Michigan State Basketball: Jack Hoiberg is a serviceable Big Ten point guard

Jack Hoiberg, Michigan State basketball
Jack Hoiberg, Michigan State basketball /

When you’re looking up and down Michigan State basketball’s roster, Jack Hoiberg’s name will not stick out. Here’s why it should.

The Michigan State victory over Michigan was a great win for all Spartan fans. But for the far and few Jack Hoiberg fans, it was even better.

Since early last season, I’ve been preaching that Hoiberg is a serviceable point guard. He’s not fantastic at any part of the game, but he seems to have a confidence when he’s out on the court. Maybe he knows the playbook really well. I don’t know.

The difference between Hoiberg and Foster Loyer is simple. Hoiberg is a point guard and Loyer is not. There’s not even a tangible value that I can give you to prove this. If you’ve watched a game, you can see that Hoiberg looks drastically more comfortable taking the ball up the court than Loyer who feels like a square piece in a round hole.

Even outside of the point guard spot, Hoiberg has been a solid performer in each game he’s played for the Spartans. While Tom Izzo’s team was in foul trouble, Hoiberg stepped up and filled in. He was barely involved in the offense, but he did enough.

Looking at his stats, you’d think he’s one of the worst players to ever set foot on a court. I can’t rationalize the fact that his statistics are near zero other than the fact that he simply doesn’t play a lot of basketball.

That being said, no lack of play time will excuse a 0-6 clip from the 3-point line and a 2-13 clip from the field on the year. His shooting is definitely an area that will need improvement, but it’s not why he’s out on the court.

He’s out on the court because he plays smart. He’s always in the right position and doesn’t make stupid mistakes. He just sort of fits in the lineup. He’s essentially Foster Loyer, but the coaches don’t expect him to be a primary ball handler when he’s out there.

His impact isn’t even in his own play style, it’s in the way that the coaches to play him. You don’t see them forcing plays to him like they do with Loyer. He’s in the background and available as a solid shooter and a decent ball handler if he is needed.

Jack’s not Cassius Winston, but he can play.

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