Michigan State Basketball Drops out of Preseason Top-10

McLain Moberg

Following the departure of Xavier Tillman Sr. Sunday afternoon, the Spartans fell outside of the preseason rankings, according to CBS Sports.

Gary Parrish, the writer who released the rankings, said he had placed Tillman on Michigan State's projected roster on Saturday for the upcoming season; however, once he made his announcement, Parrish had a change of heart.

"Tom Izzo's Spartans are officially losing the top two scorers from last season's team that shared the Big Ten title with Maryland and Wisconsin. As a result, I've dropped Michigan State to No. 11 in Version 23.0 of the 2020-21 CBS Sports Preseason Top 25 And 1," said Parrish.

He's right, the absence of Cassius Winston and Tillman leaves a significant hole on both ends of the court. Everyone knows about Izzo's future recruiting classes featuring Max Christie, Emoni Bates, and Enoch Boakye.

But even with rumors of Bates and Boakye wanting to reclassify for 2021, the Spartans still have questions surrounding the season at hand.

For at least one year, who will replace them?

Michigan State has enough to win its fourth-straight Big Ten Regular-Season title, and fans have undoubtedly seen Izzo do more with less.

"Xavier Tillman deciding to remain in the 2020 NBA Draft is totally sensible but still a big blow to what Michigan State's roster could've looked like," Parrish said. "It means the Spartans will be without the top two players from a team that shared last season's Big Ten title with Maryland and Wisconsin. Finding a suitable replacement at point guard for Cassius Winston won't be easy. But Tom Izzo still has enough to maybe make a run at what would be his ninth Final Four."

The Spartans did receive some good news Sunday afternoon when Aaron Henry chose to withdraw from the NBA Draft and return to East Lansing. MSU still has Rocket Watts, Gabe Brown, Marcus Bingham, and Malik Hall.

Additionally, Joey Hauser is eligible after sitting out a year. He will provide a much-needed boost with his ability to facilitate and stretch the floor with his perimeter shooting.

Michigan State fans shouldn't forget Joshua Langford also wants to come back and play if he's healthy.

There are a lot of moving parts, but MSU can and will compete in 2020.

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