I’ll preface this by saying it’s a bit short sighted when people simply say college coaches can’t transition to the pros, as if it would be impossible to find success. I do not believe that and you have to look at things on a case by case basis.
And the case now is Tom Izzo. Who Dan Gilbert and the Cleveland Cavs are pursuing.
Izzo has been incredibly successful and makes 3 million a year now at MSU. While he has accomplished nearly all one could want, it is not time to leave..
- He has one (at worst) of the Top 3 teams returning in the country headlined by a senior back court of Kalin Lucas and Durrell Summers. This is likely his best ‘on paper’ team he has ever had.
- Izzo can motivate, but can he wear thin over 82+ games? I think this is perhaps where college coaches can struggle the most. With a 30 game season, college coaches can motivate and ride players constantly and Izzo has gotten the best out of his teams in March. Could he do the same in May and June in the pros? It’s tough to say and how he handles his teams would like have to change.
- Izzo generally gets the most out of his teams. Specifically on the glass. Michigan State teams are consistently great on the boards, that’s not a given in the NBA. Talent, size and length win out.
- Which leads to recruiting vs NBA rosters. Another major hurdle for college coaches to overcome.
Unless he has a guarantee LeBron is staying put, I really don’t see the reason or the need to make the jump.