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Jaden Akins, AJ Hoggard not invited to NBA G-League Combine

Could this mean a return to MSU for both?



Jaden Akins
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Jaden Akins nor AJ Hoggard have been invited to the NBA G-League Combine. Does this improve their chances of returning?

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, neither AJ Hoggard nor Jaden Akins received an invite to the NBA G-League Combine. The list of 45 attendees was just released and neither Hoggard nor Akins found their names on the list.

Neither AJ nor Jaden received an invite to the NBA Combine either.

I definitely expected at least one of these two to receive an invite to the NBA G-League Combine, but I am very surprised to see both names excluded from the list. Both players recently entered their names into the NBA draft, likely looking to get some feedback from scouts before making their final decisions. Now neither will be receiving that precious feedback which is a bummer for many reasons.

I believe that both Hoggard and Akins likely spend one more year at the college level before officially departing and beginning their pro careers. This feedback would have been crucial for both individually as this would have helped them know what to focus on in the coming season to improve their games before making the jump to professional basketball. They can still get feedback from NBA scouts independent of the combines, but this would have been extremely valuable.

What does this mean for their college futures? With both players not receiving an invite to either combine that likely means neither will be on any NBA draft boards and will likely return to college for another season.

Hoggard, as all have expected, will be back in East Lansing running the show with teammate Tyson Walker. What does this mean though for Akins? He’s a little more interesting as I thought there was a slim chance he could officially join the NBA draft and be selected somewhere in the second round. However, with him not receiving an invite to either combine I don’t see this as a likely outcome anymore. The only other question that remains is if he will return to MSU or take his talents into the transfer portal. We will find out his decision soon enough on that front as the final day to enter the transfer portal is May 11.

Akins and Hoggard are both coming off great years with Michigan State that ended in a heartbreaking loss to Kansas State in overtime of the Sweet 16. Akins finished the season averaging 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds and shot an extremely efficient 42.2 percent from deep. Hoggard averaged 12.9 points and 5.9 assists on the year as well as an improved 32.9 percent from three. Both started almost the entire season for Michigan State and likely will again this year if they return for another season.

All of Spartan Nation hopes to see both AJ Hoggard and Jaden Akins return as that will give Michigan State one of the best backcourts and teams in the country. MSU would be a frontrunner to win the Big Ten and one of the more popular preseason Final Four picks. All we can do now is wait to hear what each player’s final decision is, but thankfully that is not too long from now as May 11 is the final day for either to enter their name into the portal.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.


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