After a road loss to Illinois:

I thought the players did not bring what they needed to bring.



Following a road loss to Illinois:

“The players did not bring what they needed to bring. It was not the focus that it needs to win on the road against a good team.  We’ve got to coach them better. We’ve got to coach them harder. We’ve got to do a better job. We didn’t guard as well. We took some bad shots.


We talk about it all the time.

Know the score. Know the time.

Last night Michigan State played Northwestern. Spartans point guard Cassisus Winston turned the ball over. Head coach Tom Izzo took him out of the game. Note, it’s not the first time this has happened in 2016.

What did the coaching staff tell Winston?

“Just time and possession,” Winston said of Izzo’s message, “and I should be smarter not to make those kind of decisions in that time. … I gotta be smarter, because the ball’s going to be in my hands.”

Izzo put the freshman back in the game.

Nothing wrong with taking a player out after a mistake and telling him what they did wrong.

Call it a “teaching moment.”


“I’m going to do whatever it takes to win. I trained all summer. When I’m playing against those bigger guys, I’m always going to play with a chip on my shoulder and battle. It’s all about battling. It’s an all-out battle. I battle even harder when I’m going up against those guys because you kind of have to prove a point. I ain’t going to just be no pushover. It’s not going to be as easy as you think it’s going to be. You’ve got to fight me.”


We’re winding down with our 90 Day Basketball Improvement Plan. My book project on Player Development is almost complete, I’m excited!

Day 80 – Buddy-Buddy, You Make me Go Nutty

I laugh when I hear people say, “you don’t have to be friends off the court, as long as you get along on the court.


I came across a great story in Sports Illustrated (College Preview 11.22.10) on players from Michigan State, Duke and Purdue who have great players that are close ‘off the court’.

There’s a reason why these three schools are in the Top Ten in the country.

Here’s Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers of Michigan State:

Lucas, a 6’1″ point guard, and Summers, a 6’5″ shooting guard, had played AAU ball together since eighth grade and had decided to come to East Lansing together, both of them dazzled by Michigan State coach Tom Izzo’s vision of them playing for the Spartans in the 2009 Final Four in Detroit. Up until now their basketball careers had unfolded as Izzo had predicted they would, and the Spartans, although battered by injuries, were headed to a second straight Final Four. It just wasn’t supposed to happen likethis.

Back in their apartment in East Lansing just after they returned from the Sweet 16, Summers read Lucas’s forlorn face. “K, you have nothing to worry about,” he told Lucas. “I’m staying. I don’t care if we win the title, I don’t care if [NBA scouts say] I’m a top 20 pick, I’m staying. We came in together, we’re going to go out together.”

“When he said that,” Lucas says, “my heart kind of stopped.”

Buddy Up!

-Coach Finamore

Follow me on Twitter: @CoachFinamore