and Izzo received one-year extension; Hollis' was a three-year extension. The contracts were approved by MSU's Board of Trustees."
"I’m not throwing my hat in the ring, and I don’t think they’re throwing their hat at me," Izzo said. "I’m just hanging tight here. I want to win another championship."
Not an outright denial, but pretty close.