The Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Monday a list of the people that have been nominated for induction, and while Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson headline that list, the most notable name for college basketball fans is Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo.
Izzo has been to seven Final Fours in his 20 seasons as the head coach of the Spartans, winning more than 500 games in his career. He’s won 11 Big Ten regular season and tournament titles combine and has not missed an NCAA tournament since 1997.
Perhaps what’s the most interesting aspect of Izzo’s candidacy is just how good his team in this season.
The Spartans are currently the No. 1 team in the country. They have the best player in the country in Denzel Valentine, who should be back from a minor knee procedure in the next two or three weeks. They have a very real chance of being Izzo’s second national title team.
Izzo gets inducted to the Hall of Fame in the same year that he wins a ring.
The stories write themselves.
Also of note on the ballot: former Maryland coach Lefty Driesell, former Purdue coach Gene Keady, Villanova’s national title-winning coach Rollie Massimino, former Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan, former Kentucky and Oklahoma State coach Eddie Sutton, and Reggie Theus and Mark Price, current college coaches that were nominated for their playing careers.
On the women’s side, former UConn players Jennifer Azzi and Rebecca Lobo and current Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw and Baylor coach Kim Mulkey were nominated.
One other college hoops relevant nominee: Bill Garrett, the man credited with integrating the Big Ten in the late-40s, is up for induction. He’s the father of DePaul assistant coach Bill Garrett and the grandfather to DePaul guard Billy Garrett, Jr.