Tom Izzo helps former player find another place to study

Michigan State’s Tom Izzo is among the best college basketball coaches in NCAA history. But he’s reportedly doing something that many coaches wouldn’t do, even though they’d like you to believe they would.

While most coaches will say that a player becomes part of their “family” forever once they join their program, Izzo walks the talk. Izzo recently appeared on Tim Staudt’s radio show and talked about helping the senior center Mady Sissoko find another landing spot.

Tom Izzo helps former player find another place to study

Who is Mady Sissoko?

Sissoko landed in East Lansing via Mali as a top 40 player in the class of 2020. Despite not meeting expectations, the 6-9, 250-pound teammate was a good teammate, had a good reputation and seemingly loved every second of his time with the Spartans, according to Connor Muldowney of Spartan Shadow.

Despite his preference for Michigan State, Muldowney believes Sissoko moved on April 4 based on his conversation with Izzo after the season. Muldowney said Izzo probably told Sissoko “there might not be a lot of playing time for him when he returns.” That’s why Izzo helps him find a comfortable landing spot.

“I came to Michigan State four years ago and found a home in East Lansing,” Sissoko said in his farewell message. “The experiences I have had here are among the best of my life. I wanted to find a place where I could get an education and a community that welcomed me, and Michigan State did not disappoint. On the court, I wanted to be challenged and have the opportunity to play at the highest level of college basketball. I was able to do that for four years for Spartan Nation, the best fans in the country.”

“I came to Michigan State because of Coach Izzo. It was an honor to play for him and I would like to thank him for everything he has done for me, both on and off the field.”

Sissoko has one year of eligibility remaining. San Diego State, Cal, Colorado and Washington are the schools Izzo lined up for Sissoko.

Since Sissoko is an international student and is not eligible to benefit personally from NIL, he uses this money to build a school in his home village and provide running water.

Sissoko’s playing/scouting report

Sissoko is an athletic center with a big body who plays with an inordinate amount of energy, which he uses to crash the boards consistently. He is tall, with a 7-3 wingspan and a solid shot blocker. Although very limited offensively, Sissoko has excellent footwork dating back to his youth football days.

After being an end-of-the-rotation player his first two years at Michigan State, Sissoko started 59 of his 64 appearances over the past two seasons. However, Sissoko saw his minutes decline by about six minutes per game last season.

Sissako averaged 3.3 points and 5.1 rebounds (1.5 offensively) last season while shooting 56.8% from the field in about 16 minutes per game. He also produced one double-double and reached double-digit rebounds five times.

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