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Countdown to the NCAA Season: JNixon-Iggy9's Top 35 Teams (#2)

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Countdown to the NCAA Season: JNixon-Iggy9's Top 35 Teams (#2)

#2: Michigan State Spartans:

Frontcourt- This group returns everyone except Raymar Morgan, who was very inconsistent but also very experienced. He’ll be missed. The best player in their frontcourt IMO is the 6th man, PF/C Draymond Green. The 6’5 255 Green looks more like an Eating contest champion than a basketball player, but he’s good man. He is an outstanding passer and rebounder (3.1 apg/1.8 topg; 7.7 rpg) from the PF and C spots, a Coach Izzo favorite, and he’s a solid mid-range shooter with the raw range to the college 3. Green really is extremely smart on the floor and he has pretty good feet for his size. Still, he’s very short for a PF though and not an athlete which makes his translation from college player to college prospect a little murky. He has trouble scoring in pure man-to-man situations against guys with size as you’d expect, even though his wide frame can help him in some instances. Beside him at the starting PF spot will be a fight between Jr. Delvon Roe and Fr. Adreian Payne, both highly regarded HS prospects. The 6’7 Roe has underachieved relative to his HS hype, but that largely can be attributed to the fact that he had serious knee surgery in HS that is still lingering a bit and has zapped his quickness and athleticism he’d need as the mismatch PF he was recruited to be. He has gotten a lot stronger though to attempt to make up for it and now looks like a true PF at this level (230 lbs). Roe is a pretty good rebounder and pure man-to-man defender who plays very hard and tough, often giving up inches on his man down low yet still being competitive. His post game and face-up game aren’t great though other than basic open 12-15 footers and jump hooks around the rim. 6’9 215 Payne is an athletic guy with lots of length. He has the frame to add weight and the potential to be a very good player at Michigan State in the long term. Right now, he’s raw and not strong enough to really be considered a game-changer, but he shows flashes of being able to beat slow bigs off the bounce and he looks like a shot-blocking presence too. He needs to find a skill and hang his hat on it (likely a face-up game though, to make him a triple threat with his athleticism), but the upside is there for him to be a good player. The starting C is Soph. Derrick Nix, a wide body (6’8 280) who basically sucks but provides a guy who can bang with the physical bigs in the Big 10. Don’t expect him to score, block shots, or stay in games for more than extremely limited time though. This is a typical Izzo hard-working frontline, with guys who provide interesting tools and they have a solid depth. Green, Payne and Roe figure to improve and need to get more spikes in production to make up for the loss of Morgan.

Backcourt- The group is led by arguably the best PG in the nation (when healthy) in 6’0 180 Kalin Lucas. Lucas is the best leader in college basketball IMO, pretty quick, has a good mid-range game, and he makes sound decisions and manages the game well. Still, he’s small and lacks athleticism so he’s not likely to be a starting PG in the NBA, even though he seems like a guy who would be a strong backup. He’s not exceptionally talented, but he knows what he can and can’t do. If he bounces back from injury well, he should be in for an All-American season next year. The SG spot is manned by the talented headache (sometimes) Durrell Summers, a 6’4 SG/off-guard. Summers has good athleticism and a nice shot from mid-range and 3-point land, and he’s a willing rebounder from the wing. Still, he has a relatively low basketball IQ that shows on D and shot selection (much more so on D though), and he always is good for making Coach Izzo sh*t himself 1 time per game. Remember how Coach Cal used to get pissed with DeMarcus Cousins? That’s how Izzo is with Summers. It’s probably because he sees the promise in Summers that could be achieved at the college level. I always say this, Summers IMO is the most naturally talented Michigan State Spartan. I think he’ll enjoy a Maurice Ager-style breakout Sr. season though, where he’ll put up about 17 ppg, 4 or 5 rpg, and be very efficient from the floor and show off the ability to make athletic plays and shoot the ball at a higher level than he has in his career while showing much improved basketball IQ. Yeah, I looking for a big season from Mr. Summers. The backup SG spot was manned by Chris Allen, who grew to be a cancer and was dismissed (headed to Iowa State). Allen was the designated shooter for MSU who played sound D and at times made athletic plays at the rim. His role will be handed to Fr. Mickey D’s guy Chris Appling, a guy who is very much a score-1st guy. The 6’2 Appling is a relentless slasher who has the ability to stick the mid-range shot off the dribble and make spot-up jumpers. He’s a one-dimensional scorer and he’s not a PG at all really, but he should provide solid scoring punch and the ability to pressure the ball on D. Look for him to put up about 7 or 8 ppg as a Fr. The backup PG/SG is 5’11 170 Korie Lucious, who probably will be suspended, if not dismissed, in lieu of a guilty plea in a D.W.I. Lucious is a quick waterbug who likes to slash to the bucket and get shots around the 3-point line. His size limits him around the rim and when contested on jump shots, so even though he’s talented he likely will never be a very efficient scorer. He does do a solid job of taking care of the ball though (3.3 apg/1.9 topg in 22 mpg) in MSU’s offense. This group has impressive talent, led by All-American and winner Kalin Lucas.

Overview- Tom Izzo is arguably the best coach in college basketball. He returns everyone except 1 guy from a Final 4 team that was played without one of the best players in college basketball in Kalin Lucas. Players getting in trouble will take some depth out of the guard spots for a bit, but lucky for them they have depth. I think Michigan State will be playing for the national title next year.


RUDEBOY_
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doesnt it seem like most of

doesnt it seem like most of Michigan State's players have been there for a decade? lol

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You can make great cases for

You can make great cases for both Duke & Michigan State to be number 1.....

But i dont think if Duke had not won it all last year..
They'll be number 1 .Some folks might have them 3rd behind Purdue......

Everyone would be saying that the Spartans are the best team in the country...

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Ol. I was thinking the same

Ol. I was thinking the same thing. PRob because they stay four years

JNixon
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Yeah you really can make

Yeah you really can make cases for both. Both only lose 1 guy that really was very important (2 if you include Zoubek....lol), but both figure to be in the title game playing each other right now.

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Chris Allen will be missed

Chris Allen will be missed and it will show

Mr.Knick 32
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Was Chris Allen that good?

Was Chris Allen that good?

JNixon
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Lol not really. He was a

Lol not really. He was a solid college bench player. Appling should replace everything Allen brought to the table. Allen missed time last year too, so they can play without him.

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summers

I think summers is goin to have a huge break out season and work his way into a top 20 pick..the biggest knock on the guy is that he doesn't consistently play hardn,but when he does he's their best player IMO. So if he plays consistently he's a good slasher and a great shooter he will have a huge yr

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Nice

I think they should be the number 1 team. The loss of Zoubek is a bigger loss than the loss of Allen. They are my preseason favorites to win it all.

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whoa now!!!! chris allen wont

whoa now!!!! chris allen wont be missed that much trust me, as a MSU fan, he was a lil inconisitent at times, and a streaky shooter, his impact wasnt that great now.... allen will be replaced by adriene payne and keith appling...durrell summers could have a huge year if he can develop a more consisent jumper and way better ball handling

Mr.Knick 32
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Gregoden08...your a UNC fan.

Gregoden08...your a UNC fan. Stop.

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Knick

Duke is my 2nd team to win it all...I like MSU over Duke. Get over it. Not every person who picks MSU is a Duke hater...lol. Like I said, losing Zoubek is a bigger deal than people think it is. So don't tell me to stop...

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I never like Dukes chances

I never like Dukes chances when they have big men that like to face the basket at center...and as impressive as the videos of the plumlees dunking are...both of them prefer to score facing the basket..zoubek provided the muscle and toughness (and facial hair) down low that they will miss this year

kacey
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I can't wait to see who is

I can't wait to see who is number one, it should be shocking.

Good stuff man. You will have to find another topic to stretch into a month. Good reads.

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his name is keith appling

his name is keith appling

JNixon
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I didn't even notice I put

I didn't even notice I put Chris. Thanks for the heads up!

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