The Denzel Valentine Conspiracy Theory

Cue the “X-Files” theme for this one, we are getting kooky.

Back on December 30, shortly after Michigan State got blown out by the Iowa Hawkeyes in Iowa City 83-70, former Ohio State Buckeye walk-on, past Grantland/ESPN Insider college basketball writer and well-known blogger Mark Titus tweeted out some fishy things to say the least.

It is well known Michigan State got off to its best start in school history at 13-0. After tying the record at 12 wins to start the year, they lost star player and Player of the Year candidate Denzel Valentine to knee surgery… or so we’re told to think. Valentine was making waves in the college hoops community with his two early season triple-doubles and his all around explosive play, getting attention from national media.

Historically, it is known that head coach Tom Izzo will schedule tough opponents at the beginning of the season to roughen up the team and get them necessary experience that will pay dividends in March. This year was no different for MSU, as the team took on Kansas, Providence, Louisville and Florida. But this year, unlike others, the Spartans defeated all of those teams.

As Titus mentions, the team was getting hot at the wrong time. It would be a shame for the Spartans to peak in January and then not have momentum to carry them into March.

So what better way to stop early season energy than taking away one of the best players in the country with a planned minor surgery?

Now, many who believe the conspiracy to be rubbish say there is no way Izzo would do something like that. Why would he ruin a young man’s shot at winning Player of the Year, as well as hurt the team’s chances at winning the Big Ten?

The theory resurfaced Monday at midnight as Mark Titus appeared on the Scott Van Pelt show. He went on to explain that this theory works because no one could ever see Izzo doing something like this, because he is the most loved man in college basketball. Titus continued to explain that Izzo is swimming in Big Ten championships, but only has one national title.

So the theory is that he and Valentine got together to construct this plan to take away momentum in December/January and hopefully regain that traction when March rolled around, as well as to see how the team would respond and play without their best player.

You can watch the full interview with Mark Titus on the Scott Van Pelt show here:

It makes all too much sense. Pass up on an individual award and yet another Big Ten title in order to ready the team for the NCAA tournament. And, really, who comes back from any surgery that quickly, no matter how minor?

Well-known Spartan superfan Mike “Sparty Mike” Sterner ran a poll on Twitter asking whether the conspiracy is true or not. Titus got a hold of this poll and it is slowly gaining ground.

https://twitter.com/Sparty_Mike/status/700370569183662080

So what do you think? Is Tom Izzo, the Wizard of March, pulling a whole new trick this year? Or is this just a crazy internet theory?