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Michigan State Basketball: Final Grades for the 2013-14 Spartans

Grading Each Michigan State Player

Michigan State
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Michigan State has finally been knocked out of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, much to every expert's dismay. The Spartans had a roller coaster season that was improbably ended by a red-hot Connecticut Huskies team that is out to prove something.

Now that the season is over, let's take a look at the grades for each Spartan player.

Matt Costello: B-

Matt Costello
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Matt Costello: B-

Matt Costello
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Matt Costello started the season off slowly, but got into the rhythm of things once his teammates went down with injuries. He even posted an average of 7.3 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in a 10-game stretch from Jan. 11 to Feb. 13.

After falling off shortly after his hot-streak, the Spartans missed his down-low production.

Gavin Schilling: C+

Gavin Schilling
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Gavin Schilling: C+

Gavin Schilling
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Schilling wasn't expected to produce much in his freshman season with Michigan State. He was used in order to give the Spartans depth in the post. The 6-foot-9 freshman has a high ceiling, but averaged as many points per game as he did fouls per game(1.4).

Travis Trice: A-

Travis Trice
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Travis Trice: A-

Travis Trice
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Trice developed into a heck of a backup point guard this season and could will take over the reigns as the starter at point guard next season. Trice had the second-best three-point shooting percentage on the team(43.4 percent) as well as a 2.3 assists to turnover ratio. He improved greatly this year from a year ago, averaging 7.3 points and proving he can lead the team.

Kenny Kaminski: B

Kenny Kaminski
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Kenny Kaminski: B

Kenny Kaminski
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Kaminski was suspended at the beginning of the season for academic reasons, missing seven of the team's first 11 games. He came back to produce more than anyone believed he would, scoring a career-high 19 points on Feb. 6 and shooting the lights out from distance in the process -- a solid 49.4 percent from long-range.

Adreian Payne: A

Adreian Payne
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Adreian Payne: A

Adreian Payne
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Payne was easily the most consistent player on the team this season, despite missing seven games. He scored less than 10 points just six times this season -- the Spartans still went 5-1 in those games. Payne was one big reason why the Spartans went to the Elite Eight, averaging 16.4 points and 7.3 rebounds this season.

Alvin Ellis III: C+

Alvin Ellis III
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Alvin Ellis III: C+

Alvin Ellis III
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Give Alvin Ellis III one more season under Tom Izzo and you might have a star in the making. The freshman from Matteson, Ill., averaged just under eight minutes per game this season, leading to just 1.9 points per contest. Ellis III has shown flashes of stardom, scoring 12 points in 11 minutes in a loss against Michigan.

Denzel Valentine: B+

Denzel Valentine
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Denzel Valentine: B+

Denzel Valentine
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With a very solid sophomore season, Denzel Valentine was as sure of a thing off the bench as you can get in college basketball. Valentine, in my opinion, is going to be the next Draymond Green -- but more athletic and with more potential. If you look at the numbers, Valentine and Green are much similar after two seasons at Michigan State. Valentine is a guy that will get a few triple-doubles in a season and be the vocal leader of the Spartans.

Alex Gauna: C-

Alex Gauna
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Alex Gauna: C-

Alex Gauna
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Alex Gauna was a non-factor this season, averaging just 1.6 points and 1.3 rebounds in just 7.1 minutes per game while not even playing in eight games this year. The junior had the size that the Spartans would have loved to utilize, but he has yet to live up to his potential.

Branden Dawson: A-

Branden Dawson
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Branden Dawson: A-

Branden Dawson
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Dawson would have gotten a solid 'A' if it weren't for his injury and inconsistent player prior to his injury. He was averaging 10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds before his hand injury and when he came back, he averaged 13.0 points and 7.6 rebounds. I am lowering his grade as well because the injury to his hand was his own fault.

Gary Harris: A-

Gary Harris
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Gary Harris: A-

Gary Harris
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Gary Harris took a step back in 2013-14 when it came to shooting percentages. While he took a step forward when it came to his points per game(16.7), rebounds per game(4.0) and assists per game(2.7) averages, his three-point percentage dropped from 41.1 last season to 35.2. His overall field goal percentage also dropped about three percent, but he had an overall better year. Izzo is probably hoping and praying he's stays for his junior year.

Keith Appling: B

Keith Appling
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Keith Appling: B

Keith Appling
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Appling dropped off completely since his wrist injury in the middle of Big Ten play. Prior to his injury, the senior point guard averaged 15.0 points, 4.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 22 games. After his injury, he averaged just 4.9 points, 3.7 assists, 2.2 rebounds and 0.8 steals while shooting 13.3 percent from three-point range -- he shot 40.1 percent before the injury. Oh yeah, and just 40.9 percent from the free throw line.

Russell Byrd: C-

Russell Byrd
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Russell Byrd: C-

Russell Byrd
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Byrd had one big moment this year and not much else. If it weren't for a game-winning three-point field goal to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes on the road, the former captain would have gone completely unnoticed in 2013-14. He needs to work on his shot and his confidence for 2014 if he wants to have an impact -- finally. He could pull an Austin Thornton-like transformation.

Tom Izzo: A-

Tom Izzo
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Tom Izzo: A-

Tom Izzo
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Izzo would have gotten a solid 'A' as well if it weren't for his team's collapse in the Elite Eight against a less talented Connecticut team. Izzo did a masterful job in helping his team recover from a 5-7 record to end the season, winning the conference tournament title and making a solid run in the NCAA Tournament. Next year might end up being his best coaching performance of his career.

Connor Muldowney is the Content Associate for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at connor.muldowney@rantsports.com.