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Michigan State’s Tom Izzo Is Penn State Hoops’ Newest Fan

Penn State men’s basketball wasn’t able to pull out the win Wednesday night against Michigan State, but it did earn some high praise from one of the game’s best coaches.

Tom Izzo, head coach of the Spartans, raved about the Nittany Lions and the program that is being built in Happy Valley.

“For you Penn State [fans], that’s one good basketball team,” Izzo said. “They have experience, they have shooters, and they have an excellent coach. Micah does a hell of a job.”

He continued on by calling Shrewsberry “classy” after Shrewsberry and Michigan State’s A.J. Hoggard got into it during the second half. Izzo was concerned that Hoggard may have crossed a line, but Shrewsberry played off saying that he loved it and loved being competitive with opposing players.

Izzo then talked about the atmosphere in the Bryce Jordan Center and how that adds a new layer to the competitive nature of the Big Ten, as well as the future of the program.

“[Penn State is] starting to get crowds again, they’re starting to do some things, and this is great for Big Ten basketball because [Shrewsberry] is going to do a good job here,” Izzo said. “There will be a point where the people from the football stadium will fill the basketball stadium, and when they do, they’ll win even more games.”

Shrewsberry has been very active in terms of getting more people into the stands, and it did pay off. The Bryce Jordan Center was rocking Wednesday night, and the energy was noticeable on the Michigan State sidelines.

The energy was especially high in the student section, which is now partly behind the opponents’ bench. Izzo felt that presence throughout the game and admitted he enjoyed going back and forth with some of the students who were chirping at him.

“I told one kid, who was kind of getting on me, that I am not used to that because that used to be where the “money” people sat and they were all prim and proper,” Izzo said. “They were a little harsh early, but it was awesome. They were still classy, and that is what it’s supposed to be.”

Since he isn’t coming back to Happy Valley this season, and the two teams aren’t playing against each other again in the regular season, Izzo advocated for fans to keep showing up. He wanted to see the fans continue to “giving the opposing coach hell” like they did to him all game long.

By the end of the press conference, Izzo seemed ready to join the Legion of Blue himself and lead the Penn State fanbase to root for this team for the rest of the season.

“I’m going to be a big fan for the next three months since I don’t have to play them again until the Big Ten Tournament,” Izzo said.

Fans can hop on the Nittany Lions’ train with Izzo when they travel to play No. 17 Illinois at noon on Saturday, December 10.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey is a senior from Annapolis, Maryland, majoring in secondary education and minoring in social justice in education. When he is not writing for the blog, he enjoys rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor", and yes mom, actually doing school work. If you would like to talk about sports or "Survivor", the best way to reach out is on Twitter @theowenabbey. All other compliments may be sent to [email protected]

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