Tom Izzo on Michigan State's Joey Hauser

McLain Moberg

Last year, the former four-star recruit out of Wisconsin, Joey Hauser, announced he was transferring to Michigan State. Although ahead of his transfer, Tom Izzo was pursuing the big man as part of his 2018 recruiting class.

After the NCAA denied his request for a waiver so Hauser could participate in the 2019-20 season, he was forced to sit out. However, the Spartans will get the boost they needed from him this year. He is a skilled big man who can do a multitude of things offensively and defensively. He’s able to facilitate and stretch the floor with quality perimeter shooting.

The lift Hauser may have provided to the Spartans was going to be tremendous, which is why the denial of his appeal and having to sit out was a huge letdown. That didn’t stop Hauser from working on getting better, and according to Izzo, parts of his game are underrated.

“I think the most underrated thing he does is he is not a good passer; he is a phenomenal passer. So, what has he done in the season he was out? He worked on his ballhandling. He’s got to continue to improve that,” said Izzo. “He’s worked on his defense, and now he’s got to become a perimeter defender where he can guard both inside and outside.”

Before coming to Michigan State, the 6-foot-9 forward averaged 9.7 points and just over five rebounds per game. Also, he shot 42.5% from three-point range and drained 79.1% of his shots from the free-throw line. He was also named to the Big East all-freshman team.

The reality is Joey Hauser has the potential to be a gamechanger. Hauser took advantage of his situation, and even though he never played in a live setting, he made the most out of his opportunities as a Spartan.

“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. “Which he did.”

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