For the second year in a row, and the fifth time in the last six tournaments, Michigan State failed to reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. Granted, the 2020 tournament was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and MSU looked promising — to say the least with Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman leading the team — and the year before that in 2019, the Spartans did advance beyond the second weekend and into a Final Four run.
But for Michigan State and the legacy that Tom Izzo has built, a Final Four trip is the bar that has been set for the program. To reach that goal, there is no doubt the current roster needs to improve. Whether that’s growth of current players or new players making a big impact is yet to be decided. In fact, both things probably need to happen for future success.
Forward/wing Gabe Brown and center Marcus Bingham Jr. just completed their senior years with the Spartans, and are currently pursuing the NBA Draft. Redshirt senior forward Joey Hauser still hasn’t made a public decision on his status for the 2022-2023 season. Meanwhile, Michigan State has a pair of four-star recruits joining the team next season in point guard Tre Holloman and power forward/center Jaxon Kohler. All of this likely leaves room for additions via the transfer portal, as the team needs to bolster its front-court.
While Tom Izzo is admittedly not a huge fan of the transfer portal era, he has already shown a willingness to enhance his roster with transfers, finding immediate success with point guard Tyson Walker (who had an up and down 2021-2022 season, but improved down the stretch as a clutch scorer for the Spartans).
The Spartans have interest in West Virginia small forward Jalen Bridges, who has reportedly already had an in-home visit with Izzo and the staff. It’s unclear who else Michigan State may pursue this offseason, but with a Hall of Fame coach and a clearly talented roster, MSU will undoubtedly be on the short list of many skilled players, and I would expect to see, at the very least, the team add a center or power forward.
Has already done an in-home visit with the entire Michigan State staff. https://t.co/BcowjgPuDR— Travis Branham (@TravisBranham_) March 29, 2022
With the Final Four playing out this weekend, it’s a good opportunity for Michigan State fans to look forward. How will the transfer portal change the look of the Spartans’ roster in 2022-2023 and beyond? How far away is MSU from its next Final Four trip? Also, who are MSU fans cheering for in this year’s Final Four? Answer below.
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