Tom Izzo shares the one thing MSU could have done better this season

Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against North Carolina during the second half of
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo reacts to a play against North Carolina during the second half of / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball is coming off one of the worst seasons in the Tom Izzo era. A preseason top-five team that barely made the NCAA Tournament just to lose in the second round. That’s not how any of us dreamed this season would go down.

A lot went wrong during the season and there are so many things that the team could have done better to change the outcome of the season. Izzo knows this as well.

On The Drive with Jack, the point was brought up how this was only the second graduating class under Izzo that didn’t make the Final Four. So the host asked him what the one thing is that they could have done better this year. Izzo could’ve answered this question in so many ways, but he chose to focus on the number of close games they lost. Izzo said, “We did lose a lot of close games and I think that does fall on me.”

Man is there a lot of truth to that. The Spartans had 12 games this year where the final score was within seven points. In those 12 games, they were 2-10. So many things could have caused this from a lack of preparation, focus during the game, poor play-calling, and even bad personnel decisions. But there’s another piece that goes into this: bad luck.

Did Michigan State deserve to lose a majority of those 12 games this season? Absolutely. But did they deserve to lose 10 of them? Probably not. That’s a shockingly bad record even for a team that was struggling. So even though MSU wasn’t a great team, it did get unlucky at times. And that’s something Izzo discussed as well on this podcast.

"You gotta be good enough and you gotta be a little lucky,” Izzo said.

Unfortunately for Michigan State, it was neither good nor lucky this season. But there’s no denying that a few of these games could’ve gone MSU’s way if a couple of bad breaks, bad bounces, or calls went their way. And imagine if that had happened. Say MSU instead goes 6-6 in these 12 games. Those four extra wins would likely move them up to a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Sure that still isn’t good enough, but it’s much better. And who knows, maybe with an easier draw in the tournament the Spartans could have made a deeper run.

All of this unfortunately is hypothetical instead of reality. The reality is that MSU wasn’t good enough this year no matter how you slice it. Thankfully Izzo isn’t making any excuses and is taking the blame for the poor play this season. Now we have to hope that he makes the necessary changes so MSU can get back to the program we know it can be.