3. Joey Hauser
Who could have seen this coming? After entering the season as a guy who was supposed to be a leader of this team, Joey Hauser has hit a brutal slump in the middle of the year. He’s still not back, but he has made some timely plays.
On Thursday night, one crucial shot came while the Michigan State basketball team was trailing 61-57. Coming out of a timeout, it was a must-score play. If the Spartans didn’t put the ball in the bucket, they could have been facing a six or seven-point deficit after this.
Tom Izzo didn’t go to his leaders in Aaron Henry or Joshua Langford. No, he would look to Hauser, a guy who hasn’t been shooting well. Perhaps it was his coach’s confidence in him that allowed him to drain this clutch bucket, but this shot put the Spartans within one point and gave them a chance.
But this wasn’t his only clutch shot. In the game against Illinois, Hauser came in and hit a clutch 3-pointer as the Fighting Illini were beginning to close the gap. He would follow this by draining clutch free throws in crunch time to seal a victory for Michigan State.