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Michigan State announces return of senior Joey Hauser

The Spartans were in need of good news, and they got it on Wednesday morning...

One day after Michigan State men’s basketball received the surprising news that center Julius Marble was entering the transfer portal, Tom Izzo and the Spartans rebounded with the announcement that senior Joey Hauser will return to East Lansing for another season.

“I have loved playing college basketball and being part of the Michigan State family has meant so much to me over the last three years,” Hauser said in a statement on Twitter.

“There have been challenges along the way, but getting to play a full season and have the experiences we did this past year helped me realize my decision to come to Michigan State was the right one for me.”

Despite his status as a senior, Hauser had the option to return to college basketball due to a free year of eligibility granted by the NCAA during the 2020 season, shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After talking with my family and to Coach Izzo and the staff, I’ve decided that I’m going to be back with my teammates on the court next year,” Hauser said. “We’ve got goals we want to achieve and I can’t wait for this season ahead.”

After earning Big East All-Freshman team honors at Marquette in 2018-19, Hauser transferred to Michigan State to continue his collegiate career with the Spartans.

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His return provides a big boost to Michigan State’s front court, which had been depleted by the graduation of starting center Marcus Bingham Jr. and Marble’s entry into the transfer portal.

This past season, the senior saw his three-point shooting percentage rise from 34 percent the previous year to 40.8 percent in 2021-22. Starting 29 out of 36 games, Hauser averaged 7.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists across 22.2 minutes per game for the Spartans.

While his overall shooting percentage dipped from 47.5 percent to 44.6 percent as a senior, Hauser made a substantial improvement in his free throw shooting from 72.1 percent to 86.2 percent, and he had been playing some of his best basketball late in the year for Michigan State.

Hauser tied a career-high with 27 points in the Spartans' first round matchup against Davidson in the NCAA Tournament this past March.

It’s still widely assumed that Izzo will look to dip into the transfer portal to find more depth to add to the Spartans’ front court. Forward Malik Hall and center Mady Sissoko are expected back for MSU, and the Spartans added another big in its 2022 recruiting class in four-star prospect Jaxon Kohler out of Utah.

Michigan State freshman guard Max Christie submitted his name to the 2022 NBA Draft, but maintains his college eligibility while he receives feedback from professional franchises on his draft stock. Christie has until June 1 to withdraw his name from the draft to retain his college eligibility.

Spartan Nation will continue to monitor Michigan State men’s basketball as Izzo and his staff mold and shape the 2022-23 roster.