Former Michigan staff member to interview for Michigan State basketball opening

Iowa v Michigan
Iowa v Michigan / Luke Hales/GettyImages

In case you missed it, last week Michigan State basketball assistant Mark Montgomery accepted the opening to become the next head coach at Detroit Mercy. That move left Tom Izzo with an opening in his staff that he’ll have to fill quickly so they can continue building momentum this offseason.

As far as what we know publically, no interviews have been conducted yet. But that is about to change on Tuesday with a surprising rival staff member getting an interview.

Former Michigan assistant coach Saddi Washington will reportedly be interviewing for the open assistant coach position at MSU on Tuesday. This move is a little surprising because why would Izzo look at his biggest rival for a new assistant? Even though Izzo despises Michigan like the rest of us, he’s smart enough to not let that impact key decisions he has to make.

Washington has plenty of quality experience which makes him a strong candidate for the position. For him, it all began at Sexton High School in Lansing where he was a star athlete. He was there much before Denzel Valentine and Bryn Forbes, so there is no connection.

After high school, he went on to have a successful college career at Western Michigan. He made the All-Freshman team after averaging 14 points per game. He went on to be named to All-MAC teams twice in his career, including being named to the first team in 1998. After college, he made a few training camps for NBA teams, but he never made a roster for a regular season game.

Washington began his coaching career in 2005 at Romulus High School under current Alabama head coach Nate Oats. Now that’s quite the start if you ask me. One year later, he joined the staff at Oakland and was promoted to associate head coach in 2013. He spent three more seasons with Oakland before becoming an assistant coach at Michigan in 2016.

He hit the ground running at Michigan and received his most successful accomplishment as a coach in 2020 when 247Sports ranked him as the top recruiter in the country for the 2021 class. Now that’s someone I want in East Lansing.

Washington was known at Michigan for developing their post players, which is a requirement for me for the new assistant coach. He helped develop guys like Mo Wagner and DJ Wilson, who both turned into first-round NBA draft picks.

So if all that history doesn’t get you excited about Washington at MSU, nothing will. Sure he coached for many years at Michigan, but does that even matter? If he’s all in at Michigan State and Izzo wants him, sign me up.