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“Too early” preseason polls have MSU basketball as consensus top 15

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Are the Spartans really a top 15 team to start the season?

Illinois v Michigan State Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

We’ve got 200-something days until the 2018 basketball season starts. Perfect time to rank every top basketball team, right?

Well, many publications think so as they’ve been casting their clickbait “Too Early Top 25” pieces. And, folks, they call it clickbait because it works. At least for us it did.

Here’s a rundown of where the Spartans fall in a few Top 25 pieces:

-USA Today is the highest on the Spartans out of the publications we are aware of, pinning the Spartans at No. 8.

-Sporting News has the Spartans ranked at No. 10.

-SBNation and CBS Sports each have MSU tabbed at No. 11. SBNation has Michigan one spot ahead of the Spartans while CBS Sports has the Wolverines a whopping 12 spots behind the green and white.

-Sports Illustrated has the Spartans pegged at No. 12 in the country.

-NBC Sports has the Spartans at No. 14.

-Kansas is ranked the No. 1 team in all of those articles, and all but NBC Sports has Duke as the No. 2 squad.

-In the sportsbooks MSU is also getting love as they have the ninth-best odds on Bovada at 22/1. Duke is highest at 5/1, Kansas is at 7/1 and Villanova and Kentucky sit at 8/1.

Big Ten Basketball Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

My two cents (if you care)

Let me get this out here right away: MSU will be a good team next year.

With that said, I don’t think they’re top 15 yet. I love how pretty much every “too early top 25” piece glances over Miles Bridges and Jaren Jackson leaving as if they were just rotation players. Well, I guess in the Syracuse game one of them was…still, those are insane talents to replace.

Could they get to be top 15 by year’s end? Sure. Do I think they’ll begin the season as one of the best 15 teams with two (maybe three) major holes to fill in the roster? Not really, to be honest.

Syracuse v Michigan State Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

MSU will miss a player they can rely on for scoring inside and out in Miles Bridges. They’ll also dearly miss the defense Jaren Jackson presented, which gave MSU a one-of-a-kind interior defense.

Also, while this recruiting class is strong, I’m not sure any present instant star power that can get you 13-15 points per game. This class will be really good, but for this group I think it’ll be two or three years in the system until they each hit their stride.

Now again – I don’t think this team is NIT-bound by any means. They still have Cassius Winston, Matt McQuaid, Xavier Tillman, Kenny Goins, Kyle Ahrens back from injury and maybe Nick Ward. And let’s assume Josh Langford steps his game up from this year. That’s a solid batch of players.

Poll

Where would you rank MSU heading into the 2018-19 season?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Top 10
    (58 votes)
  • 37%
    15-11
    (189 votes)
  • 50%
    16 or higher
    (257 votes)
504 votes total Vote Now