Well, that was … something. It’s no secret that basketball season wasn’t the standard for MSU hoops, but gang, some of us need to pump the brakes here.
I’m right with everyone – this season was a tough one to watch at many times. But we also need to put it into perspective as we look back on a unique season in Michigan State’s history.
First off, this program isn’t slipping away. I saw a few comparisons between MSU and the Detroit Red Wings in the sense that they’re barely keeping their postseason streak alive while steadily declining.
Alright, fine. Let’s look at this.
One of those teams is declining based on poor draft position, the inability to get key free agents and keeping aging players on the roster. That’s the Red Wings.
The other just brought in a top five recruiting class, has another promising class on the way and only has a brighter future ahead of them. That team is (you guessed it) Michigan State.
Also, let’s not forget what happened to this team in the last year. In 2015-16, Tom Izzo had a top five team in the nation heading into the tourney and we all know how that went, (especially my therapist). We also all know what happened after that – four seniors graduated, two forwards transferred and Deyonta Davis went to the NBA. Oh yeah, and two big men suffered season-ending injuries before the 2016-17 season even started.
Crazy enough, the wizardly Izzo wasn’t able to get this team to national championship contention. I don’t even think John Wooden himself could have done that. As far as end results go, this season should not have been that big of a surprise to anyone. What else did we expect from a young roster that was scotch-taped together?
The only surprises were how great Nick Ward was as a freshman (good news) and how long it took for the freshmen class to start clicking as one (kind of bad news to start, but they showed great signs to end the year).
You’ve probably heard this dozens of times already just in the last 24 hours alone, but this future is bright.
Jeremy Warnemuende of 247Sports brought up a great point on Twitter – 68 of MSU’s 70 points were from freshmen or sophomores. Kansas had 60 of its 90 points come from juniors and seniors. Talent is nice. Talent with experience is even nicer, and that’s coming.
Success will come back – it always does with Izzo. This season was incredibly unique considering the hand that was dealt before and during the season with key injuries, I’ll be floored if anything like this happens again.
Let this team grow. Let this team get its big men healthy. Let this program remind you how they always bounce back.