MSU tops NBC Sports' preseason hoops top 25
Expectations are high for the Michigan State basketball men’s basketball team next season.
The Spartan return a young core from last season's NCAA Tournament team, including star Miles Bridges, who put the NBA on hold to rejoin three other sophomores-to-be in East Lansing.
National rankings, though early, are starting to follow suit. NBC Sports has Michigan State at No. 1 in its preseason top 25, unveiled Sunday, allowing for the usual caveats for this time of year, such as decisions yet to be made by potential NBA draft prospects, but also warning "next season's top 25 is awful uninspiring."
"There also isn’t anything close to a clear-cut No. 1 team," NBC Sports Rob Dauster writes.
For now, though, it's Michigan State, which received an added boost Monday with a sixth year of eligibility granted to graduate transfer Ben Carter, a 6-foot-9 forward.
"I like this Michigan State team a lot," Dauster writes. "Nick Ward was a beast last year and (incoming freshman) Jaren Jackson is the perfect sidekick. Cassius Winston and Josh Langford will both take a step forward. The key, however, is that a potential Player of the Year in Miles Bridges opted to return to school."
Arizona is ranked No. 2, while defending national champion North Carolina is No. 3. Michigan, which is awaiting NBA draft decisions from underclassmen Moritz Wagner and D.J. Wilson, is unranked by NBC Sports.