West Regional semifinals here in Phoenix today – a couple of great Sweet 16 games – Michigan State vs. Louisville and Florida vs. Marquette. I’ll be working with former Michigan and Arizona State coach, Bill Frieder; we’ll have the games nationally on the Westwood One/Dial Global/NCAA Radio Network.
Loved catching up with the coaches at practice yesterday. Heard some good lines…
I asked Louisville coach Rick Pitino about his relationship with Michigan State’s Tom Izzo. “I talked him out of the Cleveland Cavalier job,” Pitino said. “College coaches have no idea about the NBA. I knew because I spent two years with Hubie Brown with the Knicks (in the mid-80s). College coaches love practice. Love being in the gym. Allen Iverson had a coupla lines about practice. Well, he’s not the only pro who feels that way.”
As for Izzo, always warm and engaging with the media, he’s a three-time Big Ten Coach of the Year. Michigan State has been to 15 consecutive NCAA Tournaments, six Final Fours, won a national championship, and is this year’s Big Ten Tournament Champion. They play one of the toughest schedules in the country. Seems like I catch Izzo at least once each NCAA Tournament. Yesterday he remarked ”Hey, I’ve got one-hundred thousand alums who think that the Final Four is on the schedule!”
Also here in Phoenix, it was great to see old friends: Ann Meyers Drysdale, VP/GM of the WNBA Phoenix Mercury, former St. John’s coach Norm Roberts, now a top assistant to Florida coach Billy Donovan, as well as Lenny Elmore, Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller who’ll be calling the games for CBS/TNT.
See ya on the radio!