The nets were hardly cut down by the Stanford Cardinal women’s basketball team before ESPN ran its “Way-Too-Early Top 25” rankings for the 2021-22 college women’s basketball season . The Michigan State Spartans are included among those ranked in the early look ahead.
Following the team’s eighth-place finish in the Big Ten last season on an 8-7 conference record, along with a 15-9 overall record, the Spartans are ranked No. 21. MSU is one of six Big Ten teams to make the rankings.
— Spartan Basketball (@MSU_WBasketball) April 6, 2021
ESPN offered the following comments on Michigan State’s ranking, including an error regarding Nia Clouden’s class standing (she just finished her junior season):
Sophomore guard Nia Clouden (18.7 PPG) will appear on some preseason All-American teams next year. Freshman guard Alyza Winston (11.1 PPG) has all-Big Ten potential. The Spartans’ backcourt will be one of the best in the conference and gives coach Suzy Merchant a solid foundation of what should be a veteran team.
Fellow Big Ten programs ranked include:
- No. 5 Maryland Terrapins
- No. 7 Indiana Hoosiers
- No. 9 Iowa Hawkeyes
- No. 11 Michigan Wolverines
- No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes
Also in the rankings is the No. 12 Iowa State Cyclones , who knocked the Spartans out of the NCAA Tournament in a closely fought four-point first round loss, before falling by two points to the Texas A&M Aggies in the second round.