Predicting Michigan State Basketball’s 2020 Starting Lineup

McLain Moberg

After Michigan State received answers to the biggest questions surrounding their roster on Sunday, I felt it was time to predict their starting lineup.

Xavier Tillman Sr. decided to remain in the NBA Draft, and Aaron Henry announced his return to East Lansing for his junior year.

So, what does it mean for the Spartans roster?

Projected Starting Lineup

Rocket Watts

PG: Rocket Watts

SG: Joshua Langford

SF: Aaron Henry

F: Joey Hauser

C: Marcus Bingham Jr.

Projected Reserves

20200129_Northwestern-015

Gabe Brown

Malik Hall

AJ Hoggard

Foster Loyer

Thomas Kithier

Julius Marble

Mady Sissoko

20200129_Northwestern-006

Michigan State is still a very good basketball team that will compete for its fourth-straight Big Ten Regular-Season title and beyond. Nothing ever comes easy in the Big Ten; however, the Spartans should be in the mix as one of the best teams in the conference.

Replacing Cassius Winston and Tillman in the same year will prove to be difficult, but Watts taking over at the point guard position makes the most sense out of anyone else listed on the roster.

Langford returning for a fifth year seems likely despite an injury that has plagued him since 2018. It's been established that if he is healthy, Langford wants to play.

Before he got hurt, Langford was one of Michigan State's best defenders while averaging 15 points and 2.3 assists per game. If somehow he can return to form, his presence on the court won't go unnoticed.

Henry will undoubtedly maintain his starting position on the floor for the second year in a row.

With Winston gone, the coaching staff will expect Henry to accept more responsibility on offense and an increased role on the team in general.

Izzo sat down with Spartan Nation in April to discuss Hauser's work ethic, saying, "So, what has he done in the season he was out? He has worked on his ball-handling, he has improved that, he has worked on his defense and now he has to become a perimeter defender where he can guard both inside and outside. He has worked on his strength a lot, has gotten a lot stronger."

Joey Hauser was forced to sit out a year after the NCAA denied his waiver appeal. Instead of sitting around, he spent the entire time getting better, which speaks to his character.

"Redshirt years, even though they are painful to go through, when you do go through them, if you are a driven guy, you can get a lot out of them," Izzo said.

Marcus Bingham will start in place of Tillman, for now. It's not a done deal by any means. There will be a competition, but Bingham's experience gives him an advantage.

As a sophomore, he started in 16 games and played alongside Tillman more often than not. He's the kind of player with a ton of upside. If he can rebound, play defense, and provide a high level of rim protection, the job might be his. 

At 6-foot-11 with a wingspan over 7-feet long, the big man can do it.

Michigan State features a ton of depth in the frontcourt with Bingham, Thomas Kithier, Julius Marble, and newcomer Mady Sissoko. Even with Tillman's absence, the Spartans should be okay here.

Gabe Brown could push for the starting two-guard position if Langford isn't healthy enough for a lot of minutes or is just raw from not playing for so long.

Malik Hall will continue to see his share of minutes and be heavily involved in the rotation.

Foster Loyer is set to become the backup point guard in his junior year, but fans need to keep an eye on AJ Hoggard because the true freshman may break into the rotation.

Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

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