The Michigan State Spartans basketball team lost a wealth of talent from a year ago, on top of falling well short of their title expectations when they lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In addition to a recruiting class that ranked top-3 nationally, the Spartans were relying on some key returning players to carry the load.
Unfortunately, they will be down one big man for the time being.
Gavin Schilling has suffered a right knee injury which will require surgery. A timetable for his return is yet to be determined. pic.twitter.com/7UgoYTnpjfFeatured Videos
— Michigan State Men's Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) October 19, 2016
Schilling a year ago averaged just 3.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per contest a year ago in just 24 games, considerable dips from his sophomore to junior year. He and UNLV transfer Ben Carter were expected to be the first line of defense down low heading into the season. However, Carter is also sidelined for an undetermined amount of time, also due to a knee injury.
The news to Schilling leaves the Spartan front court extremely depleted. Both he and Carter are listed at 6-foot-9, the tallest players on the roster. That opens the door for two true freshman in 4-star power forward Nick Ward (6-foot-8) and 5-star small forward Miles Bridges (6-foot-7), both of whom were likely to see significant playing time already.
MSU will play its first of two exhibition games next Thursday, October 27 against Northwood. Their first regular season game is in Honolulu against Arizona as part of the Armed Forces Classic. You can view the entire 2016-17 schedule here. Head coach Tom Izzo will already be pressed into jumbling his roster around and finding the right units without the services of Carter and now Schilling.