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Izzo tireless on recruiting trail
December 26, 2012 - Burt Angeli
Iron Mountain’s Tommy Izzo made an all-out recruiting blitz for Chicago Simeon High School basketball star Jabari Parker.
In the end, Izzo and Michigan State lost out to Duke. USA Today called it “perhaps the biggest recruiting loss of Izzo’s tenure.”
Michigan State was thought to be a front-runner at one step in the recruiting process.
“Izzo has often publicly said that he earns every dime of his salary and he certainly devoted every ounce of energy any coach could produce in chasing Parker over a three-year period,” Tim Staudt, a veteran Lansing sportscaster, wrote in the State Journal. “Frankly, I don’t know where he finds the willpower year after year.”
Staudt noted Izzo’s busy schedule prior to Parker’s announcement on Dec. 20.
“He spent a full week preparing his team to play in Jenison Field House plus attend all the inherent activities,” Staudt wrote. “He took his team to a road game at Bowling Green. He invited former players to his home one night and his current team last Wednesday night. He spoke one day in Detroit and took two private flights to watch and visit with Parker in both Texas and in Chicago for one final pitch this last Wednesday.”
Florida was also in the hunt for Parker.
Izzo will continue his recruiting battles with Duke. They both want Minnesota high school point guard Tyus Jones. Kentucky is also mentioned as a strong contender for Jones.
On the court, Michigan State tips off the Big Ten campaign Monday at Minnesota. Oddsmaker Bovada lists MSU at 28-1 to win the national title and 13-2 to capture the Big Ten.
Good luck, Tommy! ...
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