He was said to be too weak. They told him he wasn’t quick enough. It was believed he couldn’t cut it in the Big Ten. Most thought it was a mistake for Brandon Wood to try to play basketball at a powerhouse like Michigan State.
So how did the MSU guard respond to all of this negativity from analysts, fans, and people from his hometown in Kokomo, Indiana?
He chose to do it the right way- by shutting the critics up with his game on the court. And thus far, that’s exactly what he’s done.
Wood successfully graduated from Valparaiso University (Horizon League) last year and transferred to MSU for this year’s season. He is able to play for Michigan State this year because of an NCAA rule that allows athletes to transfer schools after they have graduated, without having to sit out a year, if they enroll at a school that offers a Master’s Degree Program that the prior school does not.
His experience and leadership is perhaps the biggest thing that he brings to the table for the Spartans. He’s played four years of college basketball already and he knows what to expect and how to approach it. You can find him with an arm around a teammate ‘coaching’ on the floor. Coach Tom Izzo has got to be ecstatic to have two players that also ‘coach’ on the floor: Draymond Green and Brandon Wood.
Nonetheless, Wood’s athletic abilities are what got him here. Sure, people said he didn’t have enough of an offensive game to hack it in the Big Ten after playing at a Horizon League school. Yet he scored 13 points versus a nationally-ranked team in Indiana University. Two of those 13 points came on a fast-break thunderous dunk, which he earned by hustling and setting the play up on defense. Some might call that a fluke. How about scoring 15 points against the Duke Blue Devils, ranked #6 in the nation at the time? Or pouring in 16 against Florida State with five assists and 10 rebounds? If that’s not convincing enough, I don’t know what is.
My favorite part about Wood’s game comes from his experience: he doesn’t turn the ball over. He’s smart with the basketball and makes good decisions, which will be key as the Spartans continue the Big Ten season. And you can bet Coach Izzo agrees with me.
Brandon Wood is fitting right in with the Spartans. If you haven’t watched him before, tune in- you’ll think he’s been on this team for years.Back to the Michigan State Spartans Newsfeed