I am higher on the Spartans than most people on here. I think that somehow Izzo is going to get this team to win games. I think that Valentine and Dawson are going to be two very good players. Michigan State loses Dan Chapman, Adreian Payne, and Keith Appling to graduation. In addition, Gary Harris is leaving for the NBA. Also, Russell Byrd is foregoing his final year of elgibility. Losing these players means losing:
Now this is quite a lot to lose but it could be worse. They could have three players going pro like other teams in the conference. Here is the catch, Alex Gauna has not decided if he is going to take his fifth year. And although he is not a starter, he is an important role-player. Here is what they lose if he leaves.
Not only do they lose some real minutes, they lose valuable experience. This player is not going to be all B1G but losing him means losing serious depth. Here is what their roster looks like:
# Name HT WT YR POS
15 Keenan Wetzel 6-4 210 RS.SR SG
Only played 22 minutes all of last year, will not play.
2 Alex Gauna 6-9 250 RS.SR C
Played 7 minutes a game last year. He will get about 10 minutes a game this year unless he decides not to take his fifth year.
20 Travis Trice 6-0 170 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, candidate for "alien of the year". He averaged 22 minutes a game last year when Keith was being tough and he will get about 30 this year. He should be their 3rd option to score this year.
22 Branden Dawson 6-6 225 SR. PF
Branden is arguably their best player. He may not be a scorer but he is a man on the boards and a very good defender. He will start at Power Forward. If Dan Dakich does not break Dawson's hand again then he should be on track for all B1G.
41 Colby Wollenman 6-7 225 RS.JR SF
Will not play.
45 Denzel Valentine 6-5 225 JR. SF
The starting Small Forward, will be their go-to scorer. If he plays to his full ability he could be a lock to go to the NBA. Frontrunner for the "Needs Braces" team.
10 Matt Costello 6-9 240 JR. C
The starting Center, could be pretty good next year and a more than servicable starter.
13 Trevor Bohnhoff 6-7 215 JR. PF
Will not play.
30 Kenny Kaminski 6-8 225 RS.SO PF
A three point shooter, will pick up odd minutes at the 3-5.
34 Gavin Schilling 6-9 225 SO. C
An uber athletic fouling machine. He picks up 8 fouls every 40 minutes, which is good for him fouling out in 25 minutes. Not good. He will pick up minutes.
3 Alvin Ellis III 6-4 195 SO. SG
The biggest mystery on their team, he only played 7 minutes a game last year. I think he will start later on in the year. Early in the year I think Valentine will slide down with Dawson at the three and Kaminski at the 4.
Lourawls Nairn 5-10 170 FR. PG
A four star, the #15 Point Guard in this class. He will be the back-up 1 this year.
Javon Bess 6-5 195 FR. SG
A three star, the #20 Shooting Guard in this class. He will back-up Ellis at the 2.
Marvin Clark 6-7 219 FR. PF
A three star, the #40 Power Forward in this class. He will be the back-up 3.
Projected Starting Lineup:
Point Guard: Travis Trice
Shooting Guard: Alvin Ellis III
Small Forward: Denzel Valentine
Power Forward: Branden Dawson
Center: Matt Costello
Losing Gauna would make this team worse than Michigan, but with him, MSU barely has the edge. I think State will go 4th in the B1G and 12-6 in the conference.
Next up... Ohio State
Eron Harris has UM in the top three according to UMHoops. Would be a very solid get for B-ball.
Van Gundy will join the Los Angeles Clippers' Doc Rivers and San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich as the only coaches with full authority over personnel decisions.
Question is, will he bring along someone to be the GM, or help with that like Otis Smith, and who will his assistants be?
Reported by Baumgardner, among others. This is obviously a setback with regard to LeVert's summer workout plans, but he should be recovered in time for the trip to Italy:
“Caris underwent surgery today for a stress fracture of his foot at the University of Michigan hospital," Beilein said in a statement. "He is doing well and we expect him to make a full recovery in about 8 to 10 weeks. We are confident he will participate in our late summer training and play in our August trip to Europe.”
According to a Freep article, it's not known whether he'll be able participate in the Kevin Durant camp for wings (to which he had received an invite), which is usually held in July.
Maybe the Lakers will hire him back a second time too. Didn't really work out too well here for Mike without LeBron.
All three of Michigan's draft declarants will participate in the NBA draft combine this week. Not much of a surprise, but it is now official.