Michigan State will transition into the new season with players whose early progression has head coach Tom Izzo ecstatic. In order to compete for the Big Ten crown, Sparty's key pieces must eliminate their most concerning flaws.
MSU surrendered three of its most polished and well-rounded players to the NBA. The two returning starters, Branden Dawson and Denzel Valentine, blossomed at different moments last season, but both players still have deficiencies in their skill sets.
But their shortcomings are the least of Izzo's worries.
Travis Trice and additional role players from last year's Elite Eight team must amp up their production in 2014-15. Those returning Spartans, accompanied by a potentially dynamic 2014 class, inherit a lot of responsibility that must be matched with vast improvement.
Aside from Dawson and Valentine, most of the contributors are specialists. Those guys will need to round out their overall skill sets in order to keep defenses honest and alleviate some of the responsibility from Dawson and Valentine. If that happens, State will look to capitalize on a tremendously weaker Big Ten Conference than last season.
This slideshow will feature each projected starter's most troubling flaw and how he must improve it.