Michigan State's Plan for PG

Admittedly, I haven’t spent much time following every detail regarding hoops as I have in the past due to a new job.

Let me know if I have this correct- MSU is going into next season throwing out a combo of Loyer/Watts/Hoggard at PG and SG? That’s the MSU backcourt in entirety?

I think Loyer and Watts at the 1 and 2 could be average, but certainly not good.

I would be pretty surprised if Rocket isn’t the starting PG for MSU.

Also still an outside chance that Karim Mane pulls out of the NBA Draft and could commit to MSU.

Starting lineup of Watts/Brown/Henry/Hauser/Center probably?

Think you’d have to mention Langford potentially too.


If Tillman comes back, you have Watts, Tillman and Henry which might be 3 of the 5 best defenders in the Big Ten. That team will be filthy defensively.

Watts is a top 5 defender in the Big Ten? I admittedly have not watched a ton of him but I had no idea he was even an above average defender.

He was fantastic on the ball last year, yep. Especially considering he was a freshman.

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Tillman coming back would make no sense. Guy can’t raise his stock much at all and he has two kids. Go make some money, my man.


I just don’t think Tillman will be a great player without Cassius.

I think he’ll be good, not great.

Cassius created everything for that team. Without him, they struggled to create any opportunities. Obviously they’ll be working on that all summer, but I don’t see a guy that has the skills to be a consistent threat to create.
Watts can do it but not consistently. I view Henery the same. Tillman is limited, meaning he’s not able to carry a team in O.

They could be good on D, but they need to find consistent scorers.

Hauser will be a very valuable piece on offense. And his defensive issues are largely mitigated if you have other great defenders around him.

If Tillman is back I think they’re top 10 for sure. That defense would be elite, and then can get O from Hauser and others

Even without Tillman they got a nice team if Henry returns. I like their young guys and they should develop into some tough and good young talent .

If Tillman leaves, it’ll be interesting to see if they try Hauser at the 5 at all. Would let them get Hauser, Hall, Henry and Brown all on the floor together. Could even have Hall act as the nominal 5 on defense as he’s a pretty physical player and hits the glass hard.

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That seems like it’s outside of Izzo’s comfort zone to me, but I think that would probably be their best offensive lineup. Would imagine that Kithier and Sissoko play the bulk of the minutes at the 5, and I think Bingham is next in line there before Hauser.

I have always been a “stay in school” guy for players with fringe NBA prospects even more than I should be. But the fact that so many think Tillman may return floors me. Go pro man…

MSU this year, much like Michigan, is going to be all about how their supporting cast looks without the do-everything PG. Hall, Brown, Henry, and even Tillman look good in theory, but what do they look like without Winston? Will Rocket be able to shoot or pass well enough to effectively run the offense? They could be elite…or they could be a collection of supporting players that don’t perform as well as the sun of their parts.

Honestly, Michigan is in the same boat though it is less clear if we have something to fall back on like MSU can with their D.


I concur it’s not in what I would consider Izzo’s comfort zone. That said, I give Izzo some credit for realizing the a Winston/Tillman high ball screen was what he needed to be his bread and butter play after years of trying to operate with the first read being a post entry and having everything react off of that.

The big ‘what if’ I’ll wonder about for the rest of my life is what if Nick Ward had never gotten hurt - would Izzo have figured it out if he hadn’t had it forced upon him?


Agreed. Izzo unintentionally stumbled into the right mix, after failing to find it with previous collections of talent. Would love to know if any lasting lessons were learned.