If there’s one statement you’ve uttered so far this season, it’s probably, “Man, De’Aaron Fox is fast” (along with, “We’re going to be good,” and “Ugh, the checkerboard”). The freshman point guard is turning heads with his speed both on a local and national level, to the point that Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo compared him to a sports car this afternoon.
“They have a point guard that can get it from zero to 60 faster than most cars and Fox is really incredible in that area,” Izzo said. “Fox has been a one-man fast break.”
As Izzo is learning himself, superstar freshmen are great, but you’ve got to have some experience to go along with it. He praised Isaiah Briscoe and Derek Willis for their play so far this year.
“They are always bringing in great freshman. Those freshman have had a ton of exposure and rightfully so. But, right now, it is a sophomore and a senior that are really helping them. (Isaiah) Briscoe is their leading scorer at 19 points per game. A guy that is not shooting it very well, but can score inside, is a 6’3” guard and has done an unbelievable job. (Derek) Willis is their 6’9” perimeter player who is one of the better perimeter shooters, a little bit like Markkanen from Arizona. A big kid who can step out on the floor and make threes.”
But it all goes back to Fox and his backcourt buddy Malik Monk.
“You get by those guys and the kid (De’Aaron) Fox has been a one-man fast break. I think he leads a team eight-deep with eight very, very, very solid players and Fox and (Malik) Monk are two guys that are great guards. One is a slashing point guard that can get from one end to the other in a blink of an eye and the other is a shooter who has a great midrange game in Monk.”
With that in mind, Izzo said one of the Spartans’ biggest challenges tomorrow night will be transition defense.
“We’re not going to win by fouling, we’re not going to win by turning the ball over. Those will be two critical things. And taking bad shots because they can take the ball from one end to the other better than any Kentucky team that we’ve played. Hats off to John on that. He’s got two guards that can really go and they’re going. It will be a track meet.”
With that in mind, I like our chances.