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Michigan State men’s basketball loses potential starter to transfer portal

Michigan State men’s basketball was dealt an unexpected and heavy blow on Tuesday as center Julius Marble entered the transfer portal after three seasons in East Lansing.

Michigan State men’s basketball was dealt an unexpected and heavy blow on Tuesday as center Julius Marble entered the transfer portal after three seasons in East Lansing.

Marble played in all 36 games for the Spartans in 2021-22, most often as the first big off the bench, backing up starter Marcus Bingham Jr.

Marble also started four games for Michigan State this season. The junior averaged 6.4 points, 3.3 rebounds and 0.5 blocks in 14.4 minutes of playing time per game. He shot 59.2 percent from the field and 76.6 percent from the free throw line.

With Bingham Jr.’s graduation, Marble was currently Michigan State’s top option to start at center next season. It’s been widely assumed that head coach Tom Izzo would search for more front court depth and maybe even a starting center in the transfer portal, but there had been nothing concrete on that front.

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Now, assuming Marble does indeed find a new home, it appears almost a certainty that Izzo will need to add one or two post players to his roster via the portal.

Currently, Mady Sissoko is the most experienced front court player on Michigan State’s roster, though he only averaged 5.4 minutes per game in 2021-22 as a sophomore.

The Spartans signed four-star forward Jaxon Kohler out of Utah in the 2022 recruiting class. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound prospect is ranked No. 65 nationally in his class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.

Marble played in 90 games, with 13 starts, over his three-year Michigan State career. He had a career-high 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting in a 64-62 loss to Northwestern on Jan. 15.