After their team came in at 13th in CBS Sports’ newest college basketball rankings, the Michigan State captain, Aaron Henry, and highly-regarded transfer, Joey Hauser, met with the media over Zoom. They spoke about expectations for the season, expectations for themselves, and implications of the brotherly rivalry in the upcoming Virginia matchup.
.@MattNorlander ranked EVERY team in college basketball. It starts like this:— CBS Sports CBB (@CBSSportsCBB) November 5, 2020
13. Michigan St.
14. Texas Tech
After averaging 10 points per game to go along with 4.6 rebounds, Henry returns to a loaded Spartans roster that is ready to contend. He will be a leader in the locker room as a team captain. He has shown to his teammates that he is willing to sacrifice for them. When asked about why he gave up number 11 to incoming freshman A.J. Hoggard, Henry spoke about how a simple thing, such as a jersey number, can be a powerful tool to building team chemistry.
“It was a simple number change for me, but it meant the world for him, and I felt like that’s a sacrifice that a Spartan would do.”
Hoggard wears that number to honor his late brother. That kind of leadership from Henry bodes well for a young Michigan State team with only one senior/graduate student on the roster.
Why #11 for @ajhoggard3? pic.twitter.com/BiygnVNGvV— Michigan State Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) September 12, 2020
When asked about the possibility of taking on more responsibility with the departure of Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman, Henry deflected the attention to his teammates saying the follow:
“I’m just a piece of the puzzle…You got Joey transferring in, Rocket being a sophomore, Josh (Langford) coming back for his fifth year,” Henry said.
Focusing in on Hauser’s potential to contribute to this iteration of the Spartans was also on Henry’s mind as he said, “He fits in anywhere on the court. He can dribble, pass or shoot...He’ll do whatever to win, and that’s the most important thing.”
Hauser is set to be an impact piece to the Michigan State rotation after transferring in from Marquette. As the countdown to the season winds down, Hauser is set to face off against his brother at Virginia. Sam Hauser also transferred out of Marquette. but decided to play for the Cavaliers in the ACC as a redshirt senior.
When asked about that matchup, Hauser said, “I haven’t been able to be around him very long…I’m excited to see how he has developed as a player…He’s going to be a big part of their team.”
After sitting out a season during his redshirt year, the transfer spoke about new challenges he is facing.
“I’m trying to be a more vocal leader, something I haven’t done as much in the past,” Hauser said. “I want to play a big part in this team. I want to play as many minutes as I can.”
After averaging 9.7 points on solid efficiency at Marquette, Hauser spoke about how he has been trying to add to his game on the defensive side of the floor.
“There’s some things I wish I could have done better, become a better defender, rebounder. Those are probably the two biggest things.”