Michigan State basketball listed No. 11 in way-too-early Big Ten power rankings

March 21, 2024, Charlotte, NC, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo gestures against the
March 21, 2024, Charlotte, NC, USA; Michigan State Spartans head coach Tom Izzo gestures against the / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like the Michigan State basketball season just ended because, well, it kind of did. Just two months ago, the Spartans' hopes for a deep run in the NCAA Tournament were crushed in the second round by No. 1 seed North Carolina and that was after Michigan State raced out to a big early lead.

Following the game, Tom Izzo vowed to get Michigan State back to deep NCAA Tournament runs "or die trying" and fans really latched onto that phrase. That declaration has been muttered time and time again already this offseason so you can probably expect to hear it more if the Spartans struggle next year.

But before we can even talk about Michigan State taking the floor for the 2024-25 season, we have a whole summer to get through. Players like Jaxon Kohler, Frankie Fidler, Jeremy Fears Jr., and Jaden Akins have already been seen posting offseason workout videos and they've all been encouraging.

It feels like the 2024-25 team could surprise some people despite losing Tyson Walker, Malik Hall, AJ Hoggard, and Mady Sissoko. There's enough returning talent to contend.

But Isaac Trotter of 247Sports doesn't quite see it that way. In fact, the 247Sports writer believes that Michigan State will be one of the bottom-half teams in the Big Ten next year, listing the Spartans at No. 11 in his way-too-early power rankings.

Here's a little snippet from his rank

"Being bullish on Michigan State requires a little faith. With AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker exiting, can Akins finally emerge as a go-to guard? Will Fears be fully recovered from getting, uh, shot?!? Is Xavier Booker out of Tom Izzo's doghouse once and for all?"

Isaac Trotter, 247Sports

It's a fair assessment, but it also fails to mention that year two of guys like Jeremy Fears, Coen Carr, and Xavier Booker -- oh, and Gehrig Normand -- is likely to lead to success. Plus, the Spartans are bringing in another top-15 recruiting class to go along with a top-30 transfer in Frankie Fidler (who averaged over 20 points per game with Omaha last year) and a 7-footer at center in Szymon Zapala.

Kohler, Tre Holloman, and Carson Cooper should all see major jumps next season as well as Jaden Akins who may be the most talented player on the team not named Booker.

No. 11 seems wildly disrespectful, especially since teams like Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Rutgers, and Nebraska are all ahead of them -- not to mention newcomers like Oregon and UCLA.

Michigan State is going to surprise a lot of people next season.