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Michigan State basketball: Kel’el Ware would be intriguing transfer option

Kel’el Ware checks all the boxes.



Michigan State basketball
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If Tom Izzo were to reach into the portal to get a big man for Michigan State basketball, Oregon’s Kel’el Ware would be ideal.

It’s been almost a week since Michigan State basketball was eliminated by Kansas State in the Sweet 16 and we’ve all had a chance to cool off by now and look ahead to next year.

No doubt, we were all marinating in our own anger for the days that followed that loss, especially since it felt like Michigan State had it in the bag when it sent the game to overtime. But let’s just move on. No sense in dwelling.

With the 2022-23 season wrapped up, that means its roster constructing time.

Tom Izzo has already landed the No. 3 recruiting class in the country for 2023, led by two McDonald’s All-Americans (Xavier Booker and Jeremy Fears) along with two athletic wings. But there are still some major question marks regarding the roster makeup heading into the season.

Will Tyson Walker return? Will Joey Hauser make it officially official and announce his departure (I’m not counting the Instagram post quite yet)? Will Malik Hall come back? Is anyone going to transfer out of the program? Will Tom Izzo reach into the portal?

There are so many questions that need to be answered, but the last one has dominated my thoughts.

Izzo has already reached out to a couple of wing/guard transfers but after the season that Michigan State had, it would make sense to reach out to a big.

Adding Booker to the post is going to help, but it won’t solve all the issues.

One name entered the portal that caught my attention on Monday and he would immediately solve that issue in the post: Kel’el Ware.

The Oregon big man was one of the best recruits in the 2022 class and had a decent freshman season with the Ducks, but decided it was time for a change of scenery. He averaged 6.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. Ware also dominated when he faced Michigan State in the PK85 so Izzo has seen him up close and knows what he’s capable of. He had 17 points, nine rebounds, and a block in that game.

Ware can also stretch the floor as he made 15 threes this year. His touch from deep could afford to be improved, but he at least has a nice stroke.

A 7-foot-0 athletic, rim-protecting center who has NBA potential? This feels like it would be a home run to me.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, he’s going to have endless suitors and he’s from Arkansas so the prospect of playing back home with Eric Musselman might be too much here.

Still, if there was ever a perfect post addition for MSU in the portal, it’s Ware. He’d fit right in with one of the most athletic teams Izzo has ever had.

Writer, co-owner of Spartan Shadows. Michigan State and college football expert at FanSided and formerly of The Detroit News. Expert on all things Michigan State. Connor Muldowney has written about Michigan State since graduating from the university with a degree in journalism back in 2013. Ten years of experience as a Michigan State writer/reporter.


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