Jud Heathcote

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Spartans finish where left off five years ago

Spartans finish where left off five years ago

We’re stranded in a basketball wasteland, left longingly to wonder how the 2020 NCAA basketball tournament would have turned out. And, tragically, it’s all necessary for life-and-death reasons – the COVID-19 pandemic. Well, with plenty of time to ponder the possibilities, let’s...

Izzo Era in Big Ten hoop outlasts another coach

Izzo Era in Big Ten hoop outlasts another coach

50 … and counting. That’s how many Big Ten basketball coaches Michigan State’s Tom Izzo has outlasted since he was promoted to succeed his mentor, Jud Heathcote, as the Spartans’ head coach in the 1995-96 season. The number increased by one this past season, even though all 14...

Izzo says Aaron Henry healthy for Maui test

Izzo says Aaron Henry healthy for Maui test

By TOM SHANAHANLAHAINA, Hawaii – As the eight coaches participating in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational took their seats upon an outdoor dais with a Pacific Ocean backdrop at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, tournament director Dave Odom asked them to don their Jim Maui...

First season in 51 years without Gus and Jud

First season in 51 years without Gus and Jud

Part III of my interview with Maui Jim Maui Invitational tournament director Dave Odom, whose eight-team field Nov. 25-27 includes Michigan State. I asked the college basketball elder statesman about Spartans' unique program connection between three coaches spanning 51 years, Gus...

Ol Roy keeps alive good old days with Dean

Ol Roy keeps alive good old days with Dean

CHARLOTTE – As North Carolina took its turn on stage at the ACC basketball media day, the dominant subject was the Tar Heels blending their new roster. They have an influx of newcomers following the loss of four starters and six players in all.Roy Williams, with seniors Garrison...

No Inspector Renault moments around Izzo

No Inspector Renault moments around Izzo

Sportswriters are both romantics and cynics. That’s why Inspector Renault, a cynical character in Casablanca, a romantic movie, so often appears in sports stories.The latest example of Inspector Renault declaring he’s “shocked, shocked,” results from Christian Dawkins testifying...

Newell and Heathcote had own Izzo moments

Newell and Heathcote had own Izzo moments

L’Affaire Izzo erupted in the French-named city of Des Moines, but only casual fans viewed the flashpoint moment as abnormal during Michigan State's victory over Bradley Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament victory. Tom Izzo often snarls his teeth and strains...

Ganakas bridged Magic and Michigan State

Ganakas bridged Magic and Michigan State

Shakespeare’s happy endings were his romance plays. The storylines moved with comedic and tragic turns, but an uplifting denouement separated those works from others. So what would Shakespeare write about the life of Gus Ganakas? The former Michigan State coach, who passed away...

A time to lean on respect Magic helped build

A time to lean on respect Magic helped build

Five-star high school basketball recruit Zion Williamson’s surprise decision last month to join the crowd at Duke was yet another appreciation of Earvin “Magic” Johnson's Michigan State legacy. Johnson's own path established a long-lasting respect for the Spartans' basketball...

Michigan State Hall of Fame and golden glow

Michigan State Hall of Fame and golden glow

Michigan State's 1960s golden era shines brighter these days. The luminescence, like a firefly’s glow, isn't artificial. It's a result of the MSU Hall-of-Fame committee reaching back to honor previously overlooked special athletes. Football is king, but there is more to the...