Tom Izzo previews unusual road trip to Duke without fans: 'It's still Cameron, it's still Duke'
Michigan State was a perfect 2-0 in the first week of the basketball season, but Tuesday’s game will present an entirely different test for Tom Izzo’s squad.
The Spartans won twice in the first week against Eastern Michigan and Notre Dame. Point guard Foster Loyer stole the show with 20 points in the season opener but it was a balanced effort with three Spartans in double figures against the Irish.
On Tuesday, Michigan State will travel to take on Duke. Izzo admitted Monday that he has not always fared well against the Blue Devils and Coach K, though he does feel like the games have usually been close against a tough opponent:
“As far as Duke goes, we’re excited to play Duke. There are no secrets that I haven’t had a lot of success against them,” said Izzo, “But they’ve just about always been pretty good games, and to be perfectly frank, they’ve had a very good team 90% of the time we’ve played them.”
Izzo went on to explain how this will not be a traditional Champions Classic game as it is usually a neutral site contest. Variances in COVID-19 testing across conferences necessitated the change, and even without fans in Cameron Indoor Stadium, Izzo knows his team is still going up against Duke in a tough venue for road teams:
“It’s certainly a different Champions Classic day. Normally we’re playing in those neutral sites. This time we’re going to Cameron (Indoor Stadium), but I think it’s the right thing to do,” explained Izzo. “I have very much confidence in the way Duke handles their business as far as the COVID situation, and I have a very good feel on the protocol we have here at Michigan State…
“It will be different playing at Cameron without fans…but it’s still Cameron, it’s still Duke, that’s what we’ve gotta make sure we tell our players.”
You can watch Izzo’s comments here, courtesy of Spartan Tailgate.
Tuesday’s matchup between the No. 8 Spartans and No. 6 Blue Devils is set to tip at 7:30 pm EST on ESPN.