EAST LANSING – For the first time since 1997, Michigan State basketball didn't play in the first round of March Madness.
Following an 86-80 loss to UCLA featuring untimely fouls, turnovers, defensive miscues, and another offensive disappearing act, the Spartans offseason started early.
With it comes a slew of questions surrounding roster construction, point guard issues, and scholarships.
Who will be here next year? Who won't be?
Joshua Langford announced his plans to leave Michigan State, meaning he won't take advantage of the extra eligibility provided by the NCAA due to COVID-19.
As he did last season, the Alabama native can change his mind, but for now, we are entering the offseason, assuming he's out the door.
The next big question surrounds Aaron Henry.
Last offseason, he took his NBA Draft decision seriously and received solid feedback from multiple teams. The junior forward led MSU in points, rebounds, and assists this year, becoming the first player to do so since 1975.
He also led the team in steals and finished three blocks behind Marcus Bingham Jr., so it's safe to assume turning pro is the likely outcome.
Henry is probably the only student-athlete ready to turn pro early from Michigan State, but beyond that, we'll be keeping an eye on the transfer portal.
How will Michigan State Sort out the Scholarship Situation?
Michigan State has a bit of a scholarship problem.
As of now, the Spartans don't have enough for its incoming recruiting class and every returning player. MSU has 14 players for 13 spots.
I'm guessing this will sort itself out, but it's worth noting. Even so, I'd bet one more player aside from Langford decides to leave, which ultimately resolves the situation.
However, if Emoni Bates reclassifies or Michigan State wishes to pursue a player through the portal, another spot would need to open up.
Who will be the Point Guard in 2021?
Instead of looking elsewhere, the Spartans attempted to convert Rocket Watts to the point guard position while using Foster Loyer and A.J. Hoggard off the bench.
Needless to say, it didn't work out, and now Michigan State faces the same question it did after Cassius Winston graduated: Who will play point guard?
MSU is scheduled to bring back every PG on its roster, including Watts, Loyer, Hoggard, and Jaden Akins, a member of the Spartans 2021 recruiting class.
Can Akins take command of the offense as a freshman? Does Watts step up and embrace the role with a full offseason? Or will Tom Izzo bring in a veteran from the portal to help his young guards?
It's the most significant dilemma this coaching staff faces entering next season.
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