Michigan State University 2009-10 Men's Basketball Preview
an overall look at the upcoming season for the Spartans. Who gone? Who needs to step up? Who's new? it's all here
By: Jeffrey Hambright
After a somewhat improbable run in the 2009 NCAA Men’s basketball Tournament, the question is, how is MSU going to follow it up in the following season? They are losing several key players from the year before and must find a way to fill the shoes of Goran Suton and Travis Walton to name a few. Success will hinge on the development of a few key players from last season.
Without a doubt, the two major losses for the Spartans are Center Goran Suton, and Guard Travis Walton. The two seniors were arguably the most important players in the 2009 tournament. The ability of Travis Walton to lock up the opposing team’s best perimeter scorer is going to be greatly missed. As well as Goran Suton’s ability to stretch the defense with the mid range J. Which in my opinion, was the key in defeating UCONN in the semi-final game. In addition to Walton and Suton, The Spartans are losing overall size: Idong Ibok and Marquise Gray have also graduated. That will be a lot of overall size to replace.
Addressing overall size, The Spartans have brought in two new centers. Derrick Nix from Pershing H.S. is 6’9’’ and 285 lbs and is the #10 rated Center in the Nation according to ESPN. As well as Garrick Sherman, who stands 6’10’’ 220lbs and is rated as the #12 overall Center in the nation.
The key to success for the Spartans in 2009-10 is going to be the development of a few key players. Raymar Morgan needs to work on his consistency, it was well documented how sick he was in the heart of the season last year. And it may have affected him in the tournament. But he needs to be the Spartans main wing threat and needs to be a factor on both ends of the court. Kalin Lucas needs to continue what he is doing, he has had an outstanding career and had a stellar year in his first year as the Spartans floor general and all signs say that he’ll keep improving his game next season, and may even be drafted if he decides to leave school. But that is a different discussion. The most important player is Delvon Roe; he needs to be the Spartans main low post threat. He has now had a full two years to recover from knee surgeries on both knees and should be 100% heading into this season. He showed flashes last season of being a dominant player, but he needs to develop a true low post move and become more consistent from the free throw line, he was under 50% on the year last year.
The Spartans, barring injury, should easily be a thirty-win team. And should be considered favorites to win the Big Ten conference this year. As for the tournament, it is very difficult to predict how far a team will go due to the craziness that always takes place in March. But anything less than an Elite 8 birth I believe would be considered a disappointment in my opinion.