Now that the NBA early-entry decisions have all been finalized, the national college hoops experts are updating their preliminary top 25 rankings:
- ESPN.com’s Andy Katz has MSU at #11.
- Foxsports.com’s Jeff Goodman has MSU at #2.
- Our own Joe Rexrode has MSU at #4.
All three experts have North Carolina #1. After that, there’s no real consensus:
Teams appearing in all three top tens are UNC, Pitt, UCLA, Louisville, and Duke (MSU just misses this list). But none of those teams is near to being a consensus pick as the second best team at this point.
The Big East is the early favorite to be the top conference in the country, with five teams appearing in at least one of the three top tens.
I think expectations for MSU to be a top 10 team are entirely reasonable given that:
- They were roughly the 15th best team in the country this past season.
- They underachieved somewhat.
- Neitzel is a big loss but his minutes should be filled productively (Allen/Summers)–and his departure may give the team a more coherent offensive identity (transition/driving to the basket vs. half-court sets to create outside shots).
- MSU’s roster should be as deep and balanced as it has been in the last four years.
Given the uncertainty beyond UNC as the nation’s best team, Michigan State has as good a shot as anyone else at being a serious Final Four contender next season.
August College Basketball Road Trip?
As part of a preseason tour, MSU will be playing the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada on August 30. I’ve always wanted to spend some time in the Vancouver area. I assume these games are open to the public?
Does anyone know what the rules are for when/how often college teams can do preseason tours in other countries?