News about current MSU basketball players over the summer is rarely good. It usually means one of three things: player X is doing well in offseason play/workouts (aren't they all?), player X has been arrested, or player X is leaving the team. The latter happened on Saturday, as Kenny Kaminski announced over Twitter that he is transferring from MSU. He had been suspended twice during last season for, as Izzo generally put it, "failing to take care of business".
Speculation about what happened to cause Kaminski's transfer may be intriguing, but ultimately useless at this point. There are things that MSU can do in the short, medium, and long term to attempt to replace a player that shot 49.4% from three off the bench this season. Here they are:
Short term: Hope that the NCAA gives a hardship waiver for Bryn Forbes.
Eron Harris, the West Virginia transfer who averaged over 17.2 points on 42% three-point shooting last season will definitely have to sit out a season. However, Bryn Forbes, the other transfer into MSU, might be afforded a hardship waiver and could play immediately. Forbes also made 42% of this threes last season for Cleveland State, and could be instant, experienced offense for the Spartans off the bench.
And if MSU needs to give the NCAA a little extra incentive, so be it. Like say, Izzo talks about at every press conference about all the good things the NCAA is doing, and that unionization of players will lead to anarchy in return for the hardship waiver. You scratch our back, we'll scratch yours, overpaid administrators.
Medium term: Retool the offense to increase the emphasis inside the arc.
Without Kaminski, MSU will have one great three-point shooter this season (Travis Trice, 43.4% last season), one good one (Denzel Valentine, 37.7% last season), and one that could potentially be great (Alvin Ellis, made 6 of 13 threes last season). While it's not the wealth of riches the Spartans had from the perimeter last season, it should be enough to deter opponents from packing the interior.
Knowing that, it seems logical that the Spartans might want to force the action inside the perimeter. Branden Dawson showed signs of an improved jumper towards the end of last season, and Matt Costello made nearly 60% of his field goals last season. With a lack of proven outside shooters, a shift to the interior may suit the Spartans well on offense this season.
Long term: Get ready for 2015 by getting top recruits Caleb Swanigan and Jalen Brunson to sign for the Spartans.
Michigan State already has two recruits for 2015 - shooting guard Kyle Ahrens and top Michigan center Deyonta Davis - along with Harris, who will have sat out a year. With the Spartans will lose Travis Trice and Branden Dawson next season to graduation, the talent coming in right now seems good enough for the Spartans to stay on top of the Big Ten. That's where Swanigan and Brunson come in. Swanigan is a five-star center from Fort Wayne who holds offers from all the biggies: Kansas, Kentucky, Arizona, and so on. The dreaded 24/7 crystal ball has him 94% likely to go to MSU.
With Trice gone next season, MSU will need a point guard to take his place. That's where Brunson comes in. The 6'1" PG from Lincolnshire, Illinois is one of the top five point guards in a 2015 class that is lacking at that position. Brunson was supposedly headed to Temple when the Owls looked likely to hire his father as an assistant coach, but that deal fell apart for reasons...well, you'll just have to read the article. TL, DR: Brunson's father was arrested for attempted sexual assault and battery of a massage therapist after booking an appointment under the name "Patrick Ewing", will now most likely not be hired as a D1 assistant coach. The Spartans now look like the front-runner to get Brunson's LOI.
In conclusion, it's always something during the summer, be it injuries (everyone's still healthy this summer, knock on wood) or shenanigans. Kaminski's loss will hurt before a season in which he would've featured regularly for MSU, but luckily, the Spartans should have enough time to adjust in what truly will be a transition year for the team.