With Adreian Payne Returning Is Michigan State Spartans A Favorite To Make Final Four?

By Trevor Lowry


Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State Spartans Adreian Payne will be returning to the team for his senior year. With his return, are the Spartans a favorite to make the Final Four in the 2013-14 college basketball season?


Payne was a big reason why the Spartans had such a successful season this year. He averaged 10.5 points per game and 7.6 rebounds per game.

Along with Payne, Gary Harris, Keith Appling and Branden Dawson will also be retuning.

With these four players coming back, Michigan State should easily be in the top five of the preseason polls. Not to mention, the Spartans should also be the favorites to win the Big Ten Conference, since Michigan will be losing a lot of talent and the Indiana Hoosiers lost pretty much their entire team.

Although Payne received more playing time this season, it is impressive to note how much better he got from shooting from behind the arc. Payne only shot two three-pointers in his sophomore season and this past year he was 38.1 percent from deep range, making 16 threes. Although that is not a huge amount, Payne does stand at 6’10”, so it is just a plus to his game.

A couple of players could have easily entered the 2013 NBA Draft, but luckily that was not the case. Tom Izzo usually has players that stick around for four seasons, and he rarely seems to have one-and-done players. That is the recipe for success for Izzo’s teams. With so much talent coming back, it would not be a surprise if Michigan State won the 2014 NCAA Tournament, but it will likely be a favorite to make the Final Four entering the season regardless.


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