Michigan State’s wins create a discussion about USC and college hoops success
The USC Trojans’ NCAA Tournament ended earlier than they had hoped with a 72-62 loss to Michigan State on the first game of the slate on Friday.
Boogie Ellis and Drew Peterson struggled offensively. Vincent Iwuchukwu did not suit up, although Joshua Morgan was a bright spot.
Joey Hauser led the Spartans with 17 points and 8 boards, and three others scored double figures for Tom Izzoo’s squad. However, there was one unsung hero for Michigan State, according to Cory Linsner of Spartans Wire.
“Carson Cooper had an outstanding game, playing a key role in the Spartans victory,” Linsner wrote. “In 13 minutes, Cooper played outstanding defense, posting an impressive +13 while scoring 6 points and grabbing 4 rebounds.
“A great day and great performance for a freshman on the rise in the MSU program.”
Freshman center Carson Cooper stepped up and took complete advantage of the absence of Iwuchukwu. Cooper finished with 6 points and 4 rebounds in 13 minutes, the most minutes he has plated in months, and more points than he scored in the past 10 games.
Andy Enfield’s team was prepared for a challenge with Mady Sissoko, but Carson Cooper was the unsung, surprising hero for the Spartans, and a thorn in the side for USC.
Michigan State beating USC raised some complaints from a minority faction of the Trojan fan base. Why couldn’t Andy Enfield outcoach Tom Izzo? Those complaints don’t hold as much weight after Michigan State then defeated second-seeded Marquette on Sunday. Izzo is in a class of his own. (Or, one could say, “Izzone.”)
What we need to realize about Andy Enfield is that, first of all, he hasn’t suffered an NCAA Tournament loss as a high seed … because USC has never been a high seed (No. 4 or better) under Enfield. That’s where the program needs to go, and it might have a chance to do so next season. However, if USC does get a high seed, it might run into a mid-level seed guided by an elite coach.
Success in college basketball is hard. Rare coaches such as Tom Izzo make it seem easy, even though it’s not.