If you haven't seen the latest edition of Luke Winn's usually outstanding power rankings, check it out. It's good stuff except for one little problem that I see. Michigan State did not crack the top 16 but that's not the problem. I mean these pre pre pre season rankings don't mean anything right. There's no way he can be right or wrong in May. I actually like it when the "experts" underrate and disrespect the Spartans.
The problem is Winn's reason for keeping MSU outside of the top 16. Look at what he wrote about MSU in Memphis' space: "While Draymond Green will be the most-missed player in the country next season -- I don't have Michigan State in the top 16 because I think his do-everything game and leadership skills will be so hard to replace that it'll create a UConn post-Kemba Walker type of situation..." Now had he also mentioned the losses of Thornton and Wood too, I might be inclined to agree with the drop. And by the way, how could Winn not mention Brandon Wood? I mean, don't you know who he is!
But Winn only referred to the loss of Green so let's keep the focus there. For reference, you can see where he had those post Kemba UCONN Huskies ranked a year ago. That actually makes the MSU ranking even less credible but still. If the loss of Green will make MSU mediocre then certainly OSU is in for a fall right? I mean Sullinger had comparable usage and a higher offensive rating. Not to mention the senior leader, Buford, being gone too. No, they're ranked 7th? Interesting. Well how about Kentucky? I mean they lost the, nearly consensus, player of the year. The surefire #1 pick and most dominant player in college basketball. Not to mention their, um, whole starting 5 plus senior leader Darius Miller. They have to fall out of the top 16 right. No, they're ranked 4th? What? How can that be?
Look, I understand that Kentucky's freshmen are presumed to be otherworldly if for no other reason than they're going to Kentucky but to only move down a couple spots? MSU returns a lot more production, even though the loss of Green will hurt, and gets hammered down to 18? Does that seem right? I know the recruiting class isn't top 2 like Kentucky's but isn't it possible one or two of the incoming players can actually play? Is the assumption that MSU's returning players will suddenly forget how to dribble while the returnees at OSU will have no problems stepping up? If so, why? Did Tom Izzo forget how to coach? Why do other schools get the benefit of the doubt and Michigan State doesn't?
Again, this is all just fodder for conversation. It's not like MSU is being totally disregarded. I know other media outlets have them ranked very high going into next season. It's all meaningless. I just found Luke Winn's reasoning for downgrading MSU a little zany based on where he has other teams with similar changes ranked.