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Michigan State Is The Biggest Winner Of The Off-Season So Far

With all NBA Draft decisions final, Spartans have the edge heading into the summer months

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Kansas vs Michigan State Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA Draft deadline has finally passed and recruiting for next season is starting to wind down. We can now fully comprehend (hopefully) each Big Ten roster and preview what to expect from the conference next year.

In the era of the one and done, it's very rare that a high-major coach can bring back a good majority of their team from the previous year.

When star rising sophomore forward Miles Bridges announced he would be returning to Michigan State for another year, in a quick turn of events, Tom Izzo's program went from a middle of the pack Big Ten team to a potential favorite to win the national title in 2018.

Bridges' talent is, of course, the first thing that jumps out when you watch him play. That being said, the most vital thing he'll bring to this team is leadership, which Sparty lacked last year in their roller coaster season.

Already being considered as one of the favorites for player of the year next season, a summer in East Lansing would do Bridges right in allowing him to develop as an individual player and build a better relationship with his current and incoming teammates.

The chemistry Bridges has established with returnees from last year's team including Cassius Winston, Nick Ward, Matt McQuaid, and Tum-Tum Nairn to name a few will be essential to this group's success next year.

With all this experience coming back, there are still a couple of new faces added to the mix who will be called upon to contribute right away.

Jaren Jackson Jr., a McDonald's All-American and consensus 5-star recruit, will team up with Ward and Ben Carter, who was granted with a six-year of eligibility this past March, in the middle as he will provide depth at the forward/center position and provide exceptional versatility out on the perimeter.

Along with Jackson, another highly-touted forward recruit will be looking to earn his way into the rotation next year. Xavier Tillman, a 4-star power forward, will be another freshman to watch for the Spartans next year as Coach Izzo is known for turning timid, anxious freshman into certain, solid players by the end of their first season.

Standing at 6-foot-11 and 6-foot-9 respectively, Jackson and Tillman could be the key to Michigan State's success next winter. With Carter after injury issues in the past, it's unclear how comfortable he will be out on the floor and with Ward not being able to play each minute of every game, Jackson, and Tillman will be relied on to contribute valuable playing time as newcomers.

While Izzo may have most of his roster set in stone, there is still one nomad on the loose.

Coach Izzo has the chance to scoop up another 5-star prospect in Brian Bowen.

A 6-foot-7 guard who was high school teammates with Jaren Jackson Jr. during their senior year at La Lumiere in Indiana, Bowen is a McDonald's All-American who's regarded to as one of the most natural scorers in the Class of 2017.

While the Spartans seemed to be the favorite for Bowen for quite some time, the return of Bridges seemingly put a halt in his decision, and he is still weighing his options.

If Bowen decides to take his talents to East Lansing, he could serve as a secondary scorer behind Bridges and would fit in perfectly in Izzo's system.

Even if Bowen doesn't choose Michigan State, there's no question the Spartans have had one of the best off-seasons so far in college basketball.