Welcome back to college basketball season, folks! Two of the more impressive coaches in the game will be squaring off in today’s season opener. Both players will miss some of their top guys from a season ago, but this promises to be a fun matchup, as the year kicks off with this exciting matchup.
Looking back to last year, there are two players that will not be back who they will really miss. Jaren Jackson Jr., the seven-footer who can knock down the three ball and protect the rim, and Miles Bridges, who is an impressive sharpshooter, are both no longer with the team. Bridges averaged 17 points and seven rebounds per game last season. Michigan State went out and they added three four-star recruits. Marcus Bingham Jr. from Grand Rapids, MI, Foster Loyer from Clarkston, MI, and Gabe Brown from Belleville, MI. So, looking at it, all three players are in-state and will make fine additions to the program.
Two key guys to watch this year with a big chance to step up are Cassius Winston and Nick Ward. The second and third leading scorers were efficient players. Ward was dominant inside the paint, while Cassius Winston was able to shoot close to 50% from three-point range. Joshua Langford was also able to shoot very well from downtown. So for Michigan State, it’ll be fun to see how Tom Izzo can replace Jackson and Bridges, and look to take the Spartans deep into the tournament again.
Looking back at last year, there are two very impressive playmakers that Kansas will miss. Devonte Graham was one of the most impressive PG’s in the nation, and Svi Mykhailluk was a sensational three-point shooter. Both of those guys hit north of 110 threes, and rarely missed from deep. Veterans Malik Newman and Udoka Azubuike are both going to have a positive impact this year in expanded roles. Both were impressive behind those two guys. But looking to the recruiting class of this year, they really aren’t losing too much, but are gaining a lot.
The Jayhawks added a pair of five-star recruit guards to join the backcourt fray. Quentin Grimes, a combo-guard from The Woodlands, TX, and Devon Dotson, from Charlotte, NC, have joined the team. Both of these guys are going to be vital scorers for the team, as they badly will need some offense replaced. Bill Self has always been a good leader, and this year should be no different.
Kansas Starts Out the Year with a Win
The returners from Kansas seem to boast a bit more than that of Michigan State, and it will help them to a win in this season opening game. It’s a long season so it won’t have too much of a long-term impact, but they’ll get the job done on this first day.
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