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Andy Enfield enters Michigan State matchup with plenty of respect for Tom Izzo, Spartans

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison03/15/23


USC and Michigan State are set to meet in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In that game, there is an interesting coaching matchup between Andy Enfield and Tom Izzo.

Ahead of that meeting, Enfield praised Izzo when he was asked if this would be a preview of life in the Big Ten.

“I haven’t even thought of that, but I guess they are a Big Ten team,” Andy Enfield said. “Great program.”

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“We haven’t watched them play this year, so if you judge on the past they’re an outstanding team and program with great coaches, and we’re looking forward to playing them.”

Andy Enfield was a longtime NBA assistant coach before jumping to college and working as an assistant at Florida State. From there, he became the head coach at FGCU, leading the Eagles to a Sweet Sixteen. From there, he joined USC where his best finish is in the Elite Eight.

Tom Izzo, meanwhile, has been the head coach at Michigan State since the 1995-96 season. He has won a national championship and been to eight final fours.

“I just know him personally through being in the business and through the Nike trips that we take and I see him on the road a lot, recruiting. He’s extremely friendly. Great coach, obviously a Hall of Fame coach, and he’s one of the best in the business. So, looking forward to seeing him.”

Andy Enfield is excited to play for a championship

Now that USC is in the NCAA Tournament, the Trojans are potentially only a handful of games away from winning a national championship. It’s a prospect that Andy Enfield is incredibly excited about.

“We’re excited to be in March Madness,” Enfield said.

“Our players had an outstanding season this year with 22 wins, tied for second in the Pac-12. Our conference was really good this year. I thought our players battled a lot of injuries with a variety of players and we’re able to have a very successful season. A lot of fun to coach these guys. We had two upperclassmen — Drew [Peterson] and Boogie [Ellis] — sitting here and a lot of freshmen and sophomores that did a great job of improving. We’re excited to go compete for a national championship and it starts with our game on Friday.”