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Michigan State Spartans Basketball: Back to the Future

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Revisiting B1G Basketball Projections for 2015-16

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Updated Projected Roster

This should be encouraging. It's not hard to envision solid teams even past 2015-16 given the nucleus on paper and Tom Izzo's penchant for developing players. You already knew MSU needed a point guard in the 2016 class. As Josh has pointed out, it makes sense to start going after some 2017 wings, too.

Updated B1G returnees Scatterplot (here's the last one)

To me, there are now five clear areas:

Contenders: Michigan State, Maryland, Indiana, Purdue

Tournament teams bringing back the majority of their win shares that reeled in solid classes. Important things you don't see here: the transfer additions of Rasheed Sulaimon for Maryland and Eron Harris for MSU. Quantifying those transfers is hard, but both should have an impact. Still, there are no 2014-15 Wisconsin-style juggernauts. And that should make for a more fun Big Ten season.

Good Teams That Lost Too Much: Wisconsin, Ohio State, Iowa

Death. Taxes. Thad Matta. In Matta's tenure in Columbus, Ohio State hasn't sunk lower than 33rd in KenPom's rankings, and though they are losing D'Angelo Russell they bring in the best class in the Big Ten. They'll be solid. Wisconsin will be just fine with Nigel Hayes and Bronson Koenig taking larger roles. Iowa must replace Aaron White but they've got some ability to backfill with Jared Uthoff.

Seriously Meh: Illinois, Minnesota, Penn State

These teams are more or less destined to be in the lower-middle of the Big Ten every year, aren't they?

Bad Teams That Return A Lot: Northwestern, Michigan

This might be the best Northwestern team since 2011! That sentence probably didn't deserve to end in an exclamation point. Since the quality of the Big Ten overall will improve, Northwestern is still in tough shape.

Michigan fancies themselves contenders, which like, fine you included Illinois too. But there's a lot of banking on frosh-to-soph leaps with that team. Box plus-minus was not kind to virtually anyone on that team last year outside of Caris LeVert.

Bad Teams That Lost A Lot: Nebraska, Rutgers

Both teams were bad and should feel bad, but roster turnover isn't terrible in their situations and both recruiting classes are pretty good. Nebraska reeled in two consensus four-stars.