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Coach Izzo Confirms In Interview Joshua Langford Out With COVID-19

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 08 Purdue at Michigan State

Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo confirmed that Joshua Langford is the third person affiliated with the men’s basketball team that tested positive for COVID-19. Izzo confirmed this during a radio interview earlier today with Dan Dakich on ESPNU.

This past week it was reported that Steven Izzo and Maddy Sissoko, both roommates, had tested positive for COVID-19 and were four days into their 17-day minimum period of quarantining and medical monitoring before they would be eligible to potentially return to team activities. Then on the day of what was supposed to be the team’s game at Iowa, it was reported it would be postponed due to a third player testing positive. At the time it was not reported on who that was, whether a player or staff member, but that was confirmed today by Coach Izzo that it was fifth-year senior Joshua Langford.

There was no comment on which day specifically Langford tested positive, and so no word on when the senior will be eligible to potentially return. Coach Izzo is opotmistic the team will be back on the court for the Illinois game, however.

Some of the other notable comments made by Coach Izzo in the segment include:

Coach Izzo is currently the only coach on staff able to do workouts with players right now. He started doing one-on-one workouts with available players whereas that is normally handled by assistant coaches and it has been an enjoyable change for him.

The Big Ten’s daily testing procedures allow the teams to implement less contact tracing restrictions compared to other leagues. This has been a benefit in cases like this as fewer players and staff are out for an extended period of time.

Coach Izzo also spoke briefly on his own experience with COVID-19. When he had it, he had a couple days with a fever after initially mild symptoms, but afterward was mostly fine minus some fatigue for a while after.

Coach Izzo believes A.J. Hoggard is doing OK as a freshman thus far, and noted he lost 20 pounds so far. His three weeks out at the start of fall camp was a big detriment to his growth thus far, however.

The lack of a break over Christmas and no easy non-conference games on the schedule hurt a lot. Now straight into a tough conference play, and the issue becomes where do you get healthy this season?

On the question of if there will be or should be a Big Ten Tournament (edited for clarify):

I just have no idea. It should be discussed. What does that mean? There’s TV rights, financial issues, and I think a tough part is Chicago is a tough place right now with COVID-19 cases. It has to be discussed, and if the end all be all is to play and play in the NCAA tournament, then beating the hell out of each other for another week doesn’t do any favors. Maybe it means we don’t play ourselves in or play ourselves out. It should be up for discussion.