Michigan State Basketball: 2022-23 season preview and outlook for Spartans

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Michigan State Basketball Tom Izzo Joey Hauser

It would be pretty accurate to say that Michigan State has been the best Big Ten program since the turn of the century. They have the conference’s most recent national title back in 2000 and have been a somewhat semi-regular in the Final Four, most recently just three years ago in 2019. Tom Izzo’s success with the Spartans has been impressive and historic and he’s done a fantastic job of bringing high levels of talent to East Lansing and turning them into superstars.

However, the Spartans have taken a bit of a step back in recent years. During a twelve-year span from 2008 to 2020, Michigan State won six Big Ten regular season titles, made four Final Fours, and finished no lower than 5th place in the Big Ten. These last two years have seen the Spartans a bit less successful, finishing in ties for 8th place and 7th place in the last two seasons. They still managed to win 23 games and hold off Davidson in the first round of the Big Dance, but these aren’t exactly the types of seasons we’re used to seeing in East Lansing.

The Spartans still won a ton of games and made the NCAA Tournament, even while finishing in the middle of the pack in the Big Ten. There aren’t really problems here, but there are definitely some question marks moving forward. Much of that success of the last decade came with star players like Denzel Valentine and Cassius Winston emerging as leaders of the program, but that level of star power just hasn’t been around since Winston’s graduation before the pandemic.

This is a program looking to replace the productivity of Gabe Brown, Marcus Bingham, and Max Christie, the top three scorers from last year’s team. There are still some impactful pieces on this Spartans team, and we’ll talk plenty about those players, but it’s hard to find that next Winston-level player among the spoils on this roster. There’s no big-time transfer saving the day, unfortunate news in a season where the Big Ten looks very winnable.

We’ll be diving into this Spartans team, looking closely at the current state of the roster, who’s on an intriguing schedule, and what to expect from this team this year. Michigan State is one of those programs that always seem to be in the hunt in the Big Ten. That should not be different this season, but can we expect a bounce back after two straight middle-of-the-pack finishes?

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