Michigan State men's basketball program doesn't have a whole lot of positive momentum as we head into the month of May.
The return of senior Joey Hauser is a nice boost for the Spartans, but that alone is not enough to offset the losses of seniors Gabe Brown and Marcus Bingham Jr. to graduation, and of junior Julius Marble to the transfer portal.
In addition, freshman Max Christie entered his name into the 2022 NBA Draft process and is currently getting feedback from professional franchises. Personally, I believe Christie will return to East Lansing for his sophomore season, but until that is official, Michigan State remains in limbo.
It's widely assumed that head coach Tom Izzo will look to supplement his roster with a transfer portal addition or two, but there's been no movement on that front as of yet. In fact, one of Michigan State's targets — former West Virginia small forward Jalen Bridges — chose to commit to Baylor last week after considering the Spartans.
Despite where things stand in late April, ESPN's Joe Lunardi has faith that Michigan State will — comfortably — make their way back to the NCAA Tournament in 2022-23.
If that happens, it will mark the 25th consecutive season in which Izzo has led the Spartans to 'The Big Dance', breaking a tie with retired Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski for the most in history.
Lunardi — who openly admits the futility in trying to project the field of 68 next season — listed Michigan State as a 5-seed in the East Regional bracket, and has the Spartans matched up with 12-seed UAB.
MSU is one of seven Big Ten teams that Lunardi expects to make the field of 68, with rival Michigan earning the conference's automatic bid via the Big Ten Tournament. He projects the Wolverines as a 3-seed.
The other Big Ten teams that Lunardi projects to the NCAA Tournament are Purdue (4-seed), Illinois (4-seed), Indiana (6-seed), Ohio State (7-seed) and Iowa (8-seed).
A lot is going to happen between now and November when college basketball returns. Rosters will continue to take shape and evolve, with over a thousands players currently in the transfer portal.
Izzo is already in an exclusive club of coaches. With the retirements of both Krzyzewski and Villanova's Jay Wright, Michigan State's head coach is one of just seven active coaches with a national championship on their resume.
Izzo is on the verge of making history again, which would add to an already Hall of Fame-worthy resume, but Michigan State has work to do in addressing the current holes on its roster.