Tom Izzo caused some concern in East Lansing after Michigan State’s loss to Wisconsin on Sunday when he said that he had no idea how long starting point guard Tum Tum Nairn will be out of the lineup.
He just so happened to mention off-hand that the injury could be (gasp!) season-ending.
“I have no idea the time, I mean I have no idea,” Izzo said after the game. “I’m talking a week, I’m talking a month, I’m talking the season. I have no idea, to be honest with you. They’re gonna do what they did. I had the same thing about a year ago, and fortunately for me, a shot took care of it. Didn’t take care of his. How he reacts the second time, I don’t know.”
That sounds bad, doesn’t it?
Tum Tum tried to downplay that speculation on Tuesday, according to the Detroit Free-Press.
“It’s not gonna be for the rest of the season,” Nairn said.
There’s something to be said for the argument that Michigan State’s best lineup is the one that has Denzel Valentine essentially playing the point guard role while being flanked by Eron Harris and Bryn Forbes. That said, Nairn is Michigan State’s best guard when it comes to leading the break, he’s the best guard they have at pressuring an opponent’s point guard, and while he’s not exactly Chris Paul, he is a facilitator that would allow Valentine to be more of an aggressive playmaker as opposed to a guy trying to get the Spartans into an offense.
More importantly, he’d give Michigan State quality depth and lineup versatility, which is not something they have in abundance with Nairn out.