As the college football and NFL seasons get underway, college basketball is drawing that much closer. Whether a sportswriter, a college student or a basketball fan, the anticipation of the upcoming season is based on the off season transactions of college teams. Incoming recruits who could help benefit the team and even college transfers factor into the equation. Michigan State is returning 11 of their players from the 2011- 2012 team. Despite losing team captain and Big Ten player of the year, Draymond Green, the Spartans return four of their top six scorers from the year before. Junior point guard Keith Appling averaged 11 points and 4 assists per game for Michigan State. Three returning starters and four incoming recruits aim to take the Spartans back to the Final Four in late March.
The Spartans’ schedule consists of 15 teams that appeared in the postseason last year. According to head coach Tom Izzo, the schedule is very challenging, but offers many opportunities.
“We’ve put together a schedule that combines challenges and unique events, giving us great competition on the court and a lifetime of memories,” said Izzo to msuspartans.com.
MSU prepares to open their regular season with two games away from home; the first one being held in front of armed forces in Germany and the other at the prestigious Champions Classic. They are scheduled to play Connecticut in Germany and Kansas in the Classic.
According to Sporting News, there are five big ten teams currently ranked in the top 25, with MSU coming in at number 22.
“I feel like I say it every year, but the Big Ten keeps getting better and better. This season, I’m especially impressed with the strength at the top of the conference. In recent years, the depth of the overall conference has been strong, and this year is no exception,” Izzo said.
By Jeffrey Adamski