clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

MSU basketball: Are high expectations too high? Or just right?

New, 54 comments

We look at both sides of the question

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes when you get bored, you argue with yourself.

Unless that’s just me. If that’s the case, please just play along.

I’m sure you’ve caught wind by now, but every expert and their brother likes the Spartans this year. I mean, a lot.

You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t have MSU penciled in their Final Four. People are equating Miles Bridges returning to a shoo-in for Big Ten champs and a top seed in the big dance.

But are the national championship-or-bust, best-team-since-2000 expectations too high? I’ve wrestled with this internally, and here I am to put you fine people in the midst of this fight.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Expectations are too high

Yes, MSU returns just about every key player from last year’s team. However, let’s clear something up – this wasn’t a team of world-beaters last year.

This is a team that lived most of its life on the tournament bubble last winter and then got lambasted by Kansas in the second round. This isn’t a team that had a great conference season, got a three or four seed in the tourney and took down a titan in the opening rounds.

Hey, believe me, I get that’s what happens with a young team. A lot of this season comes down to one of the most immature problems – turnovers. This team had 50,000 turnovers (alright, it was actually 490), and if they don’t drastically change that trend this season you can kiss the banners goodbye. It was such an issue last year that it has me shook for this year.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Another problem that has me thinking we should dial back expectations is who plays the two, and how well can they play? We know the potential of Josh Langford, but potential doesn’t always turn into production. And Matt McQuaid has been hit-and-miss for the better part of his time. Can they both be more consistent? Well, they’re going to have to be.

I don’t know, to me this team is lacking a knockdown shooter. They turned the ball over too much for me to think they’ll easily fix it. And yes, last year’s team returns a lot of players, but they were just good at best. I’m sorry.

The expectations are just right

No, negative Matt. Screw you. This team is a legitimate top three team in the country and get right outta here if you think otherwise.

Last year’s team wasn’t that great? Yeah, no kidding – they had one true post player over 6-foot-6. It’s an Izzo miracle that team even made the tournament and won their first game.

And maybe this was missed, but Miles Bridges is coming back this year. Miles F***ing Bridges. This kid should be putting up about 13 points a night in the NBA right now. You could put him on Rutgers and he would make them a tournament team.

NCAA Basketball: Wisconsin at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s keep going with the players… Jaren Jackson might be Izzo’s best freshman ever. Cassius Winston’s game will be more polished and will include a sharp jump shot. Gavin Schilling and Ben Carter being healthy means Nick Ward can get more breaks and be more aggressive without worrying about foul trouble. Josh Langford was trending in the right direction to end the season last year. And we still have an incredible leader in Tum Tum Nairn on this squad.

Oh, and maybe this was forgotten too *throws on all caps* TOM IZZO IS STILL THE COACH. HALL OF FAME COACH TOM IZZO. YOU REALLY WANT TO DOUBT THIS GUY?

Yeah, so what if this team was OK last year? Or had a turnover problem? Or doesn’t have a proven knockdown shooter? This year is totally different, and they’re ready to shine.

Poll

Are the expectations too high for this MSU team?

This poll is closed

  • 28%
    Yes, they’re too high
    (121 votes)
  • 71%
    No way
    (310 votes)
431 votes total Vote Now