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MSU basketball: Is it time to panic? Or will everything be just dandy?

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Do you still think this team is capable of being the nation’s best?

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

One month ago, we couldn’t imagine the last week of MSU hoops happening.

In December, this team was thrashing everyone in its path. Every game (except the loss to Duke) looked like a varsity vs. JV game as our No. 1-ranked Spartans were living up to their billing of national title contenders.

Now, here they are – fourth in the Big Ten and an overtime win against Rutgers away from a three-game losing streak.

And we all know those two losses weren’t fluky buzzer-beaters either. Getting the brakes beaten off by Ohio State wasn’t a fluke. Getting out-toughed and out-coached by Michigan at Breslin Center was also not a fluke.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but this team is arguably the softest – both mentally and physically – Tom Izzo has ever coached. I’m sorry if that upsets some fellow fans, but that’s just the truth. Whenever the going got a little tough over the last week, they folded like a birthday card.

Turnovers are also a back-breaking problem. Michigan State has a -2.1 turnover margin that ranks 307th in the nation – not great, Bob. I also don’t see that problem being fixed either – I’ve held out hope that this core would get it right, but after 54 games together over two years it’s pretty clear ball security isn’t their concern.

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

NOW HOLD ON, DON’T LEAVE YET, BECAUSE YOUR NEGATIVE NANCY BLOG WRITER STARTS GETTING POSITIVE HERE.

There is reason to think this can get turned around and MSU can get back to the top and maybe get a Detroit opening round bid in March. And, if you’re a really optimistic person, maybe even get back into the Big Ten title hunt.

First reason? Tom F. Izzo. You know what the F stands for. I would be an idiot to doubt his abilities in the middle of January.

Second reason? Well, look at this roster. Two lottery picks. Two guards in Joshua Langford and Cassius Winston that have proven to be consistent scorers. A big man in Nick Ward that can score at will when he’s on. The potential is there, they just need a leader and/or some fire to bring to these games.

Third reason? The Big Ten isn’t good this year. They really have one more game this year where they won’t be heavily favored, and that’s when Purdue comes to town. Until then, it’s a good slate to get back on track.

So, where do you guys stand? What’s the panic level at right now?

Poll

What’s your panic level at right now for MSU basketball?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    5 — I’m slamming the panic button.
    (83 votes)
  • 25%
    4
    (206 votes)
  • 41%
    3 — I mean, it’s not good. But not terrible.
    (327 votes)
  • 12%
    2
    (102 votes)
  • 9%
    1 — Cool your jets, this team is fine.
    (79 votes)
797 votes total Vote Now

Personally, I’m at a four. I think this team is desperate for a leader, and bringing out a leader to Denzel or Draymond levels in the middle of the season will not be easy. I don’t think they can claw back and win the Big Ten, so that leaves a Final Four as the only other goal on the table. And with how they’ve been playing, I could easily see that not happening.

So let’s ask this question too -- do you still see this season ending in the Final Four?

Poll

Will MSU reach the Final Four?

This poll is closed

  • 47%
    Absolutely
    (347 votes)
  • 52%
    Nope
    (381 votes)
728 votes total Vote Now