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2015-16 Big Ten Preview: Michigan State Spartans Backcourt

The Michigan State Spartans are coming off an impressive Final Four appearance, and the team has added some new players along with returning players, but where does the Spartans' backcourt stand?

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Michigan State Spartans have high expectations heading into next season since they are welcoming some new praised recruits, and because they are returning some key players from last season's Final Four run. The team did lose key players in Branden Dawson and Travis Trice, but the team should still be able to get the job done next season in the Big Ten.

The Spartans' backcourt is still fully loaded despite losing Trice. The Spartans have a lot of depth in the backcourt, which means coach Tom Izzo is going to try out some new lineups to see what works best at the beginning of the season. Losing Trice will hurt, but the Spartans have many backcourt players that add versatile skills for the Spartans.

A look at the Spartans' backcourt

Bryn Forbes, Senior:

Forbes was a big part of the Spartans run last season due to his ability to shoot the basketball from deep. He hit some huge shots for the team whenever the Spartans needed a big three-point shot. Forbes needs to be a better floor general for the Spartans since they have a lot of scoring options on the offensive end. He will not be the go-to scorer for the Spartans, but he will be a key shooter in the backcourt for the Spartans.

Eron Harris, Junior:

Harris is a transfer from West Virginia who could be looked at as a big time scorer for the Spartans next season. He is extremely athletic, and he is a gifted scorer, but he has had some off the court issues as of late. He will not play at the beginning of the season for the Spartans, but once he is cleared to play by coach Izzo, he will make a huge impact on the offensive end. Look for Harris to be one of the leading scorers for the Spartans next season.

Denzel Valentine, Senior:

Valentine is the leader of the Spartans and probably the single best player on the team. He affects the game in so many ways, and has a lot of experience playing against some of the best teams and players in the country. He is listed as a guard, even though he will be expected to play on the wing. He can matchup with many different players on defense, and he can shoot the basketball from anywhere on the court. Look for Valentine to be in the discussion for Big Ten Player of the Year next season. He could lead the team to a deep run in the NCAA tournament next season.

- Matt McQuaid, Freshmen:

Along with Deyonta Davis, McQuaid is one of the shining recruits making his debut for the Spartans this season.

McQuaid can flat out shoot the basketball, which is something that coach Izzo is going to love. He will probably come off the bench to start the season, but he may see a lot of playing time in the first couple games because of Harris' suspension. He will need to put on some size if he wants to become one of the better players in the Big Ten, but he is extremely athletic, which will help him attack the rim and get off tough shots. Coach Izzo will make sure McQuaid is going to have a long successful career for the Spartans.

- Lourawls Nairn Jr., Sophomore

Nairn had a decent freshmen campaign for the Spartans, but he will need to step up his game for the Spartans this season. He will be called upon much more to score and facilitate next season. Nairn should be a great floor general for the team next year .


Watch out for the Spartans to have another successful season. The Spartans' backcourt should be a big reason why the team could make a deep tournament run. Valentine is one of the best players in the country, and Harris could be one of the top scorers in the Big Ten. Those two players alone could push the Spartans to a great record, along with Nairn as a facilitator. McQuaid and Forbes will add deadly three-point shooting, and that is something that every team needs.

The Spartans backcourt will miss Trice, but they will not miss him that much.