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Switching Toms: Could Izzo to Cavaliers mean Crean to Spartans? Or is Izzo staying put?


While it’s not a Kentucky story… the Tom Izzo situation would pretty much sum up and Kentucky fan’s worst nightmare. The BBN has already spent a few months anxiously watching the rumor mill about our beloved Coach Cal bolting to the NBA and trust me, we know the anxiety and can feel the pain that the Spartan fans have today.

Sympathy aside, it really looks as if Tom Izzo is headed to the NBA to possibly become “the next coach fired if LeBron James does not win an NBA title”. That is, if LeBron even stays with the Cavaliers. Regardless, it looks like the lure of the NBA is going to be too much for Tom Izzo to resist.  Or so this is how the rumor mill was earlier today.

Tom Izzo is back in Michigan today and this is all he really had to say to reporters on the issue:

“I feel bad that I can’t talk. I feel good that I did what I had to do.”

If you are a MSU fan, this is hardly reassuring news. There is no Calipari like “I am very happy at Kentucky” or any denial or any sort that he may be living Michigan State. Just an ominous “we’ll talk later”.

Several sources have speculated that MSU players feel that Izzo is going to take the Cleveland job. Tom Izzo was supposed to play gold today with some Michigan State football coaches, but he cancelled that outing, causing speculation to run rampant about a 4PM press conference in East Lansing today. There may still be hope for Spartan fans as it appears now that there will be no press conference scheduled for later, so this could mean that Izzo is going to take the weekend to think about it.

And as of right now, there is rumors that Tom Izzo is sitting down with MSU officials. Not sure of the validity, but if it is true, there stands a very good chance that Izzo remains a Spartan. But since I had already written this story when this latest news broke, let’s look at the alternative.

What if Izzo leaves? Besides being an NCAA nemesis for Kentucky, it is basically a non story as we do not play MSU often. But there has been speculation that Indiana coach Tom Crean could be a candidate to replace Izzo should Izzo bolt:

MSU tried to quell the rumors, citing that Izzo is still part of the MSU community but acknowledging that they have a plan to pursue if Izzo bolts to the NBA.

Most speculation has focused on former MSU assistants, including Brian Gregory at Dayton and Tom Crean at Indiana.

So what does that mean for Indiana? It would be ridiculous to think that Crean wouldn’t crawl backward over broken glass up the Ruel W. Steele Memorial Highway to I-465 around the eastside of Indianapolis to I-69 up to East Lansing to take the job. Michigan State is loaded like Lindsay Lohan on a week long Amsterdam bender, and Indiana is a long way from the nearest bar.

The Crean reclamation project of IU has been an arduous task for Crean, with just 16 wins in two seasons and his recruiting classes at Indiana have been less than stellar. I think Crean will eventually right the ship at IU, but if he leaves, the Hoosiers take another few steps back. You never want to see a rival fall on hard times like that, but if Crean leaves, the Hoosiers risk becoming even more irrelevant than they are right now.

As of now, it’s all rampant speculation and we are all just waiting for any details to come out. Should Izzo stay with the Spartans, I will certainly enjoy watching Calipari deliver another beatdown at Rupp.

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