As the Michigan State Spartans are in the midst of preparations for their upcoming season, they’ll be playing their games without the noisy crowd that is the raucous fan base that routinely packs the Breslin Center in East Lansing.
And while the plan is to pump in crowd noise similar what the NFL is doing, Spartans head coach Tom Izzo is still holding out hope that they’ll have actual bodies in the crowd making noise at some point during the year.
“I’m still hoping and praying that as this thing moves forward we’re going to end up with some fans and media back in the stands before we’re done,” he said.
“So we’re going to try to come up with some things that give us some kind of an atmosphere, but at the same time, hope and pray that sooner or later we get people back in.”
Izzo said that the team can take lessons from the NBA, which recently wrapped up their postseason sans any fans in attendance.
“It’s going to be different,” Izzo said. “We’re going to have to bring our own energy. When you’re on the road and you got a couple-game losing streak — because in this league this year that could happen easily — I think you’re going to have to really rely on your leadership, on your togetherness.
“That’s where I’m pulling a lot of clips from the NBA to see how those guys acted like they weren’t (even) in college, they acted like they were in high school. And that was kind of a joy to see, to be honest with you.”
And despite no fan attendance, there can still be excitement among the players, and Izzo is pointing to the NBA as the example:
“What we’re telling our players is that there’s going to be a lot of things that fall on us,” Izzo said. “To watch guys (in the NBA bubble) making $30, $40 million out there cheerleading on the sidelines, like LeBron was, or Jimmy Butler was, it was kind of fun to see.
“I think in general we’re going to have to manufacture some of the enthusiasm and some of the excitement.”
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket Link – –