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Michigan State Basketball: Where are former Spartans from 2017-19 now?

Where are the Spartans from 2017-19 these days?



Michigan State basketball
© Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Checking in on former Michigan State basketball players who have graduated or moved onto the next level over the last five years.

The one-and-done rule has allowed freshman players to make their impact on a program, only to ship off one year later to the next level. Even three and four-year players move on eventually, making way for others to fill their spot on the Michigan State basketball roster.

Let’s check in on some of the Spartans who have either graduated or moved onto the next level over the last five years, and where they are currently playing, specifically from 2019 through 2022.


Kenny Goins, undrafted 2019 — Pieno žvaigždės Pasvalys, Hungary

Kenny Goins was the unlikely hero in Michigan State’s 2019 Elite Eight thriller against Duke, hitting what would end up being the game-winning three-point shot. Goins graduated thereafter, went undrafted, and signed with the Denver Nuggets 2019 NBA Summer League.

After some time with their Summer League program, Goins decided to go overseas and bounced around throughout the Greek Basketball community, first in the Serie A2 Basket League, the Greek Basket League, Laviro of the Basketball Champions League, and then his final stop in Greece, Atomeromu SE. He is currently with BC Pieno žvaigždės in Hungary.

Matt McQuaid, undrafted 2019 — Assistant Director of Operations for Michigan State Spartans

The prolific, stereotypical three-and-D guy while at Michigan State, Matt McQuaid was green and white through and through. Leading the Spartans to the Final Four in his senior season, McQuaid’s professional career, both in the NBA and overseas never took off.

Going undrafted, McQuaid spend the Summer League with the Detroit Pistons, before signing with the Fraport Skyliners of the Basketball Bundesliga for one season, averaging just under six points. McQuaid decided to return to Michigan State, putting an end to his playing career, and is now currently on Tom Izzo’s staff as assistant director of operations.

Nick Ward, undrafted 2019 — Basquet Coruna, Spain

Nick Ward came to Michigan State basketball as a member of the Miles Bridges, Cassius Winston, Josh Langford 2016 recruiting class. A four-star out of high school, Ward had a fantastic ability and touch around the rim, fitting in perfectly with Tom Izzo’s rim-running gameplay. Ward would end up averaging 13 points and six rebounds his senior year.

Unfortunately, thanks to the landscape of today’s NBA, Ward’s inability to shoot consistently away from the basket limited his chances at the next level.

Since graduating, Nick Ward has played all over the world in a short period of time. Ward first signed with the Atlanta Hawks Summer League program in 2019, but then took his career overseas only a few months later. Bouncing all around Europe, Ward would end up playing in both Israel and Turkey, all within one year, before returning to the US to sign with the G League team, College Park Skyhawks.

After averaging 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for the Skyhawks, Ward went back to Turkey to play for Istanbul Basket, and six months later, joined the Ottawa Blackjacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League. Staying in Canada for only seven months, Nick Ward is currently in Spain, playing for the Basquet Coruna of the LEB Oro.


Jaren Jackson Jr., drafted No. 4 overall in 2018 (Grizzles)

One of the best recruits in recent Michigan State basketball history, Jaren Jackson Jr. was immediately thrust into the starting lineup and performed. Averaging 10.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks, and shooting almost 40 percent from three, JJJ dominated the Big Ten during his lone collegiate season. By the end of his freshman year, Jackson Jr. took home season awards for Big Ten All-Defense, Big Ten All-Freshman, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

Memphis took Jaren with the fourth overall draft pick, and in his fourth season in the NBA, is averaging 16.8 points, and 6.6 rebounds and owns one of the league’s best true shooting percentages at .618.

On top of his increasing offensive skills, Jackson Jr.’s defense has always been his most outstanding skill. Jackson led the NBA last season with a 7.4 percent block rate and is breaking his own mark this season with 11.3 percent. Currently a front-runner for defensive player of the year, Jackson Jr., alongside NBA superstar Ja Morant, has Memphis rolling. They are sitting in second place in the Western Conference.

Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Narin, undrafted 2018 — Southern Utah assistant

Often referred to as one of Tom Izzo’s favorite players over his tenure at Michigan State, Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Narin came to MSU by way of the Bahamas, and then Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. Tum Tum made up for his lack of scoring ability with intense leadership and energy. Averaging almost 20 minutes per game during his time in East Lansing, Tum Tum’s ability to lead a team was second to none.

However, never being much of an offensive threat made his chances of making it to the next level quite slim. Tum went undrafted in 2018 and decided to steer into his strengths, getting a job as a player development assistant with the Phoenix Suns. After briefly working for both Michigan State and Sunrise Christian Academy, he currently is at Southern Utah as an assistant coach.

Miles Bridges, drafted No. 12 overall in 2018 (Hornets)- free agent

The prized recruit in one of Tom Izzo’s best class, Miles Bridges chose to play for Izzo over most powerhouse programs such as Kentucky and Kansas. Originally from Flint, Bridges was, as Izzo phrased it, “A blue-collar superstar”; and that Bridges was.

Averaging roughly 17 points per night in his freshman campaign, Bridges was never one to shy away from an electrifying dunk that would almost certainly send the fans crazy. After what most expected to be his only year in East Lansing, Bridges surprised everyone by saying that he had unfinished business for the green and white and would be returning for his sophomore season. Miles did more of the same, again averaging 17 points per game and just under eight rebounds, all while shooting 37 percent from 3-point range.

With the draft pick that Detroit traded to the Clippers, Bridges was selected 12th overall by Los Angeles, and subsequently traded to Charlotte on draft night. After a modest, yet promising, rookie season, Bridges improved exponentially each year. During the final year of his rookie contract, Bridges was scoring over 20 points a game, while still continuing to dazzle the fans and announcers with ferocious dunks. Even though he did not win Most Improved Player of the Year, Miles was in line to sign a large contract extension in the upcoming offseason.

Unfortunately, in June 2022, Bridges was arrested in Los Angeles for felony domestic violence. Miles allegedly assaulted Mychelle Johnson in front of their two children. On Nov. 3, he pled no contest to the felony domestic charge and was sentenced to three years of probation. His other charges were dropped.

While Charlotte still owns the rights to Bridges’ contract, it is unknown if a return to the NBA is in the cards.


Miles Bridges posts interesting Snapchat with Michael Jordan

Miles Bridges is eyeing an NBA return.



Miles Bridges
© Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Miles Bridges has been out of the NBA for a year after getting into a domestic incident but it looks like he may be back soon.

Former Michigan State star Miles Bridges posted a picture on Snapchat of him talking to Michael Jordan on Saturday.

After being out of the NBA for a year, this could be a hint at a return despite the controversy that would follow him.

Off-court issues

Bridges has been in a lot of trouble off the court this past year. That is not something we need to dive into now, but Bridges missed all of last season due to serious legal issues. However, with Miles’ legal battle now complete, he is now able to play in the NBA again. The NBA suspended Bridges for 30 games but has ruled 20 of those games as being served. If an NBA team were to sign Bridges, he would have to sit for just 10 games before he can play again.

NBA career

The picture above may be an indication of which team is looking to sign Bridges. Miles has spent his entire NBA career playing with the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan is the owner of the Hornets, so this picture shows that Bridges may be looking to re-sign with his former team.

Bridges has played four seasons in the NBA. During that time, he is averaging 13.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. His best season by far was his last. In the 2021-22 season, he averaged 20.2 points and 7.0 rebounds while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field. He has shown constant improvement during his career, but there is a lot of unknown with where his game is at now.

Relationship with MSU Fans

Michigan State fans do not support Miles like they once did. He was one of the most loved Spartans especially after he made the decision to return for a second season in East Lansing. Spartan fans continued to watch and support him during his NBA career as well. That all changed once his off-court legal issues began last year.

It will be interesting to see how all basketball fans treat Bridges if he makes a return to the NBA.

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Gary Harris back taking Michigan State classes to earn his degree

Gary Harris hasn’t given up on that degree.



Gary Harris
© Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Gary Harris is back taking summer classes at Michigan State so he can earn his degree during the NBA offseason.

Every NBA draft cycle, players leave college early to pursue their dreams of playing professionally and making millions. What often gets overlooked when that happens is that the players who leave early surrender a chance to earn their college degrees on schedule.

Some players who leave early decide to go back and finish their degree which is a really cool move and it shows that they took college seriously.

Others don’t think twice about their degrees and just play pro ball.

Gary Harris is the former group.

According to @dudenamedcald on Twitter, Harris is taking classes at Michigan State currently so he can finish his degree. He posted a screenshot of a discussion post by Harris in one of his friend’s summer classes.

Imagine taking a summer class at Michigan State and then seeing a “discussion post” from a “Gary Harris” and then reading it just to see if it’s the Gary Harris. And then it is.

Harris, currently residing in Indiana over the summer, just wrapped up a season with the Orlando Magic in which he averaged 8.3 points and shot 45 percent from the floor, 43 percent from 3-point range, and 90 percent from the free throw line. His averages have gone down, but his shooting percentages remain elite.

But he’s clearly not content with being just an NBA starter. He wants to earn that MSU degree.

Leaving after the 2013-14 season, Harris was drafted No. 19 overall in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He played two years at Michigan State and then earned a borderline NBA Lottery draft grade but slid to 19. Harris was then traded to Denver where he was one of the league’s brightest young stars for seven years. For the past three years, he’s been Orlando’s “veteran” wing.

And soon, he’ll be a graduate of Michigan State University.

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Brian Lewerke gets another opportunity to play pro football

Brian Lewerke is headed back to Michigan to play pro ball.



Brian Lewerke
© Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Lewerke will be joining former MSU cornerback Josh Butler in the USFL with the Michigan Panthers.

After spending a couple of stints in the NFL with the Patriots and Giants as a practice squad member, Brian Lewerke is getting another shot at professional football.

On Wednesday evening, the USFL’s Michigan Panthers announced the signing of Lewerke.

Lewerke was signed after Carson Strong, the previous backup quarterback, was placed on injured reserve. He will now get a chance to compete for a prominent role on the roster with Strong injured and Josh Love not exactly setting the world on fire.

Quarterback play has not been a strength for the Panthers.

In four appearances, Strong had 266 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions. Love, on the other hand, has started five games and has 617 yards and six touchdowns with five picks. Neither quarterback has really stood out and that’s one of the reasons the Panthers are 2-3 and tied for last place.

Lewerke has spent time around the NFL with the Patriots and Giants and he was also in the XFL this past season for a few months, signing with the Seattle Sea Dragons. He was released in January.

Now he’ll look to catch on with the Panthers and potentially enter a more favorable situation. This could be a good spot for him to play professional football, especially since the Panthers need some quarterback help.

Lewerke had a decent career at Michigan State, passing for over 8,000 (fourth in MSU history) yards and 47 touchdowns (fifth in MSU history). He also has two of the top three single-game passing yard performances in Michigan State history and two of the top 10 single-season passing yardages.

Michigan State fans will get another opportunity to watch him live as there are two more home games left in the regular season for Lewerke to play at Ford Field.

The former Spartan quarterback will join Josh Butler who was signed by the Panthers earlier this spring.

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