Izzo is back for his second tour of duty after winning the inagural Operation Hardwood in Kuwait with his Camp Arifjan team. As part of his visit Izzo will take a ride in a Bradley Fighting vehicle and - in a priceless photo opportunity - a top a camel.
Izzo immediately got busy upon his arrival whipping the troops into shape in an attempt to take his second consecutive Hardwood title. The MSU head coach is attempting to outlast 11 other Division I-A coaches including Tubby Smith, Kentucky; Gary Williams, Maryland; Mark Gottfried, Alabama; Dave Odom, South Carolina; Kelvin Sampson, Indiana; Rick Barnes, Texas; Bobby Lutz, UNC Charlotte; Reggie Menton, Air Force Academy; Jim Crews, West Point and Billy Lange of the Naval Academy.
Izzo told the troops, "I thank you for letting us be a small part of it. We will never give you, as much as you've given us, but we will promise you to spread the word and tell what
you are all about when we get back home."
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas is also on hand to document the activity.
The Operation Hardwood "hoops with the troops" tournament consists of 12 teams of servicemembers from the seven Kuwait military camps. The teams will play games in a one of three pools. How they perform during pool play will determine their seeding for the single-elimination tournament.