Michigan State Preview-Capsule
Last season: 20-15, lost to Kansas in NCAA round of 32.
Coach: Tom Izzo
Conference: Big Ten.
Who’s gone: G Eron Harris, G Alvin Ellis, F Matt Van Dyk.
Who’s back: Four of the top five and eight of the top 10 scorers from last season. F Miles Bridges turned down a chance to be an NBA lottery pick to return for his sophomore season. Bridges is the Big Ten preseason player of the year and a national player of the year candidate. F Nick Ward averaged nearly 14 points and six-plus rebounds as a freshman, trailing only Bridges on the team. Ward joined Bridges on the preseason All-Big Ten team.
Who’s new: F Jaren Jackson and F Xavier Tillman are talented enough as freshmen to be key players on a loaded team. The 6-11, 242-pound Jackson is projected by some as top-five pick in the 2018 NBA draft. Izzo said the 6-8, 260-pound Tillman was the biggest surprise in early practices.
The Skinny: Izzo, a Hall of Fame coach, has a good shot to win his second national championship, reach his eighth Final Four and win his first Big Ten regular season title since 2012.
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