Big Ten Discussion


I don’t really understand the benefit to him of returning. I mean if he wants to stay long enough to get a degree, good for him, but if it’s just one year? Maybe he wants to try for National Player if the Year? Could MSU win it all with him? Maybe, but definitely not a given. That said maybe he needs to gain some maturity before heading to the NBA. That might be the best reason.


I think it should be seriously considered that any “chatter” is people close to Izzo trying to put that on the airwaves to pressure the kid.


I’ll probably get ridiculed for this but I’ll throw it out here anyway… Is Izzo’s handling of Jaren Jackson all that much different than Coach Beilein’s handling of Moe Wagner? Not ready; not playing. Doesn’t matter if the entire universe knows you are more talented than Ben Carter or Mark Donnal.


The biggest piece of wisdom I have culled about this is that the NBA is drafting on potential. When you stay and play all that potential gets subordinated to the everyday grind, your play in the context of a team, a million daily issues that are far from the fantasy stuff of what could be. A goodly portion of the time, it seems to me, you’re going to be throwing cold water on that dreamy picture of your potential. Having said that, I don’t think scouts are going to care too much that MSU bombed this year. But they are going to have a more accurate picture of what Bridges is really capable of.


Clearly Izzo tanked the season and whispered in the refs ears to call fouls on JJ so he could keep him around for another season. Rinse, repeat.


Isn’t it still valid to question Izzo’s judgement on JJJr’s readiness? There is a gap btw what the world think and what Izzo thinks. In Moe’s case, if there was a gap, it was much narrower.


JJJ is farther along than Moe was as a freshman. Moe had the occasional spurt of quality play, but he never really got it together over the course of that season. Whereas JJJ was clearly one of the best MSU players and even when playing poorly on offense, was a positive contributor on defense with his ability to block and alter shots. Obviously he had foul trouble this season, but that’s only so much of an excuse for low minutes. JJJ was always thought to be a lottery pick. Moe was pretty much an unknown coming into his first year


If he stays, I’m genuinely curious to know what Izzo tells his guys before they make these decisions.


A genuine question I have - did JJJ get any better this season? My answer is a big no.


Two words: guaranteed contract.

Very different situations IMO.


Shit, Maryland has a great class coming in.

They’ll have 7 top 100 recruits on the roster next year.


I had this exact thought watching the McDonalds game last night. Smith and Fernando is gonna be a monster front court.


You can only get so much better over the course of a season, especially when you are as good as JJJ. Did Marvin Bagley get any better? No, but that doesn’t make K a bad coach.


Totally different. JJ is a bit of a unicorn in that he’s supremely athletic, large, offensively capable and defensively a potential monster at this level. Mo is a talented offensive player who didn’t really play defense and allowed himself to be taken out by frustration. Any reasonable coach lives with the +'s JJ gives you even if he’s making freshman mistakes.


Not about talent, necessarily, but about who gives the team a better chance of winning. Mo’s freshman year, he was a defensive liability with a 107.7 ORtg on 17.6 usage. Donnal had a 120.6 ORtg on 19.3 usage, and was at least generally in position defensively. By Moe’s sophomore year he was better than Donnal and played more.

Meanwhile, Carter barely played all year and JJJ was Big Ten defensive player of the year and 3rd team all Big Ten. So, yes, there was a pretty big difference between Beilein’s handling of Moe and Izzo playing Carter in the tourney over JJJ.

A somewhat closer comparison might be how JB handled McGary, although JB brought along Mitch slowly all year and then rolled with his best players in the tourney.


I think the McGary comparison was a better one, too. I think you’re right on in your analysis of the differences in the Beilein/Moe situation vs Izzo’s use of Ben Carter over JJJ.


JB is CBS Sports’ National Coach of the Year


John Beilein winning national coach of the year awards during the season of the FBI vs. Coaches Who Cheat is absolutely hilarious to me


Both coaches took heat for not playing the more talented player. Both Izzo and Beilein, most every other coach will take heat for not doing what fans think they ought.

Coach Beilein caught considerable heat for not playing Wagner iirc. It’s not like M fans were enthralled with Wagner hardly playing all year despite his obvious abilities displayed early in his freshman year.

Steve Fisher otoh, my man Fish didn’t hesitate to throw 5 frosh into the starting lineup. Well he didn’t hesitate long, finally inserting Ray Jackson into the lineup after a few games.


I think you may be misremembering how good Wagner was as a freshman. He definitely showed flashes that he could be really good, but he also made a ton of mistakes. He averaged almost 2 fouls per game in only 8 minutes of action. He was very skinny and a defensive liability. He exuded a ton of energy, but he was very raw and had a lot to learn coming in from Germany. His situation isn’t remotely similar to Jaren Jackson, who was a McDonald’s AA and lottery pick from the #1 HS team in the nation. JJJ was DPOY and far more ready for college basketball than Mo was.