Entering 2013-14 as national championship contenders, Michigan State will yet again face the obstacles that come with being an elite program.
That attention alone can play for or against a team with expectations as high as the Spartans'.
With the loss of Derrick Nix being the major casualty of the offseason, coach Tom Izzo returns Adreian Payne and Gary Harris. Each of them have conference and national player of the year potential. They're both projected early first-rounders in the 2014 NBA draft.
Adding to the fold are 2013 commitments Alvin Ellis, a 6'5" wingman, and Gavin Schilling, a 6'9" power forward. Immediate contributions from them could skyrocket the Spartans' production in both scoring and rebounding.
Having two able freshmen makes the bench longer, the rotation deeper and the coach happier.
With several unknowns waiting, including the full 2013-14 schedule, Michigan State must find its identity early if Izzo is to get to his seventh Final Four.