Busting Brackets

Michigan State Basketball: Spartans 2021-22 season preview and outlook

Michigan State's men's basketball team prepares to take the court during open practice on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.211002 Msu Open Practice 041a
Michigan State's men's basketball team prepares to take the court during open practice on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.211002 Msu Open Practice 041a /
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Michigan State Basketball
Michigan State Basketball head coach Tom Izzo Robert Goddin-USA TODAY Sports /

Michigan State Basketball has high expectations for this season but based on last season’s overall performance and losing their leading scorer Aaron Henry to the NBA, there is a lot of uncertainty and lowering of expectations among the fanbase base and amongst the national media.

The Spartans lost four scholarship players from last season’s team to the transfer portal in Rocket Watts (Mississippi State, Foster Loyer (Davidson), Thomas Kithier (Valparaiso), and Jack Hoiberg (USTA). Michigan State Basketball also lost senior guard Joshua Langford as he had an opportunity to play one more season due to the COVID-19 wavier but chose not to play another season.

This year’s team arguably will be healthier, better prepared, and more ready to begin the season than they were last season when there were practice, travel, and other various restrictions due to COVID-19 protocol. This team on paper seems to have more depth overall and have more athleticism than last year’s team but there is not a big difference between last season and this season. Tom Izzo and his team enter the season flying well below the radar not being ranked in the top 25 preseason AP poll. Last season they were ranked No. 13 in the AP preseason poll and this season’s expectations are lower compared to last year’s preseason expectations.

True freshman Max Christie will be the starting shooting guard for Michigan State who is a highly touted five-star recruit. The development of senior Gabe Brown who became a full-time starter last season at the small forward position may allow Michigan State’s transition game to be more fast-paced and efficient than it was last year.

One player that is expected to lead the fast breaks for Michigan State this season is transfer point guard (Northeastern) Tyson Walker who is coming into this season with high expectations of improving the point guard play for the Spartans.  Potentially starting at center is Marcus Bingham Jr. who is a senior like Brown, and is expected to contribute more offensively this season as well as play long stretches of time this season in comparison to last year.

The fifth starter is Joey Hauser a senior who is expected to start at the power forward position. Hauser a transfer from Marquette came to East Lansing with high expectations but has not lived up to them up to this point. Also, not one Michigan State player was named to the 2021-22 preseason All-Big Ten team and much more will be expected from this team even though the national media is not giving the Spartans much respect this preseason.

Another key contributor for this season’s team is junior Malik Hall who will provide an offensive spark off of the bench for the Spartans in 2021-2022. The biggest unknown may be the impact of power forward Julius Marble II and what he contributes off the bench will help determine if Michigan State can be successful on the court this season.

The Spartans will have depth and athleticism as they did last season but there are a lot of unknowns to start the season. However, they have talent and can go 10 or 11 deep this season but the big question mark is how many points will they score a game and who will be their leading scorer this season.

Let’s take a look at the projected starters for the Michigan State Spartans for the 2021-2022 season.