The offseason is a time when college coaches have so many different things they have to take care of. Outside the very real priority of actually spending time with their family while they can, coaches have to recruit, help kids make decisions pertaining to the draft, hire assistant coaches and so many more things that seem like tasks we think just magically happen.
One of the things that often go overlooked by us, but not by the coaches who are already thinking ahead to next year, are the rotations they will use and how they plan to utilize them. Michigan State Spartans coach Tom Izzo is no different in that aspect. In reality, Izzo has not become one of the game’s best coaches by resting on his past accomplishments.
Izzo recently talked about an area in which his team needs to improve. In an article by MLive.com, taken from an interview with ESPN, Izzo was asked about which areas he most wants to improve upon and his response was “one (area) would be health” — which seems like something that Izzo, or any coach for that matter, cannot really control.
The Spartans coach blamed some of his team’s 2012-13 season woes to his players not being able to hold up down the stretch. That is not an excuse either. Really, it is a fact that all coaches have to deal with in some form.
If you think Izzo can’t help protect his players’ health, well, then you are wildly selling the coach short. He knows that a certain kind of offseason schedule, lighter practices and better, deeper rotations will be able to help the overall health of some of his players. He might not be able to stop all the freak injuries that may occur, but stopping just one that might be preventable is certainly a win.
While this might not be an actual change in philosophy, it is the constant evolution of Izzo as a coach. He could easily rely on the same tactics as he had in the past and think it will repeat his program’s winning ways. Instead Izzo adapts, evolves and continues to look for new ways to win.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone