East Lansing, Mich. – Across the country, college basketball rosters are still figuring themselves out. With the NCAA transfer portal acting as a revolving door, projecting the best teams for next season can be difficult.
Even so, ESPN's Jeff Borzello released his latest way-too-early top-25 rankings, slotting Michigan State near the bottom at No. 24.
The Spartans are the fifth Big Ten team in the top-25 alongside Ohio State (No. 5), Purdue (No. 6), Michigan (No. 8), and Maryland (No. 12).
"The Spartans hadn't ranked lower than sixth in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency since 2011, until last year, when they were 13th -- in front of only Nebraska," Borzello wrote. "They turned it over at a high rate, and they were one of the worst shooting teams in the league, both from inside and outside the arc. And leading scorer Aaron Henry, the lone double-figure scorer on the team last season, is gone to the NBA. So how does Tom Izzo fix it? The Spartans could go 10- or 11-deep next season, but the key will be finding more consistent and effective guard play. Michigan State is bringing in two players who could start immediately in the backcourt in five-star recruit Max Christie and Northeastern transfer Tyson Walker. Christie has good size and can make shots from the perimeter, while Walker was a first-team all-conference player and the CAA Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 18.8 points, 4.8 assists, and 2.4 steals last season. Those two will be at the forefront of what should be a bounce-back season in East Lansing."
MSU finished 15-13 last season, extending the program's NCAA tournament streak to 23 consecutive appearances before losing in the First Four.
Michigan State is adding three players in combo guard Pierre Brooks II, shooting guard Max Christie, and point guard Jaden Akins. However, the Spartans lost Joshua Langford, who retired from competitive basketball, and Aaron Henry, who entered the NBA draft following his junior season.
Four others entered the transfer portal and found new schools, including Jack Hoiberg, Rocket Watts, Foster Loyer, and Thomas Kithier. In return, former Northeastern point guard Tyson Walker committed to MSU in late March.
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