Will Tom Izzo dip into the portal for some center help? Will he trust late-bloomer Carson Cooper to start as a true sophomore? Will he slide Jaxon Kohler or Xavier Booker over to the five despite being power forwards? Or will he trust Mady Sissoko to take another step?
Yes, my money is on the latter.
Sissoko was basically a non-factor on the roster through his first two seasons in East Lansing, averaging about five minutes per game in that span. He averaged just 1.1 points and less than two rebounds per game in his first two years.
And then he was forced into action in 2022-23 as the Spartans’ lone starting center option. He answered the call early on, faded in the middle of the season, and ended strongly.
Mady took a big jump in the offseason leading up to his junior year and while he had a roller-coaster of a 2022-23 season, he still improved drastically. He averaged 5.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks this past season and if he can improve that much in just his first year as a collegiate starter, imagine what he could do in two years.
I think Izzo will trust Mady to start again and he’ll be an eight-point, eight-rebound per game type of player, averaging over 1.0 blocks as well.