Rich Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal conducted a survey of 30 members of the college basketball media on this question: “If you were buying stock in 10 college basketball programs, which 10 would you buy, and in what order?” (Hat tip: Inside the Hall.) MSU just missed the top 10, landing as the top team in the “also receiving votes” category.
Hard to argue with the top four (UNC, UCLA, Kansas, Duke), all teams with storied histories and recent success (three of them making this year’s Final Four). Florida comes in at #5 on the strength of back-to-back NCAA titles. Looking back at the last ten years, MSU can go toe-to-toe with any of the teams ranked from 6-10: Texas, Louisville, Kentucky, Memphis, Georgetown.
The question is whether MSU is in a position to compete with those teams at an elite level going forward. I’d be so bold as to move us past Kentucky (Gillispie still has to prove he can take a team to the Final Four), Memphis (Rose and Douglas-Roberts will be tough to replace), and Georgetown (ability to attract top talent with deliberate offensive system?). It’s worth noting that Michigan State is still viewed more highly on the national stage than teams like UConn, Indiana, and Arizona.
Next year becomes a key year, I think, in terms of MSU’s standing as an elite program. Izzo will have three potential stars at the 1, 3, and 5 spots (Lucas, Morgan, and Suton) and balanced depth to go with it. Another season without a conference championship or Final Four appearance would make it hard to not downgrade our program from “elite” to “very good.”
TAFKATBTW looks back at his worst and best predictions from this season. Relating to Big Ten play, the ex-Wonk has this item on his list of good predictions:
3. Wisconsin will win the Big Ten (11/7)
OK, I said they’d share the title with Michigan State. Still, the preseason media poll had the Badgers finishing no better than fourth. Everyone and their brother said the Spartans and Indiana would battle it out for the regular season championship. Bo Ryan’s team went 16-2 and won the title outright.
I started doing something like this over the weekend, looking back at how my prognostications turned out, but somehow the draft of the post blew up half way through and I lost it. Maybe I’ll work on it again (and maybe I won’t.) As for my own conference champ prediction, I went with the homer pick–which obviously didn’t work out too well. I did, however, have Wisconsin–rather than IU–standing as the main competition for the Spartans. And this prediction did finally pan out at the end of conference play:
Eric Gordon is tremendously talented, but relying on any freshman to score bunches of points game in and game out will eventually catch up to any team.
Depressing blog statistic of the week: Below are the list of search terms people have used to find the Spartans Weblog today.
|dribble drive motion offense||5|
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|dribble drive offense||2|
|dribble drive motion basketball||2|
|dribble drive motion||2|
|memphis motion offense||2|
|memphis tigers dribble drive motion offe||1|
|dribble-drive offense memphis||1|
|big ten rankings win loss statistics||1|
|memphis state offense dribble drive moti||1|
Oh, well. At least the blog is still serving some public purpose as we go into tonight’s national championship game . . .