Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A player-coach team is a lot better than a coach-coach team

Michigan State's Travis Walton, the Spartans' team captain, only averages about five points per game. In fact, in MSU's last five games of the season -- all wins, by the way -- Walker only has seven field goals.

Says MSU coach Tom Izzo (here with Walton): "Walton is the only guy I know who cannot score a lot of points and be a difference maker in a game."

At halfime of the Spartans game yesterday against Purdue, "Walton offered some terse, fire-up-the-troops comments at halftime."

When he speaks, which is rare in public, he commands complete attention from his teammates.

According to Coach Izzo, a vocal leader who's also respected by his peers can have a big impact on a team's performance.

"I always say a player-coach team is a lot better than a coach-coach team. He was a difference maker in our locker room. You need somebody that puts winning above everything, and is tough enough to deal with it. And you need a coach on the floor. That's all Trav."