Michigan State shouldn't be forgotten

Andy Katz has a story on a team that's not to be overlooked in the Big Ten:

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Tom Izzo didn't let up one bit in practice -- encouraging, yelling, constructively criticizing and pushing his players to be fundamentally sound and efficient on every possession.

He can't let up. Not with this team. Not with Draymond Green in the NBA.

Izzo is igniting a fire underneath Michigan State because he knows he could have something special again. And this tends to be when he's at his best. No coach has been as consistent the last 14 years with six Final Four appearances, including one national title.

And the beauty of Izzo is that he can rip his players, break them down and within seconds after practice they are laughing, seeking his counsel and advice. Tuesday's practice wasn't as sharp as the previous few days, according to associate head coach Dwayne Stephens. But there was no denying the talent.

The Spartans weren't picked to finish in the Big Ten's top three in the preseason media poll released Thursday at the league's media day. Indiana is the favorite behind consensus player of the year candidate Cody Zeller. Arguments can be made for Ohio State and Michigan as well. But MSU has to be considered a real threat to win the conference and challenge for a top seed yet again.

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