Skip to main content
Publish date:

MSU Men’s Hoops: What You Need to Know

MSU basketball season is less than a month away, so it’s time to get caught up on the men’s side of things.

Does it feel like ‘96, Bulldogs fans?

Some say it does. What are the realistic expectations for this Bulldog basketball team, though?

After last year’s NIT tournament run, item number one is obviously to go dancing come March. Most teams go from the NIT championships to the big dance in the next year, and if MSU can do that, it will be the first step in returning to that magical 1996 vibe.

This team is just as, if not even more talented, than the 1996 squad, though. Headlined by a multitude of transfers and returning studs, the projected starting five for the Bulldogs might just be one of the best in the country.

Rocket Watts and Iverson Molinar both have the capability to take over the point guard spot. Watts was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in his first year for the Michigan State Spartans before transferring to the MSU our readers are more familiar with, while Molinar is coming off a year where he averaged 16.7 points per game, 3.7 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game. Once Watts returns from a recent injury in November, one of the best back courts in the country should be ready to go to work.

Read More

The front court, though, is where this Bulldog basketball team has the chance to be special. To start with, the transfer players of DJ Jeffries (Memphis) and Garrison Brooks (North Carolina) make this group lethal in terms of point production. Factor in the returning anchor of last year’s team, Tolu Smith, and MSU should have all of the makings of potentially the best frontcourt in the SEC as well. Smith, however, is dealing with an injury of his own and will also not be back to playing form until November.

With that being said, what can this team do, realistically?

When the first tip-off of the season against North Alabama rolls around on November 10th, MSU will be without Watts and Smith. Indubitably, that is a major blow to the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball, but with Smith and Watts returning in November, if the rest of the team stays healthy, the whole squad should be raring to go for SEC play, with a solid chunk of games together between themselves.

If, and only if, this team can mesh together and play as a team, they could very well find themselves in the NCAA tournament anywhere above a five seed. On the lower end of things, if MSU is below a 10 seed, an opportunity just might be missed for the Head Coach Ben Howland and the rest of the Bulldogs.

Only time will tell, though, as MSU looks to take the floor this winter and pack the Hump.