Although he’s never played with AJ Hoggard with Michigan State basketball, Cassius Winston is a firm believer that he’ll be a star.
When you think of the all-time great Michigan State basketball point guards, guys like Magic Johnson, Mateen Cleaves, Kalin Lucas, and Cassius Winston come to mind.
You could even throw Denzel Valentine into that mix even though he was more of a combo guard.
Soon, we could be adding AJ Hoggard to that list.
The sophomore point guard from Coatesville, Penn., has grown steadily over the past two seasons, and now the expectation from just about everyone after a strong finish to his 2021-22 campaign is that he’s going to be a star in East Lansing.
Cassius Winston is even endorsing him as a star point guard.
Hoggard really came into his own at the end of the season, cut his turnovers, and became much more of an offensive threat, taking defenders off the dribble to the rack and finishing strong. He was a much more complete player in March than he was in December and January.
Some of his best games, as DK mentioned above, came against the Big Ten’s best teams — a common theme for all-time great MSU point guards.
Entering the 2022-23 season, Hoggard is likely to be a team captain and he’s going to take on more of a vocal role. He has that capability and he really grew into a leadership role last season as he matured quickly from the beginning of Big Ten play to the NCAA Tournament.
Hoggard averaged 7.0 points and 4.8 assists per game last season while shooting 44 percent from the floor and exuding confidence. His overall growth from his freshman to his sophomore season was very Denzel Valentine-like as he did a little of everything and if he continues that ascension, he’s going to be a special player.
With his strong frame, physical style of play, growing sense of leadership, lockdown defense, improved finishing around the rim, and confidence, Hoggard is going to be a breakout star in 2022-23.
And Cassius can see that.