Embed from Getty Images At 6 foot 6 Aaron Henry started 22 games as a freshman, for the Spartans averaging 6.1 points and 3.8 rebounds, and was a solid defender for the Spartans who won the Big Ten regular season and tournament titles and reached the Final Four.
“Henry is potential is soaring machine , he should flourish next to Cassius Winston and a healthy Joshua Langford next season. Aaron showed plenty during the NCAA tournament, scoring 20 in the win over LSU in the Sweet 16. His defense should continue to improve, his ceiling will be shattered by his ability to make shots, get to the rim and elevate above the defense in the open floor.
Arron Henry averaged 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds during the NCAA Tournament while shooting 58 percent from the floor — all better than his season averages. gives the Spartans a talented core that is returning next season a core that includes the aforementioned starters Winston and Langford, as well as forwards Xavier Tillman and Kyle Ahrens, who also cracked the starting lineup at times.
The Michigan State basketball team should enter next season as both Big Ten favorites and NCAA favorites. They are deep and athletic. Yet it was Henry who ran into a very upset Tom Izzo in the Big Ten tournament. Izzo walked out on the court screaming at Henry.
After a few defensive lapses which lead to the tongue-lashing from the Spartans head coach, Aaron Henry recovered, he did some things that you can not do as a starter on a top-5 team at the end of your freshman year. And they were effort-related. He picked up his effort.
Aaron Henry can be a very good player on a very good team. That schould scare the rest of the Big Ten conference.
Embed from Getty Images If there has ever been any doubt about Tom Izzo’s legacy they need to be silenced. The Michigan State Spartans head coach showed why he is one of the truly elite NCAA basketball coaches. Guiding the Spartans to another Final Four.
If Izzo can help his teams quest to win a second national championship, that would help the Spartans begin to separate themselves from other programs. In Izzo’s 24 years in East Lansing, his Spartan teams have reached eight Final Fours.
With one National Championship in 2000 under his belt getting that second national title is what drives Izzo. Only 15 coaches in the history of college basketball have won more than one. A rather select group.
Taking a Michigan State team that had more than it’s fair share of injuries, Izzo did a masterful job getting his team to be crowned Big Ten co-champions as well as to the Final Four.
“I’ll disclose this one thing,” Izzo said Monday. “I’m going to try to win this time. I don’t know if I’ve done a good job of that. … But I’m looking at sometimes, even as a coach, you’re just happy to be there, and sometimes I’m trying to look at what can I do better than I did? We had a late, late-night meeting with my staff, and we’ll have another one in a little while because I told them, because a couple of them have been with me more than a couple of those Final Fours, let’s look at what we did. Let’s look at some other programs.”
Not very coaches can say they have won as much or as often as Izzo does. Only four coaches in college basketball history have been to more Final Fours than Izzo Mike Krzyzewski, John Wooden, Dean Smith and Roy Williams all big time head coaches.
Tom Izzo, is a hall of fame coach. He has shown time and time again why he is so good. What he has done this season has been nothing short of spectacular.
Embed from Getty Images Tom Izzo somehow managed to rally his Spartans basketball team. Losing at home to Michigan things looked bleak for the Green and White. Izzo said “We had a character check at halftime.”
“I asked the team if they wanted to pack it in or play for a championship.” In the second half Izzo would get his answer. Spartans all-everything team leader Cassius Winston would spearhead the Michigan State turn around. Great players, elevate their play in tough times. Winston is that guy for his team.
Winston, was able to overcome a rough first half shooting to score 23 points along with 7 assists. It put the Spartans on a 25-4 run. The Wolverines were unable to regain any momentum. The Spartans would not look back.
The win earned the Michigan State basketball team a share of the Big Ten title with Purdue. It also secured a No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament next week in Chicago.
“I am proud of my guys, they figured it out.” Izzo beamed at a post game press conference. After the performance last night Izzo has every right to be proud of his team.
For the Michigan Wolverines the loss was crippling. Michigan who looked like a powerhouse early in the season, controlled the first half. When the Spartans started heating up in the second half Michigan had no answers. The Wolverines seem to pack it in. It was embarrassing to watch.
What is worse, was no in-game adjustments were made by the Wolverines coaching staff. Michigan suffered a total and complete implosion. Head coach John Beilein failed his team.
Thanks in large part to the Big Ten’s best coach, Michigan State did not fold, did not buckle. When the going got tough, the Spartans got going. Earning the co-championship.
This has a familiar ring to it. This is Michigan State’s 9th Big Ten title under Tom Izzo. There is no undervaluing what Izzo has done during his time in East Lansing. He has built a powerhouse.
Something the Michigan Wolverines can only dream of doing.
Embed from Getty Images Back- to- back losses to Purdue and Indiana has left the Spartans searching for answers. Give head coach Tom Izzo credit. After Saturday’s loss at home to Indiana his team was not frustrated. They were looking for answers.
Michigan State started the 2018-19 season with a bang. Winning 13 straight and starting 9-0 in the Big Ten made the Spartans look like they would cruse through the season. Then the wheels came off a bit.
First things first. There is plenty of time for the Spartans to get back on track. There is not reason to hit the panic button yet. It is rare an Izzo coached team is outplayed. Yet that is what happened last week. Twice.
Given the roster and talent there is no reason to think this will be a prolonged losing streak. But for the Spartans it all went wrong at the same time. Poor shooting, rebounding as well as defensive issues all hit at the same time.
Now with a few days to recover it will be interesting to see how Michigan State responds tonight when they play at Illinois. When things go wrong no game is a given.
Nothing drives Tom Izzo crazy like his team rebounding poorly. He preaches rebounds all the time. Yet the Spartans last week were woeful in the rebound department. That must change.
During the course of a season shooters go hot and cold. That is to be expected. But the defense has been equally as bad as the rebounding. There is no masking that. Like you can a shooter in a slump.
While Illinois does not rebound well the Spartans next foe after does. Minnesota features the top rebounder in the conference in forward Jordan Murphy. The Golden Gophers as a team lead the Big Ten in team rebounds.
There is work to be done for sure. As for tonight’s game, Illinois is forcing nearly 17 turnovers per game while Michigan State team that’s second-to-last in the conference in turnover margin. So the work must be done quickly. Sure there will be in-game adjustments.
The Big Ten has some very talented teams and the season is and will continue to be a grind. I have little doubt Tom Izzo will have his team playing more consistent.