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Spartans All-Access: Episode 23 | Michigan State

February 3, 2020


(intense rock music) – On the banks of the Red Cedar, it’s a frozen pond out there. The operative words have been
hypothermia and frostbite. Even look at the majestic
vestige that is Sparty, and that icy stare belies
the fire in his eyes, one that is a raging volcano
inside the Breslin Center. The Big 10-leading Michigan State Spartans on Groundhog Day, hoping
to cast a sizable shadow over the Big 10. Nine more weeks would sentence
Sparty to the final four. Their specialty is winning, ’cause those Spartans play good ball. Fight, fight for the green and white. College GameDay back with Bert
and Ernie at Michigan State. (soft electronic music) – The Breslin Center’s one
of the great facilities in all of college basketball. You think about the Breslin Center, you think about passion,
you think about ownership, you think about the Izzone, you think about the
university, and the community, and the alumni, and the students all pulling in the same direction. – My guys was like, “Hit this.” (Josh laughs) – (screeches) Kisses. (all laugh) – Josh, you got some votes. Let’s hear yours. – Oh my gosh. (grunts) (all laugh) – I first heard about
this place back in 1999. I played USA basketball with two guys that I’m sure you’re pretty familiar with in Jason Richardson
and also Zach Randolph. They just gloated about Tom Izzo, and about how special of a place this was. My first time hearing about it, and when we came here for
GameDay a couple of years ago, I saw it firsthand in person, and I can honestly say, there are not too many basketball places like this in the world, where the fans show up each and every day. – [Jay] Cassius Winston and Nick Ward are two of the best players in the nation. That’s a great problem to have. They can carry you to the final four. I think a lot depends upon the growth and evolution of guys
like Henry and Brown. Those young players, if they can continue to be disciplined and mature, they could be the difference-maker to help the Spartans get to a final. – Getting Kyle Ahrens back
is huge though right now. I mean, having him out, Ahrens gives them a
toughness, a physicality, he rebounds, he makes shots. To me, he kinda reflects everything Michigan State basketball is about. – They don’t watch games
at the Breslin Center. They actually participate in the games. I mean, they are engaged. They’re not spectators. They’re part of, basically, what’s going on on the floor. This is as good an environment as there is in college basketball, and to me, it’s because of the passion, and the ownership, and the energy, and the history, and the tradition of what Michigan State
basketball is all about. (intense brass band music) – [Commentator] That
is Zeke the Wonder Dog. Oh, look at that one. They’ve been performing at Michigan State for more than 30 years. – Did yourselves proud. Thank you for participating in the show. Hope you had a great time. (people shout) (crowd cheers) (soft electronic music) – Real quick, before we head out, this is a great start to what’s gonna be a great weekend. It’s a privilege. I’m really proud to have one
of our best Spartans here, Dave Brogan here with us. He’s been a big supporter of our program. It’s the first time I’ve
ever been to West Point. Everyone I talk to says
it’s a great place to be. Let’s play our best tennis, and show them what Spartan
Tennis is all about. (lively rock music) – Got a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel. Getting it right before the trip. – We got game tap on? – Hi, everyone, my name’s Billy Shisler. We’re here at the gate. We’re about to head to Newark, New Jersey. – [Pilot] Ensure safe breathing. Sit back, relax, enjoy the flight. – [Flight Attendant] Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Newark where
the local time is 11– – All right, ready? – Been on a plane for a couple hours, been driving for a couple hours. Finally getting onto the practice court. Ready to strike some balls, ready to get going for this weekend. Let’s do it. – It’s been go, go, go, and
everybody’s practicing well, playing well, getting a good groove. We’re ready for tomorrow. – I like how we’re focused. That’s gonna take us
a long way, all right? Let’s keep on using that mindset. When you get home tonight, put yourself in the environment. We’ve been here, we
know what we need to do. – Let’s get a road win. Let’s get a road win,
start the year off right. – Thrilled to have you here. We’re thrilled to have you here. This is our home, it’s your home. Spartan family, Spartan family. We’re happy you’re here. Eat, enjoy yourself. I don’t think I got to tell you, for tomorrow, is win. (all laugh) – I grew up in a small
town called Bedford. It’s a population around 16,000 people. When I was little, my dad coached SYF, AAU team out of Chicago, and I would always go
on tournaments with him. I’d be around basketball. My dad has coached me
since the fourth grade. It was tough, ’cause he
was really hard on me, just because he wanted to push me to be the best I can be. I appreciate him so much. I look up to him. He’s my biggest role model. – There’s a lot of things that go into being a father and a coach. I think I got better
with it as time went on, but it’s easy to say that
you’re gonna be a dad and a coach, but it’s a
really hard thing to do. I think it takes a lot of practice, and you make mistakes along the way. I think I’ve learned along the way, but I think it creates
memories for a lifetime when you coach your daughter. We still have pictures, and memories, and we relive it all the
time when we’re together. As you journey through life, to have the opportunity to
make those kinds of memories with your children and be the one that’s on the sideline with them, it’s pretty phenomenal. – I think he loves it, and that drive, and that passion, we just picked up on it. We’ve had it ever since. Honestly, I probably
wouldn’t be the person or the player I am today without him. He’s awesome. (crowd shouts) (crowd cheers) When I want to Bedford North
Lawrence, the high school, had a lot of high expectations on me. Small town. Pretty much, when there’s
a basketball game, that’s where everybody goes for entertainment and everything. We had a lot of pressure on us to win state championships. Indiana, it’s a basketball state. We became so good that we actually got more
attendance than the boys’ team. Me and my dad have shared a
lot of great memories together. We won two state championships
together in high school. There’s actually a picture of us hugging after my first state championship. You can see the expression on my face. I’m just, like, sobbing. Just to see the look in his eyes, of how proud he was of me, that’s something I’ll always remember. – You set that goal,
and you set that dream, and when you achieve
that, it’s almost surreal. – This is your tour
guide Billy Shisler here on West Point University’s campus. Wow, look at that red brick. – Hey, Pete, where are we going? – We’re going to the mess hall. – To do what? – We gonna get messy. – Hey, let’s go. (intense electronic music) – All the cadets have
finished their classes for the morning, and they’re forming up into formation for lunch. Basically, they’ll line
up in their companies. A company’s about 100 to 120 people. They’ll all line up in formation, and they’ll take accountability. Then they’re gonna all march into the mess hall for lunch. – Company, attention. Report. (marching bugle music) – [Woman] Team seat. – Hey, let’s go. – Everyone’s standing up. We’re not allowed to sit down until we’re given the a-okay. Then everyone sat down, and then it just started up. The food was just flying
around the cafeteria. Freshmen were coming around, throwing food in your plate. Then food literally
did start flying around just because they were celebrating the results of a blood drive, and the winning team was
a little bet too happy, so they might have started a
food fight in the cafeteria. – I tried to catch the juice that was coming at you. It hit my three fingers
and ricocheted off. – They had a bad food
fight over Christmas, so they took away the privilege of all the cadets leaving over this break. – That was definitely an experience, super cool, and obviously,
the history surrounding it, and the dining hall was something else. I mean, the whole trip, as you can imagine, has been fantastic. – Seeing what they have to do, seeing where they live,
and all their priorities are so much bigger than school and tennis. I have a great amount of
respect for these guys for being able to give
service to their country whilst still being focused on academics and athletics on the side. (soft piano music) – [Commentator] It’s no good. On rebound, Jenna Allen
diving down for it. Gets it from the hardwood. Jump pass over to Green, down low, underneath, hand off to Allen. Floater, up and in. First two points in the
career of Jenna Allen. – When I committed to Spartan Nation, I had a gut feeling, honestly. I can’t really put my finger on it, but I just followed my
gut, and I was like, this is where I’m supposed to be. – We’re all about family. The Allen family, the Spartan family, we’re all in, and that’s the way my wife and I were both raised. – In the family, it’s just, a lot of places, you go,
and you’ll have cliques. You’ll have people who don’t get along, but here, I feel like we
genuinely all love each other, and we love to be around each other. Family being the biggest
factor in my life, to have a Spartan family here with me, it’s a special place. I think Coach instills
that family atmosphere. She wants you to be
successful while you’re here, but she truly wants you to
succeed life after this. That’s why I think she
brings so many players back, and graduate assistance, and helps them get their master degree, and that means a lot. – Keep those guys off the boards, okay? – My dad, he’s instilled
this competitive drive. He always tells me,
“Allens, we never give up. “We never quit.” In my sophomore year, when
I had my teeth knocked out, I went through a really rough patch. We had some serious talks. I contemplated on whether I
wanted to continue or not. – That was one of the challenges that she had to go through. I mean, it’s always been her dream to play basketball at
the collegiate level. For her to let that impede that dream, we were not gonna let that happen. She needed a lot of family support, especially from her mother. Little girl losing her smile, that was something that
was traumatic to her. – We let her know that
there’s gonna be an end. You’re gonna get fixed. You’ll be brand new, but
there were lots of tears, lots of late night FaceTiming, and sometimes, there
wasn’t even any talking. All we did was just sit and cry together. – If you know me, you know
family is always my inspiration, my biggest thing, and for
them to always have my back, even when I have a bad game. My dad will tell it to me straight. He’ll be honest. He’ll be like, “You need to be better “at this, this, this.” My mom is always very, very supportive. To have a family support like I do, I think it just makes your time in college that much better. (people chatter) – She’s just everything that
you want a Spartan to be. There’s not very many kids that come into high level programs and have the mentality and
the attitude that she does. I mean, she’s always been
unbelievably gracious and grateful for everything
and every opportunity. – This summer, me and Coach, we had a talk about myself and my ability. She told me she thinks
I have all the abilities to play at the next level, but I need to get myself in shape, and I really took that to heart. (soft orchestral music) – [Commentator] Spartans
coming to play today, receiving votes from the top
25 poll at seven and one. Winners in their last four contests. For Oregon, they’re ranked
number three in the nation, as they have been since
the preseason poll. Spartans have the ball,
looking for their first lead. Jenna Allen, a three. Bang. (crowd cheers) Sidney Cooks at the top, into the post. Allen makes the catch, lays it in, and the Spartans have the lead back. Takes it right to the
basket, can’t get it, and who else? Allen rips down the rebound. – [Commentator] Jenna Allen pops back and knocks down the three. Game high, 27, 11 for 14 from the field. Incredible, incredible
offensive performance. Incredible win for them, the way they were able to
put everything together. Big time performance from Jenna Allen. Not easy to do, what they did. You see that first win
verse a top-three opponent in over 13 years. – [Commentator] 27 for Allen, 88-82 the final, a win for Michigan State. – [Player] Jenna, man,
that’s how you play. – That right there is what we can do. That right there is all the hard work that we put off in the off season. My mom and dad, they drive up five hours to watch the game, and
then they drive home. I can never repay them. My backbone, honestly, my parents. I couldn’t do it without them, for sure. They are amazing. (soft electronic music) – West Point was a strategic location to have on the Hudson River ’cause it’s a point, and you can see, the Hudson River thins right there, and then it goes up, and it opens up, and gets thick again. There’s a whole history behind, Benedict Arnold actually had a plan to give West Point over to the British, which did not work out,
in the end, for him. That’s why he’s known as a traitor. – Campus is beautiful. We just saw the Hudson, got
a little history lesson. General was talking about the chains they used in the revolutionary
war to stop the ships. Very informational. – There wasn’t much on the plaque, but looks like Patton has a nice view of the Hudson River Valley over there, so that, I can appreciate. – A beautiful gray is the best way for me to describe it. The view of the Hudson’s here. It’s old brick buildings. It’s really cool, and it
has a lot of history here. My grandpa actually stayed
here on the barracks. He was in the Marine band, and they played here when
one of the presidents came. It’s kinda cool to walk the
same streets that he had to. It was a really cool tour. – Put your feet together. You don’t want them like this. You want them spread
apart about 15 degrees. About eyebrow, you don’t
want it touching your face. You want it about this. Anything you want, tilt
it like this a little bit. – Come on, Mike. Come on, Mike. Oh. – Ah. – We got to go in the Arvin Cadet Physical
Development Center. It’s pretty cool. We got to do the obstacle course as well. That’s the training that they have to do. They have to pass when they graduate. (upbeat electronic music) (ominous music) – Got a big match, big
opportunity against Yale. We’ve seen a lot of 10s this weekend. We’re as good as anyone in this building, and we’re as good as anyone. It’s all right here in our mind. – It’s being similar to a NCAA tournament. We’re in day two right now. We emptied the tank last night. We gotta do it again today, all right? That means you guys gotta come in with an intensity and a focus that you guys haven’t come in with before. – One.
– Unit. – One.
– Goal. – Spartans.
– Spartans. – Let’s go, boys. Let’s go, boys. – There you go, get her. If we make our returns,
and we play a clean game, execute, we’re in good shape. Keep battling, baby, keep battling. Stay aggressive. – Come on. – Here we go, here we go,
make him earn this one. Yeah, there you go, Nick,
there you go, there you go. You need to take deep breaths. You need to calm down. I know you’re frustrated, but we gotta focus on
what we need to do to win. Focus on what we need to do to win. That’s what competitors do. That’s what you need to do here. Come on, don’t get frustrated. Let’s play fresh here. – Come on. (shouts) – Right now, break down, baby. Hey, break it, break it. He got that point. Oh, he got it. Great jam there, J. (people shout) – [Player] Come on, baby. – [Harry] All day long,
Gator, all day long. Come on. He’s chipping forehands. Get in. They’re gonna float, and
you’re just gonna stick it. Pound it, pound it, pound it. – Yeah! – Yeah! Good stuff. Hey, we won that match ’cause of you. If you don’t turn your match around, we don’t win that match. It’s enough, proud of you. – Nice match. – That’s the way to believe. I’m really proud of you guys. Kudos to you guys. Way to fight, way to believe, and every one of you guys. – This is the grittiest,
this is the toughest, this is the biggest fight I’ve ever seen in my four years here. You guys are awesome. Playing out there alongside you guys, that was so much fun. The fight is there
every game, every point, every match, and I love
seeing it out there. I’m beyond proud of you guys. Awesome. (players clap) – Spartan fight on three. One, two, three. – [All] Spartan fight. – Colin’s definitely shaking the table. Oh, Colin. That was Colin. – It’s been a wonderful experience to see all the history behind West Point. It was particularly nice
with my friend Jim Pocock who I went through high
school at East Lansing with. He’s a West Point graduate
and a two-star general, and he’s part of our trip as well. He would fill in some things that were how things were
when he was here 60 years ago. – I’m an alumni of both schools, and both schools are very dear to me. We love to come back here whenever we can. We love being around Michigan State. The program that Gene Orlando and Harry Jaden have at Michigan State, I think, is just outstanding. Michigan State, I think, deserves a great deal of credit, not only for having the
high academic standards that they do on the team, but for the kind of people that they help get through Michigan State, and go out into the world. – I told the guys that
it was a business trip, but a chance to see something
that’s really special here. The hospitality’s been unbelievable, and just showing us a great time, and it’s really been a lot of fun. – They’re a fun group to be around. They’re enjoyable. They’ve certainly reached out and made my trip enjoyable. Made it all the better
to have the opportunity to travel with them, and watch them, and see their competitive spirit. It’s a good group. They’ve got a very young
team that is growing, and I think we’ll see some
good things out of them this year and in years ahead. – Spartan family on three. One, two, three. – [All] Spartan family. – Let’s go, boys. – [Commentator] Osburn brings it in. Cuts to the right circle. Aim it up there, can shot. Goal for Michigan State. Hirose on the left wing, into the zone. Cuts into the middle,
leaves it for Lewandowski, back to Hirose, now to Khodorenko. Goal. Great puck movement by Michigan State. They have lined up in the slot with Patrick Khodorenko, and he buries it. Two nothing. Out to the left circle now. Milan gets it back up top to Cesana, back over to Hirose, in front, shot, goal for Michigan State. – [Commentator] Redirected
in by Lewandowski. – [Commentator] Minute
15 to go in the game. Stripping the puck at the blue line, and into the empty net for Taro Hirose. That one goes into the win
column for Michigan State, the final score, Michigan
State four, Wisconsin one. (intense electronic music)

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