It was shocking news to the entire Big Ten network of fans to hear that forward Delvon Roe won’t be returning to the basketball court for his senior season. Roe, known for his interest in being an actor, cited knee issues for calling it quits with the Michigan State Spartans. Tom Izzo called for a press conference Thursday to announce the saddening news.
The senior out of Ohio has led the Spartans to two Final Four appearances in his short career. While he has never been a prolific scorer for MSU, he has seen as a catalyst in important games through both the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. He finishes second in the school history with 106 blocks.
The forward had this to say during the press conference Thursday: "This is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. It feels that I’ve been playing through pain throughout my career at MSU, but the daily grind of basketball – the running, cutting, jumping – has finally taken its toll given the intensity required to play at our level. I started playing basketball because I loved the game, but the pain has taken that away and forced me to always think about just getting through the next few minutes or the next game. I don’t want to just `get through’ anymore. I’ve played on a leg and a half for most of my career, and that’s not fair to my teammates as they go through the daily grind."
Roe’s departure leaves a weak spot at the power forward position for the Spartans. While the Spartans have a lot of youngsters that are expected to get playing time, Izzo normally relies on veteran leadership and has loyalty to the upper-classmen on the team. This may make Izzo play Derrick Nix more than he would have liked to, and it forces senior captain Draymond Green to play bigger than expected.
Next year’s recruiting class is heavy on the forward position. All three of the verbal commits thus far are forward, all of whom are in the ESPN top 150. Roe leaving does not secure another scholarship for the team because he was already a senior and will be kept on scholarship. He is on track to graduate in the spring.
Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the NBA, tweeted out this afternoon to Roe that he looks up to him as a role model. The rave reviews continued on Roe throughout the day. People discussing on how Roe could have been a lottery pick if he didn’t have knee problems during his career. This continues the trend of Spartans of leaving the program. Korie Lucious, Chris Allen, and Garrick Sherman have recently transferred to other schools.
The forever Spartan will be missed by not only the loyal Spartan fans, but also the Big Ten. His determination at the defensive end is the symbol of what Big Ten basketball is all about.
NOTE: Post has been edited to reflect Garrick Sherman's transfer to Notre Dame.