- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Michigan State

Last season: 29-6 lost in NCAA first round.

Nickname: Spartans.

Coach: Tom Izzo.

Conference: Big Ten.

Who’s gone: G Denzel Valentine, G Bryn Forbes, F Matt Costello, F Deyonta Davis, F Javon Bess, F Marvin Clark, F Colby Wollenman.

Who’s back: G Eron Harris. The top returner scorer ranked fourth on last year’s team with 9.3 points-per-game average. Scored nearly 18 points a game when Valentine missed four games with a knee injury. The Spartans will need him to be aggressive like that on offense with seven players gone from last season. He scored 17.2 points per game two years ago as a sophomore at West Virginia before transferring to Michigan State.

Who’s new: F Miles Bridges. Izzo said in terms of talent, the 6-foot-7 freshman is among the “top couple,” players he’s had in 22 seasons as Michigan State’s head coach.

The Skinny: The Spartans will rely on freshmen as much as Izzo has in more than a decade. After possibly learning some hard lessons against a tough schedule, the four-man class and a handful of returning players may make Michigan State tough to beat as usual in the NCAA Tournament.

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