Looking Back and Forward at Spartan Basketball

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Spartans Will Shine Again

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By Max DeMara

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As the 2007-2008 basketball season came to a close it finally dawned on me that Michigan State had a pretty successful season.

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Sure, there were no banners to hang or no championships to speak of (and that is the true measuring stick in East Lansing) but the team demonstrated a solid resilient mentality throughout the season that will serve them well in the future. They achieved a high win total, beating several quality teams, while avoiding double digit losses.  They never gave up after several of those heartbreaking losses that would have damaged the outlook of many teams. The team also dispelled many negative prognosticators who picked against them in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA tournament to win games and make some noise.

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Unfortunately, the lasting image for many will be of disgust and sorrow after a lopsided loss to Memphis in the Sweet 16. Memphis, however, more than proved to be a great team after nearly beating Kansas for the National Championship. The story may have ended different if they had made their free throws and fouled to prevent Kansas from launching the game tying three-pointer nearly as time expired. Michigan State fought back against Memphis in a game when it would have been easy to pack it in and accept a thirty or forty point loss. Instead, they kept fighting and showed character and Spartan pride.

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As two Spartan’s careers were painfully ending, others hopefully began. Chris Allen and Kalin Lucas shined several times on the big stage, hitting big shots. It will become their team to lead next year. Several other key players return to lead the attack: Goran Suton, Marquis Gray and defensive stopper Travis Walton. Raymar Morgan will also be back and the sky is his limit. He must improve his game to become a more consistent performer and offensive threat, because he could take this team or a game over himself. Along with a stacked incoming class led by big time recruit Delvon Roe, the Spartans should be well equipped to make another run at a Big Ten title. They will certainly be talked about in pre-season polls and predictions as a formidable Big Ten foe. The experience the young Spartans gained in tournament play will continue to serve the team and its future freshman well, and should lead to several big wins next year.

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As Monday night’s broadcast wrapped up with the beautiful “One Shining Moment” video, I noticed that no images of Spartans were included. While it was disappointing, Spartan fans can think about several shining moments from the season with hope for next year springing eternal.

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The Spartans will keep shining, and the future remains bright.