CBB Summer Buzz: Michigan State
Izzo's decision to return to East Lansing ensures Sparty stays relevant in the Big Ten
Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at a few of the big-profile schools before most freshmen have even moved into their dorms. We continue today with Michigan State.
28-9 (NCAA tournament -- Final Four)
Believe it or not, LeBron James does not have a monopoly on "Decisions" this summer. About a month earlier, Rust Belt basketball fans leaned in toward their TVs to hear Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo announce his future intentions. Though Izzo believed James would return to Cleveland, the coach passed on the Cavs' coaching offer anyway and returned to East Lansing.
After a sigh of relief from Sparty's supporters and a group hug from his players at the podium, things should look awfully familiar for Michigan State in 2010-11. The Spartans return eight of their nine leading scorers from last season, including a star point guard in Kalin Lucas, who probably could have turned pro had he not come up lame at season's end.
The talent and depth of the returning roster, plus Izzo's tournament touch, makes Michigan State an instant favorite for the Final Four. But despite all the good news, a slew of injuries and a possible player defection could leave the Spartans limping into the bear trap that is the loaded Big Ten. Perhaps that's why, for all the positives, Izzo believes the Purdue Boilermakers, and not his Spartans, are the conference favorite this season.
"People can pick us, pick them, but I think they're going to be the team to beat," Izzo says. "It'll be interesting to see who survives with so much on the line. We have everything we can chew and more this season."
To read the summer preview of the Michigan State Spartans, including news on the incoming freshman, a player Tom Izzo says has worked as hard as any player he's coached and an update on Chris Allen, plus season outlooks from Joe Lunardi and Jay Bilas, you must be an ESPN Insider.
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COLLEGE BASKETBALL SUMMER BUZZ
Insider knows you're hot for hoops during the summer, so we're bringing you a closer look at few of the big-profile schools before most freshmen have even moved into their dorms.
All in one place
A collection of everything we've posted to date.
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Duke Blue Devils
Blue Devils have the talent to repeat
Wildcats have talent, but is it enough?
With UK on the rise, the Cards need to rebuild
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Michigan State Spartans
Another Final Four could be in the cards
Ohio State Buckeyes
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Illinois Fighting Illini
A dark-horse candidate for the Big Ten title
The Baby Boilers are all grown up
Mack will lead Bulldogs' attack
Despite key losses, the Orange are contenders
Without Monroe, it's all about the guards
Jay Wright's frontcourt has arrived
Hopson, Harris should ignite Vols
Vet leadership, depth should aid Gators
Bruins can begin the rebuilding process
Huskies hungry to reach Elite Eight
Influx of talent forces out familar faces
Kansas State Wildcats
Expectations are higher than ever in Manhattan
Jayhawks still have the talent to compete