When it comes to college basketball coaches, Tom Izzo looms large.
The Michigan State head coach has been leading the Spartans for more than 25 years, during which time the team has won a national championship and made eight appearances in the Final Four.
But on this week’s episode of Subpar, when hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz asked Izzo which of his fellow coaches belong on Izzo’s personal Mount Rushmore, Izzo was ready to tip his cap to a handful of other notable names.
“I gotta put [Duke University’s] Mike Krzyzewski on there. I would put [Villanova’s] Jay Wright on there. He’s a guy that I really have great respect for, and what he’s done,” Izzo began. “Some of the guys I look at aren’t all the guys that have the best players. There’s a guy named Rick Barnes at Tennessee that I think does a phenomenal job year in, year out. And I think even though [University of Kentucky’s] John Calipari’s a good friend, I think he does a good job, I think he coaches his guys. He’d be one.
“And I’m moving up [Gonzaga University’s] Mark Few now,” Izzo continued. “He’s moving up onto that. Mark’s another good friend that I think has done a lot of good things. The schedule that they get to play sometimes isn’t their fault, but what he’s done in the tournament and how he’s developed that team, he’s gotten to be a …”
“That thing’s a monster now, out west,” Stoltz said. “That thing’s a factory.”
Izzo concurred, saying there’s a lot of great coaches to choose from.
“What is a really good coach? Does he just win all the time?” Izzo asked. “Not really. What does he do? Some of those guys are guys that I think care about college basketball, fighting with me on all these rule changes. That’s the kind of guys I like.”
For more from Izzo, including what it was like to play a pro-am with Tiger Woods, and his picks for the best golfers in the college basketball ranks, check out the full interview below.