Michigan State Ranked No. 8 In ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll

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Four Spartan opponents also ranked.


EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State men’s basketball team is ranked No. 8 in the first ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ Poll of the 2007-08 season. The Spartans are the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the poll, followed closely by No. 9 Indiana. Other ranked MSU opponents include No. 2 UCLA (possible opponent in CBE Classic), No. 16 Texas (Dec. 22 at Auburn Hills, Mich.) and No. 24 North Carolina State (Nov. 28 in East Lansing). Big Ten foes Ohio State, Wisconsin and Illinois also received votes, as did non-conference opponents BYU, Bradley and Maryland.Michigan State returns all five starters and eight of its top nine scorers from a squad that posted a 23-12 record and advanced to the second round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The Spartans are led by co-captains Drew Neitzel and Travis Walton. Goran Suton, Marquise Gray, Raymar Morgan, Drew Naymick and Idong Ibok also all started more than 10 games last season. To that group, MSU adds a top-five recruiting class, including freshmen Chris Allen, Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers and Austin Thornton. The Spartans will hold an open practice at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Oct. 28, featuring an intrasquad scrimmage. The exhibition season opens on Friday, Nov. 2 against Grand Valley State. MSU opens the regular season on Nov. 13 against Chicago State in the CBE Classic at the Breslin Center.