Michigan State coach Tom Izzo talks about the expectations on the Spartans this season and the difficult schedule to open the season. Matt Charboneau, The Detroit News
Rosemont, Ill. – More than one Big Ten coach on Wednesday talked about Michigan State being the clear favorite to win the conference championship this season.
And while Tom Izzo understands where the Spartans stand entering the 2019-20 season, he does admit there are some things his team will need to figure out early in the season.
“I've got a good team that I like with still a lot of question marks,” Izzo said at Big Ten media day. “Josh Langford, his health, is a question mark. What we do at the 4 is a question mark. And probably the other one is we did lose 30 points and 15 rebounds and trying to figure out how we get those (replaced)."
Yes, there are some questions for Michigan State, a national championship favorite that will likely open the season as the No. 1 team in the country. Langford is coming back after missing the bulk of last season with a foot injury while the departure of Kenny Goins and Matt McQuaid creates some holes in the lineup.
However, the Spartans to have the luxury of Big Ten Player of the Year Cassius Winston returning, along with junior big man Xavier Tillman and sophomore wing Aaron Henry, two players who finished last season strong and are expected to take a big jump this season.
And those things have Izzo looking forward to trying to repeat as Big Ten champions and getting back to the Final Four after losing last season in the national semifinals.
“With Winston, Henry and Xavier Tillman, we have three guys that played awfully well at the end of the year,” Izzo said, “and hopefully they've grown some now. Excited to be back and excited to get started.”