A viable reason can easily become a sad excuse. Just as easily "bad luck" can reveal itself as part of an identity. Nobody ever wants to see a team decimated by injuries. Injuries are a variable that many times do come into play in terms of how things play out for any given team in a season. That being said, this display from Michigan State as to the extent of their injuries and the effect it had on last nights has truly become embarrasing for them. From the miniute Brandon Dawson puched Dan Dakich in the.....um, table, table I guess, the rhetoric gushing out of East Lansing and onto ESPN and finally, desperately, pouring out of Dick Vitale last night when it became clear Michigan was leaving with a W has left me losing a certain degree of respect for Michigan State's basketball program. In one way or another, injuries have taken stage front center of the multitude of excuses coming out of East Lansing in the last several season for results on the court. They are an ace in the hole, a fallback that can be dispersed it seems at the will of Tom Izzo to justify any form of underperformance from his team, in a loss, in a close win, in November, in March, whenever it is needed it is there, and the local and national media just start lathering up in it at a moments notice.
I used to really respect Michigan State as a basketball program. At one time, they were a no non-sense, no excuses outfit. They were tougher than you and they wanted it more that you, and you knew it. Now, they are a program that diverts the attention from a truly remarkable basketball game last night to an excuse for their loss, and basically, refusing to acknowledge the result of the game as legitimate. I have never liked Tom Izzo or Michigan State, because they are Michigan State, but I have always respected the hell out of them for the type of program they were. It was the type of program that I wish Michigan had. I now could not be prouder of the distinction between the programs and the way it responds to wins and losses and the way it carries itself in regard to a worthy opponent. That was a great win for Michigan. There is no asterick, there is no qualifier. That is the headline after last nights game and I would have a lot more respect for Michigan State basketball if that was their bottom line after a really great college basketball game.
I listened to coach B at the presser. He says they will practice this week as if they had lost.
Posted a few hours ago on MGoBlue. He was 90 years young.
I know a lot of people, including myself, were laughing about Jalen suggesting Fisher was Michigan's greatest coach in the thread two days ago. Strack's resume-
- Played for Michigan from 1942-43 - 1945-46 and was team captain once.
- Assistant coach at Michigan from 1952-53 - 1959-60
- Head Coach from 1960-61 - 1967-68
- Career record of 113-89
- 2 Final Fours including Michigan's first-ever Final Four in 1964 and finished as a NCAA Runner-Up in 1965 to John Wooden's UCLA team.
- 3 straight Big Ten Championships from 1963-64 - 1965-66 with a combined 35-7 conference record
- Recruited Cazzie Russell, Bill Buntin, Rudy Tomjanovich. All three's numbers hang in Crisler Center. Cazzie Russell was the first of two national players of the year in Michigan history.
He inherited a once-respectable program that had become a doormat--Michigan was 4-20 prior to his promotion. It wasn't pretty when he started off, either, winning 13 games in two seasons. Each year his win total kept getting higher and by his 4th year things finally worked out.
Strack's 1964 and 1965 Final Four teams kicked off the four-decade long run of Michigan making at least one Final Four. Prior to his arrival, they had only made the NCAA Tournament once.
Strack groomed his assistant and handed him the keys following the innaugural season at Crisler, the late Johnny Orr who went on to become the winningest coach in Michigan Basketball history.
Maybe Strack got to watch the game from a good seat high above the rafters.
Well that excitement was short-lived. Still a tremendous day with the victory over MSU.
I'm not sure that I've ever followed a team with such a roller-coaster player. As a fan, when you're experiencing the Caris LeVert ride, it can be very emotionally draining. I, for one, have been guilty several times this year of complaining about the downs without properly acknowledging the ups--and there have been many ups, and they have been very huge, and today they were extremely clutch.
17 points (3-5 from 3; 1-5 from 2; 6-7 FT), 8 boards!!! (leading rebounder), 3 assists, only 1 foul, and 3 turnovers.
So here's to you, Caris LeVert!
Since 2010, Beilein has a 5-2 record against MSU, a big ten title, a Wooden Award winner, and a National championship game appearance. We lose Burke, Hardaway, and McGary and Beilein has this team poised for another Big Ten title and maybe more.