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Tom Izzo, Michigan State are 0-2 so far on transfer portal targets

The Spartans' offseason hasn't gone according to plan...

Michigan State men's basketball has had something of a tumultuous first two months of its offseason.

The Spartans had the normal attrition of losing graduated seniors Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham Jr., and saw former five-star prospect Max Christie enter his name into 2022 NBA Draft consideration while maintaining his college eligibility.

Christie was recently one of 76 players invited to participate in the 2022 NBA Draft Combine.

Michigan State also suffered a surprising loss when veteran center Julius Marble entered the transfer portal and committed to Texas A&M. The Spartans did, however, get a boost when senior Joey Hauser announced his intention to return to East Lansing for another season.

However, it's clear that Michigan State still has holes to fill on its 2022-23 roster and, thus far, Tom Izzo and his staff are having a hard time landing outside help to fill those holes.

It was reported early in the offseason that the Spartans were targeting West Virginia transfer Jalen Bridges. The 6-foot-7, 225-pounder — who averaged 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds last year for the Mountaineers — met with MSU's coaching staff and even visited East Lansing. However, Bridges instead committed to Baylor.

Michigan State then turned its attention to Oakland University transfer Micah Parrish, a native of Detroit. In his sophomore season with the Golden Grizzlies, Parrish averaged 12.1 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game. 

In a game against Michigan State last season, Parrish scored 19 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had two steals. The 6-foot-5, 188-pounder also visited East Lansing this offseason, and it was widely assumed that the Spartans were the favorites to land him out of the transfer portal. However, last week, Parrish committed to San Diego State.

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Losing out on Bridges to a program like Baylor is somewhat understandable, given the success that the Bears have had both in the Big 12 Conference and at the national level, winning the national championship in 2021.

However, the fact that Michigan State wasn't able to reel in Parrish is something of a head-scratcher. It's entirely possible that Izzo never extended an offer to the Detroit native, which would go a long way in explaining why he is heading all the way out West to a mid-major university.

Regardless of the reasoning, Michigan State is 0-2 on potential transfer targets this offseason, and with Christie's status still uncertain, there are still far too many unknowns about the Spartans' 2022-23 roster to feel comfortable right now.

I've maintained that I believe Christie will ultimately decide to withdraw from the draft and return to East Lansing, but his invite to the NBA Combine does increase the likelihood that the freshman remains in the draft. That is a huge domino that is still teeter-tottering.

Michigan State is — rightfully — excited about incoming freshman forward Jaxon Kohler, who should provide immediate help to the Spartans' front court depth. Additionally, incoming freshman guard Tre Holloman is an exciting prospect out Minnesota. The Spartans also recently signed 6-foot-11 center prospect Carson Cooper to its 2022 class.

There's certainly talent for Izzo and his staff to work with in East Lansing. AJ Hoggard took strides last season, and looks ready to lead the Spartans from the point guard position. I expect a sizeable leap out of Jaden Akins between his freshman and sophomore seasons — he flashed his tremendous upside at times last season.

Malik Hall showed he's capable of being an All-Big Ten player, if he's able to find that ever elusive consistency that he struggled with much of last season. While he hasn't had the type of career many expected when he got here, Hauser's return was still a significant development for Michigan State. The Spartans will be better with him in 2022-23 than they would have been without him.

As stated above, a lot is riding on the decision that Christie ultimately makes. The freshman went through those first-year struggles that most freshman do, but there's no denying his talent level. Christie has until June 1 to withdraw from the NBA Draft and maintain his eligibility.

Twitter: @mlounsberry_SI