No one is talking about the arrival of four-star guard AJ Hoggard but he’s going to surprise some doubters for Michigan State basketball in 2020-21.
Cassius Winston’s departure has been tough on a lot of people, Tom Izzo included.
Michigan State is losing its best point guard since Mateen Cleaves and arguably a top five player in program history. That position is the toughest to replace, though.
As we saw last season, whenever Cassius wasn’t on the floor, Michigan State struggled to move the ball around and get any positive production on either end of the court from the point guard position. Foster Loyer struggled to spread the ball around, look for his own shot and defend any opposing point guard with a pulse on the offensive end of the floor.
Moving forward Rocket Watts is going to get the nod as the starting point guard and that provides a great outlook almost immediately. He’s a playmaker with confidence and swagger and he fits that role to perfection.
But what about Loyer as the backup?
We could see him make a slight leap in production with a big offseason but the chances are that AJ Hoggard will step right in as the backup. The incoming freshman has the body and the talent to become a serious weapon on both ends of the floor for MSU.
Standing 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Hoggard is a thick guard with handles, plus passing ability and a knack for getting to the hole and finishing strong. He can bully defenders with his size and strength.
We hear about fellow freshman Mady Sissoko earning himself a big role with the Spartans this season, but Hoggard might end up being the perfect complement at point for Watts.
Hoggard can shoot, pass, handle the ball and he’s not afraid to go at defenders. Michigan State has multiple weapons at the point guard spot heading into the 2020-21 season and one of them is going to surprise some people who don’t believe he’s going to have a major role.