You would think a projected lottery pick that comes back to school would be considered the best player in his conference. However, that's not the case according to an ESPN ranking of the best college basketball players heading into the 2017-18 season.

John Gasaway put out his top 25 players for the 2017-18 season and while two Spartans made the list, it's worth noting that not only is Miles Bridges not considered a top five player by Gasaway, he's not even the best player in the Big Ten.

Ethan Happ of Wisconsin comes in at number four, ahead of Bridges who squeezes into the top 10 at eight. Nick Ward is the other Spartan representative at 17.

Back to Bridges though, with the big man heavy class Michigan State is bringing in this season plus the return of guys like Ben Carter to the lineup, Bridges only serves to dominate moving to his natural wing position as opposed to being forced to play center due to the lack of big bodies as he did last year.

Gasaway doesn't really mention that, in fact I don't know if he saw Michigan State play last season judging by his "analysis".

You can make a case that in many ways Bridges improved as he logged more games as a freshman (most notably, he drained 42 percent of his 3s in Big Ten play), and his decision to return for a sophomore year gives Michigan State an enormous boost for 2017-18.

Players improve as they play more games, good to know.

Gasaway's number one player heading into the 2017-18 season is Duke's noted serial tripper Grayson Allen, who also passed on the NBA Draft last year to improve his draft stock. So there is at least one player who passed on the draft is the tops of his conference according to Gasaway.

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