Tom Izzo held his annual preseason press conference on Thursday afternoon and provided Michigan State basketball fans with a number of good tidbits.
One of those solid tidbits was regarding the biggest question mark in the projected starting five: Mady Sissoko.
The Hall of Fame head coach has probably been monitoring him quite a bit this offseason and tracking his progress and development. And on Thursday, he gave fans exactly what they wanted to hear.
He claimed that Sissoko has developed.
That may not seem like a huge deal, but considering where he was last year, this is huge. Hearing that Mady might be more than just a foul machine and lost puppy on defense is massive for the team this year.
Mady Sissoko’s development is key for Michigan State basketball
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: if Michigan State wants to contend in the Big Ten this season, Mady needs to be a serviceable big.
No more 4.5 minutes per game with two quick fouls and 1.1 points and 1.0 rebounds. That’s just not going to cut it. Heck, he needs to be way better than that. He’s going to be the team’s starting center and he’ll need to play 15-20 minutes per game, at least.
Mady being a developed big man with some post skills on offense and a rim protecting strength on defense would make this starting five that much better and the team wouldn’t have to worry about relying too heavily on a freshman in the post.
This is probably one of the best developments this offseason for the Spartans.