Michigan State basketball fell short of another Final Four this season, but head coach Tom Izzo still produced a solid run for the Spartans. With the team gelling at the right time, Michigan State rolled to the Sweet 16 before falling to Kansas State in a thriller.

Monday night, UConn took down San Diego State to become the national champions of the basketball world. The Huskies are understandably No. 1 on ESPNs way-too-early rankings heading into next season but the Spartans are not far behind.

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Michigan State led all B1G teams on the list compiled by Jeff Borzello, checking at No. 6 for the 2023-24 season. Among key players expected to return are AJ Hoggard, Jaden Akins and Mady Sissoko. Tyson Walker also has an extra year of eligibility remaining but it remains to be seen if he’ll return to East Lansing.

Borzello pointed to a pair of high-impact freshmen as another reason for MSU being so high heading into next year:

There should be a nice mix of incoming talent and experienced returnees in East Lansing next season. A.J. Hoggard and Jaden Akins return on the perimeter, while Tyson Walker still has another year of eligibility if he chooses to exercise the option. Tom Izzo also brings in five-star point guard Jeremy Fears, who plays with aggressiveness and toughness. Top-10 prospect Xavier Booker is a future lottery pick if he can find consistency.

What about Purdue?

As for Matt Painter’s squad, the Boilermakers checked in at No. 15 on Borzello’s early rankings. Part of that positioning is related to the assumption that Zach Edey would depart for the NBA Draft.

Should Edey return, Purdue would certainly vault up into the top 10 after winning the outright B1G title and B1G Tournament title this past season.