Big Ten Discussion



Also, taking some heat from a segment of the fan base is not the same as every local and national columnist and talking head mocking your decision.

And even if what you’re saying is true re: fans wanting more Moe freshman year, there’s a big difference between (a) two coaches took heat for not playing freshmen and (b) every decision not to play a freshman is the same whoever those players are or whatever the circumstances.

Just as an aside, Ray Jackson averaged 17 minutes his freshman year and started 15 of 34 games. But no doubt the Fab Five was revolutionary.


The only two freshmen under JB I personally remember wanting significantly more of were McGary and Poole. McGary’s bigger role was maybe the biggest reason that run was able to happen and I fully understand why Poole hasn’t been able to play more with MAAR and Matthews.

Tom Izzo has a history of doing this to McDonalds All American level guys as freshmen going all the way back to Zach Randolph and J Rich. JB has a history of playing freshmen when the roster has a need or when they are ready (like Mitch in the tournament). There’s really no comparison when you look at the minutes played.

Derrick Walton - 26 MPG
Zak Irvin - 15 MPG
Kam Chatman - 15 MPG
Nik Stauskas - 30 MPG
Glenn Robinson III - 32 MPG
Mitch McGary - 19 MPG (28 MPG in NCAA tourney)
Trey Burke - 35 MPG
Tim Hardaway Jr - 30 MPG

Jason Richardson - 15 MPG
Zach Randolph - 19 MPG
Paul Davis - 17 MPG
Shannon Brown - 22 MPG
Branden Dawson - 20 MPG
Deyonta Davis - 18 MPG
Jaren Jackson - 21 MPG

Miles Bridges and Gary Harris are the only two guys who got significant play as freshmen under Izzo. The difference is every single guy on that list for MSU was a McDonalds All American who went on to play in the pros. JB’s guys were a bunch of 4 star recruits who no one would have ever expected would be a 1 and done type, still got the opportunity to play more, and everyone but Irvin and Chatman went on to the NBA at some point.


No man, I was at the exhibition game and came away raving about Wagner. Skills, effort, enthusiasm, don’t recall any rebounds I must say, it was all on display.
I’m just pointing out coaches often have legit reasons for decisions others find mind boggling. I’ve turned a new, charitable leaf towards Izzo now that he’s lost 3 in a row to M by double digits.



This include Justin Jackson and Dion Wiley? The former is going pro and hiring an agent and the latter is transferring.


I think you’re really stretching on this comparison. The “heat” on the two coaches is not comparable. Heck, not playing Wagner is down the list on things people were upset with JB for that season (defense, recruiting, etc).


Ward’s announcement on his Instagram was interesting. He said he wants to “explore all of his options”. I suspect this is not a “test the waters” sort of move. I suspect Ward is unhappy and is willing to take the risk of not making an NBA team or even transferring depending upon NBA feedback.


I do always give Fish credit because back then, not many coaches would have done it.

With that said, really only Eric Riley (who did start for awhile) and Voskuil were viable starters. No one’s going to start Kirk Taylor over Jimmy King, for example.


I don’t remember Riley starting at all. Hard sell for Riley to start ove Weber or Howard. Izzo might have pulled it off though :slight_smile:


He will develop more in the d league than he will spending half the game on the MSU bench. I don’t think he fits in today’s NBA as his size won’t allow him to be a quality post option in today’s NBA. He could be a great four year college player if he could stay on the floor though.


I’m pretty sure Riley started a few games early that year. He was the leading rebounder in the conference as a sophomore the year before, so not such a huge stretch. And honestly, Juwan struggled for some games that year too.


I didn’t see Ward’s announcement. Did he thank Izzo for taking a chance on a skinny kid from Gahanna Ohio?


Hahahahaha I actually spit out my drink at this comment


Fans were upset with Beilein for various reasons two years ago, but I don’t remember much criticism about his handling of Wagner. I remember a lot more criticism about his recruiting in general - people thought 2015 was a “bad class” despite only consisting of Wagner!


Michael Talley was the guard who lost his starting spot.


Yeah it included those guys leaving. They have 4 left and are bringing in 3.


Taylor was on that team. Played in at least 10 games.


Whoops - you’re right. He was on the team after all.

But it was Talley who had been the starting guard at the beginning of ‘91-92.


Riley, Taylor and Talley were all returning double figure scorers from the previous season.