Tom Izzo is one of the most popular basketball coaches in the country, and it isn’t only because he’s won a national title and taken his Michigan State program to six Final Fours in his 19 years.
Izzo just seems to get it, and a story that came out this weekend from an ESPN golf writer is a perfect example of that.
Lance Bennett is the caddy for tour pro Matt Kuchar. His wife died unexpectedly this weekend. Bennett is a huge Michigan State fan, and Izzo caught wind of this story.
Izzo learned that Lance Bennett was a huge Spartans basketball fan and went on a mission to contact him.
After making a few calls (six degrees of separation is true), by Friday morning Izzo had Bennett’s phone number. Bennett didn’t recognize the incoming number at first and let the call go to voicemail. The coach left him a message, but called back again, just in case.
Bennett answered this time, even though he hadn’t heard the voicemail, so it was a complete surprise for him to hear Izzo’s voice on the other end of the call. They spoke for about 15 minutes.
It’s a nice gesture, one that Izzo didn’t have to do that surely helped someone in a bad spot.
Nevada will be honoring Flip Saunders and Bill Musselman with a pregame warm-up routine they’ve been practicing for the past couple of weeks.
Bill is the father of Eric Musselman, Nevada’s head coach. He was coaching the Minnesota Golden Gophers that included Flip as a player when they used this warmup routine in the 1970s.
“We start almost every practice with this pregame routine,” Eric Musselman said. “It takes some time to get it down and we will perform it live for the first time before the Portland State home game at Lawlor Events Center on Nov. 25.”
The routine, which Eric found in a diagram after his father passed away, is similar to something you’d see the Harlem Globetrotters do.
In today’s episode, we talk quite a bit about Ben Simmons. How good of a prospect is he? Why do people insist on calling him overrated? Does LSU actually have a shot at missing the NCAA tournament?
[MORE: Why scouts are down on Simmons]
[MORE: Will Simmons be relevant in March?]
We also talk about Indiana’s disappointing showing in Maui, just how good Vanderbilt and Kansas have looked, Marquette’s ability to bounce back and whether or not we should be concerned about North Carolina and Maryland.
Oh, and Thanksgiving sides.
Do people really call stuffing ‘dressing’?
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here.