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A TOC Special: New 2023-24 Lineup Projections With The Return of Tyson Walker

1st Look At The 2023-24 MSU Men’s Basketball Team Was Wrong So Here Is The 2nd Look

Michigan State v Kansas State Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Well, I hate to admit it, but I was wrong. I confidently declared that Tyson Walker would not be coming back, that he was good after four years on a college court, that he would be taking his next steps in life. As you all know by now, that declaration was false and MSU will be getting its leading scorer from last season back for one more run.

When this past season ended, and I believed Tyson would be gone, I predicted that next season’s lineup would look like this:

Starting lineup: Hoggard, Fears, Akins, Booker, Cooper

Backups: Holloman, Carr, Normand, Kohler, Sissoko

Now that Walker is coming back, I need to figure out where to put him. Actually, no I don’t. Here is the new projection:

Starting lineup: Hoggard, Walker, Akins, Booker, Cooper

Backups, Fears, Holloman, Carr, Normand, Kohler, Sissoko

There are two major implications to this change. The first is that the starting lineup is now that much more experienced, with a super-senior taking over the spot previously given to to an incoming freshman. The second implication is that there is now going to be someone who will be squeezed out of their available minutes from the previous model.

Originally, I projected that Coen Carr would be able to get some minutes as the backup SG and some at SF. Now, with two other players, Fears and Holloman, presumably getting all the backcourt reserve minutes, that will push Carr into playing exclusively at SF. But this is the slot I had for fellow freshman, Gehrig Normand. So I think that means that these two are going to be competing with each other to be Jaden Akins’ primary backup. At this point, I am not prepared to predict a winner. The two do bring different skills to the table, so it will just come down to what is lacking more from the rest of the roster. If we need more three-point shooting, it will be Normand. And if we need more of a slasher, it could go to Carr. The bottom line is that one of these will probably end up playing with the end-of-bench, end-of-game reserves for their freshman season.


NOTE FROM THE EDITORIAL TEAM: On a completely unrelated matter, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to a certain TOC commenter who correctly pointed out that we have not had an article specifically dedicated to the recruitment of Kur Teng. His commitment was mentioned in another article, but that, as pointed out, was not good enough. On behalf of my fellow TOC writers, I want to express my sincerest contrition for this absolute failure on our behalf. You have our assurances that we will do a better job from here on out to never disappoint you ever again.