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Should Michigan State basketball still target a transfer?

Is Tom Izzo’s roster likely set?



Michigan State basketball
© Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Izzo seems to have his Michigan State basketball roster set in stone, but could a transfer be possible?

Transfer portal season is in full swing and, so far, Michigan State basketball has been one of the more silent programs in the country when it comes to transfers this year.

Michigan State has only had one player transfer from the program so far in Pierre Brooks which, by all accounts, was expected this offseason. Brooks’ transfer has opened a scholarship up for Tom Izzo to dip into the transfer portal if he sees fit, but MSU is also still waiting to hear final decisions from both AJ Hoggard and Jaden Akins as they go through the NBA draft process.

Should MSU look to add a transfer regardless of what Hoggard and Akins decide to do?

In short no, I don’t think Michigan State should look to add a transfer just yet. If both AJ and Akins decide to return, which appears to be the most likely scenario, then the roster is constructed perfectly and there is no need to add another bench piece. Adding another transfer in this scenario would just take away developmental minutes for our incoming freshman as well as our other returning bench pieces including Tre Holloman, Jaxon Kohler, and Carson Cooper.

We need our guys to get as much experience as possible this season as they are all looking to take on increased roles for the following 2024 season when a lot of our starters graduate or head off to the pros.

But what if one or both of Akins and Hoggard do decide to officially enter the draft or transfer to a new program? I think the answer is pretty obvious if both end up leaving and that Izzo should hit the portal to look for a veteran guard who will likely spend just one more year in college.

However, the answer may not be so clear if only one decides to leave MSU.

There are definitely pros and cons to adding a transfer if only one of Akins or Hoggard decides to leave. Adding a solid veteran transfer would immediately put MSU back in the national title conversation. This veteran transfer could be a great leader for our young guys to learn from before they officially take over the reins in the years to come. I think the ideal transfer would be a “three-and-D” type of player who does not need to be on the ball much. This would allow Tyson Walker to still run the show and give Holloman more experience running the point. This type of transfer would also help develop incoming five-star freshman Jeremy Fears as he would likely take on a significant role immediately to help replace Akins or Hoggard.

However, there may be more benefits to still avoid adding a transfer. Michigan State basketball would still have a very good roster, one that on paper may still be better than last year with the additions of multiple talented freshmen. Those freshmen are the reason why I think Izzo should avoid adding a transfer in this scenario. The incoming class is all capable players that will be able to contribute in some capacity in year one in East Lansing. Adding another transfer to the mix only takes precious developmental minutes from them and other returning bench players which stunts their growth towards the future. These are guys that will need to lead the team in the future, so they need as many minutes now as possible instead of sitting behind someone new who may only be in East Lansing for one year.

It’s no secret that Izzo is apprehensive at best when it comes to utilizing the transfer portal, so I would bet on him going against adding a transfer if one of Akins or Hoggard leaves the program. Even with the recent success Izzo has had when adding players from the portal with Joey Hauser and Tyson Walker, I think he would once again choose to show loyalty and roll with the team he’s got.

Izzo is one of the best coaches in the country, so I trust him to make the right decision here and to have his team playing their best basketball in March like we are accustomed to.


Writer says there’s a huge gap between Purdue and Michigan State basketball

This seems like a wild claim.



Michigan State basketball
© Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

Gregg Doyel of the Indy Star claims that Purdue is “historically loaded” and there’s a huge gap between them and Michigan State basketball.

With the news of Jaden Akins and AJ Hoggard returning along with Tyson Walker and Malik Hall to go along with the No. 4 recruiting class in the country, Michigan State basketball went from a conference title contender to a national title contender.

Essentially everyone who follows college basketball has Michigan State as a top-five team and right there in the Big Ten as 1B to Purdue’s 1A — some even have it the other way around.

The Spartans bring back everyone but Joey Hauser to a team that went to the Sweet 16 and Purdue returns national player of the year Zach Edey to a Big Ten title team. Both teams are loaded and should be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to national title contention.

But one Indy Star writer believes that Purdue is “historically loaded” and the talent-and-depth gap between the Boilermakers and “everyone else” is as large as he’s seen in years. Just a wild claim.

Gregg Doyel cites a solid incoming class to go along with Edey returning and the two freshmen guards with another year in the system. But he fails to recognize that Michigan State got even better. The Spartans are bringing in an even better recruiting class and they return their 2-3 most talented players from a year ago. The only loss is Hauser.

Saying that this year’s Purdue team is far-and-away the most talented and deepest team in the Big Ten and the gap is the biggest it’s been in years is asinine. There was a much larger gap last year.

Michigan State will go toe-to-toe with the Boilermakers and as long as Edey can be neutralized, the Spartans will have a chance to take them down for the Big Ten crown.

It’s tough to say a team like Michigan State basketball that’s 11-12 guys deep is not nearly as talented or deep as Purdue, but hey, let’s put that early chip on the shoulder.

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Michigan State Basketball: Allocating guard minutes for 2023-24

A lot of guards, not a lot of minutes to be had.



Michigan State basketball
© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball has an absolutely loaded backcourt heading into 2023-24. Let’s allocate the guard minutes.

Michigan State basketball has a loaded backcourt with the news of AJ Hoggard and Jaden Akins returning next season. Add this on top of Tyson Walker coming back and Michigan State adding a four-star point guard in Jeremy Fears just loads up this back court even more.

Let’s take a look at what the minute allocation could look like between the five guards on the roster.


The starting point guard is clearly set into place with AJ Hoggard starting 33 of 34 games last year. Next year’s team still goes as Hoggard goes and he will most likely average 28-30 minutes per game. AJ being able to defend multiple positions allows him to play alongside any of the other three guards on the roster next year. He should average around 15 points per game and six-plus assists. Him being able to increase his 3-point percentage up to 35 percent next year should help his scoring dramatically.

The starting shooting guard is Walker who started in all 34 games last season and nothing will change this season. This team is going to rely plenty on Tyson to begin the season as this team continues to mesh with all of the different lineups. He played almost 34 minutes per game this season due to injuries and necessity. Tyson will take a step back and only play 30-32 minutes this upcoming season. He will look to average 16-plus points per game and 2.5-plus assists.


This may come as a surprise, but I believe the backup point guard role will fall to Tre Holloman. He has a year under the belt with the system and should take a step forward in his role. He is able to defend either guard position allowing him to play with any of the other four guards on the team. Holloman will play anywhere between 8-12 minutes per game and will look to be in a more featured role running the backup offense. Tre should average 3-5 points per game and 1.5 assists.

Jeremy Fears will fill in and be able to learn from a loaded backcourt while playing 6-8 minutes per game which could be pushed to 8-10 by the end of the season. Fears defense should rival what Walker brings to this team with this second group. Fears offensive role will look like Tre’s freshman year and not looked upon much offensively. He should look to average 1.5-plus points and one assist per game.

Finally, Jaden Akins will fill in anywhere from 2-5 minutes at the two-guard spot. He can help fill an offensive role when Tyson is out of the game and can handle some of the pick and roll duties in this spot. Akins will mostly play on the wing as he started 25 games there last season. He is a guard, but he’ll be forced into playing on the wing.

Minutes Summary

  • AJ Hoggard: 28-30 per game
  • Tyson Walker: 30-32 per game
  • Tre Holloman: 8-12 per game
  • Jeremy Fears: 6-8 per game
  • Jaden Akins: 2-5 per game

Akins did tweet this out the other day:

So he could see more ball-handling duties.

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Jeremy Fears makes final cut for U19 USA Basketball team

Jeremy Fears could represent USA Basketball again.



Jeremy Fears
© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Incoming Michigan State freshman Jeremy Fears has made the final cut for the U19 USA Basketball team.

Incoming Michigan State basketball freshman Jeremy Fears is hard at work this summer. He is currently in the process of trying to make the final roster for the U19 USA Basketball team. Thirty-five athletes have been selected to participate in their upcoming training camp, and Fears is included on that list.

Training camp for these 35 athletes with take place June 11-18. Twelve players will then be selected to participate in the FIBA U19 Wold Cup at the conclusion of this training camp. The World Cup takes place from June 24 through July 2.

The 35 players consist of some athletes in the 2022 class that have one year of college ball under their belts. The pool of players also consists of athletes from the 2023 incoming freshmen class and the 2024 class who will be high school seniors. More than half of these participants have USA Basketball experience and ten of them have won gold for the USA already.

Jeremy Fears’ USA Basketball history

Jeremy Fears is one of the 10 players mentioned to have already won gold for the USA. In fact, Fears has won a gold medal twice. He won the 2021 U16 FIBA Championships and in 2022 won gold in the U17 FIBA World Cup.

Based on this history alone, I love his chances to make the team again. The USA Basketball program is obviously very familiar with him already which gives him an advantage. Also, why wouldn’t they want someone who has won two gold medals to play for them again?

Fears has yet to move in to East Lansing like some of his fellow members of his freshman class have. He likely will see this event out before moving to campus to start gearing up for the regular season. Michigan State has had many athletes compete with team USA in the past, so Tom Izzo is more than happy to let his players participate.

For the full USA Basketball press release, click here.

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