"We are not going to just take anybody, either," Izzo said. "We are looking at a couple kids in Ohio. We are not relying on (this potential recruit) to be any kind of savior."
I saw Mark twice yesterday, and I can tell you, if he doesn't recover 105 percent, I would be shocked.
"Look at Michigan State,'' one coach said. "They're there every year. When you see the dips, then you wonder. What happened? What didn't happen? But a guy like Tom Izzo, he's there every year because you know what his program is about and so do his players. There's a consistency and an integrity.''
"I'm sure it looks like if I would have made the move that it would have been a worse move now that he (James) is gone, but I would have made it for more than one reason, and I didn't make the move for more than one reason. So it had no affect on me, as far as my job. And if he would have come back, I would have been happy. It would have had no affect on me to say, 'Oh, look what I would have missed out on.'
"That's where giving me a chance to really figure out what I wanted to do helps, because I had no buyers or sellers remorse in this, and certainly didn't feel any last night, and wouldn't have, either way."
In a phone interview just completed, Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis acknowledged that Cleveland's pursuit of Tom Izzo is the most serious publicly known threat to Izzo's MSU tenure since he nearly left for the Atlanta Hawks a decade ago.
So Sunday night, I reached Izzo via text and asked him about the Cavs. He replied that the reports are "way more (baloney) than substance."
With all due respect to [Roy] Williams, whose Tar Heels blasted past the Spartans on the way to national titles in both 2005 and 2009, Izzo's never gone 5-11 in the Big Ten. So keep your eyes peeled on the sidelines this weekend, because the best college basketball coach in the land will be in action at the Final Four. And, yes, Mike Krzyzewski will be there, too.
"I see Kalin (Lucas), Chris Allen, Delvon (Roe) and Day Day (Draymond Green). ... I see all those guys vocally making this [the loss to UNC] a big deal," coach Tom Izzo said recently.
Yep, Tom Izzo is pretty much the best coach ever. Hyperbole? Sort of. But when you consider Izzo's record on all fronts -- his ability to recruit, his style of play, his program-building ability, the way his teams are always so good at the most difficult parts of the game, the way they're always at their best late in the season -- the hyperbole's not all that far-fetched. The Big Ten catches its fair share of heat for being mediocre. I've perpetuated that perception. And maybe it is. But Izzo deserves credit for turning Michigan State back into a national program, and for maintaining that same level of success year after year after year. If he's not the best in the country, he's right there.