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Michigan State Basketball: Final decisions looming for Jaden Akins, AJ Hoggard

The time to decide is almost here.

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Michigan State basketball
© Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball is awaiting final decisions from two key players with the NBA draft withdrawal deadline here.

The final day for college basketball players to remove their names from the NBA draft and return is quickly approaching. May 31 at 11:59 p.m. ET is the deadline for these players. This is a big day for Michigan State basketball fans as we eagerly await huge decisions from two key players.

Jaden Akins

Jaden Akins has always been the wildcard in my eyes this offseason. It was no surprise seeing him enter his name into the NBA draft. Akins will get valuable feedback from scouts which would at minimum help him know on what to improve on this year.

After not receiving an invite to the NBA Combine, it seemed like a done deal that he would be returning to Michigan State. However, I don’t think that is the case. One NBA team promising to draft Akins is all it could take for him to stay in the draft.

Rumors also circulated this offseason that Akins could transfer to another college program. This is no longer an option anymore, but it speaks to the unknown that surrounded him this offseason. I predict that we will see Akins back in East Lansing for one final season. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him stay in the draft.

AJ Hoggard

AJ Hoggard also declared for the NBA draft while maintaining his college eligibility. This news did surprise me initially because I didn’t see any way he would leave the program this offseason. After thinking about it, however, it makes sense for Hoggard to do this.

Similarly to Akins, Hoggard will receive valuable feedback from NBA scouts that will give him areas to focus on. Unfortunately, Hoggard also did not receive an invite to the NBA Combine, but he likely still received feedback from other pro outlets this offseason.

I would be shocked to see Hoggard keep his name in the draft. I think he will be good enough for pro basketball one day, but I don’t think he is quite there yet. Expect to see Hoggard running the show at least for another year in East Lansing.

As I mentioned earlier, Akins and Hoggard both have until midnight on June 1 to withdraw their names from the draft. If both return, Michigan State will be the frontrunner to win the Big Ten and make a run to the Final Four.

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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