Tom Izzo

Report: Did Tom Izzo turn down a $35 million deal to run the Detroit Pistons?

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo has had his fair share of NBA interest over the years.

The 59-year-old Izzo has made six Final Four appearances and won a national championship in 2000, so why wouldn’t The League be interested?

Izzo’s name has been linked to the Detroit Pistons, Minnesota Timberwolves and Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason and it appears the Pistons were pretty serious in their pursuit of Michigan State’s longtime head coach.

According to a report from Jerry Zgoda of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Pistons even put forth an offer to Izzo.

How serious was this offer, you ask?

The Detroit Pistons reportedly offered Izzo the same five-year, $35-million deal the team eventually gave to Stan Van Gundy to run and coach the team:

(Timberwolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders) kicked the tires — inquiring about their interest through conversations without formal interviews — on college coaches Tom Izzo and Fred Hoiberg as well as veteran NBA coach Stan Van Gundy, but discussions didn’t go beyond that.

(Izzo was offered the same five-year, $35 million offer to coach and run the Pistons that Van Gundy eventually accepted last week. Izzo also declined when Cleveland fired Mike Brown and called for the second time in four years. Hoiberg, too, appears content to remain in college coaching, at least for now.)

If Izzo really did turn down a $35 million offer to have complete control of the Detroit Pistons, then he must either really love Michigan State or must really not want to coach in Detroit.

With the Pistons coming off of back-to-back 29-53 seasons, they’re not exactly an attractive fit right now and for a first-time NBA coach and president of basketball operations like Izzo would have been, it would have been a very difficult turnaround.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.