EAST LANSING - Jalen Rose isn’t expecting Gary Harris-like treatment when he’s part of ESPN’s College GameDay broadcast from Breslin Center on Saturday morning.
“(ESPN colleague and Michigan State grad) Jemele Hill loves to remind me about the time when I kind of sat on the S after a game,” Rose said Friday afternoon. “She says I’ll never be forgiven for that and I expect to hear about it tomorrow and rightfully so.”
Rose, who was part of Michigan’s Fab Five, did the “toilet seat wipe” on MSU’s block S after a victory at the Breslin Center during his playing career. Asked about it Friday, Rose said he still had no regrets.
“Not at all, they didn’t regret throwing Molson Ices at me. And pennies, and quarters and all that,” Rose said. “But any time you have a good rivalry, it’s going to be testy. We see a lot of it in commercials and old-school basketball where people talk about rivalry and the intensity. Two teams that are rivals should not like each other and that’s how it’s supposed to be.”
Rose also touched on a number of topics during a session with media Friday and said he strongly considered playing at Michigan State and admired Magic Johnson and Steve Smith.
“The one thing that a lot of people may not know is my two favorite players growing up from the Michigan area were both 6-7 and above point guards that went to Michigan State – Steve Smith and Magic Johnson,” Rose said. “When I came on my visit, Steve was an integral part of that and I really considered coming to Michigan State.
“A lot of people also may not know is I wore number 5 because I was the fifth person of the Fab Five to sign a letter of intent. My number was actually number 42, so you guys can at least thank me for Morris Peterson.”
On Saturday’s MSU-Michigan matchup: “One team that we expected to be here, the Michigan State Spartans playing at home, obviously highly acclaimed and rightfully so. They’ve dealt with some injuries this year but (Keith) Appling has been a key, he’s been a steady force. Obviously losing (Branden) Dawson, their leading rebounder, is going to hurt them somewhat. The Wolverines have had to deal with injuries as well. … Now we have both teams, who probably when they both were healthy, we probably would have anticipated them to be undefeated. But to deal with what they’ve dealt with – both teams – and to still be the only teams undefeated means a lot.”
On Tom Izzo: “Tom is a terrific coach and I think he’s the difference in the two programs. His staying power, his leadership, his ability to treat everyone like family, his ability to bring back players whether they were All-Americans or averaged two points and constantly have the little brother mentality, but now the more successful program currently. And that’s happening actually in football and basketball for Michigan State.”
On if he believes MSU will reach the Final Four: “I do. I see them as one of the best teams in the country. I think they’re going to be Big Ten tested. Even though you see Ohio State struggling, Wisconsin struggling, I think those teams have kind of beaten up on one another and I think this conference is going to continue to evolve as the season progresses.”
On if he’s bothered by Michigan not recognizing Fab Five and its accomplishments: “It bugs me really for Ray (Jackson) and Jimmy (King) because they weren’t able to go on and have 10-year pro careers and long-time multimedia opportunities. And so for those guys to not be recognized the way I feel like they should be recognized – I mean just walk around the Breslin Center. You see pictures of family members, you see pictures of players, you see them being honored, you see them being celebrated for the things they helped to build a program. I think the University of Michigan has failed at that.”