1. A chance to win a national title
Watching this year’s NCAA Tournament after the Sweet 16 loss had to leave a sour taste in Tyson Walker’s mouth. He played his heart out in an overtime loss to Kansas State and the ball was stolen from him on the last possession of the game as Markquis Nowell raced down the court for the cherry-on-top layup to beat the Spartans.
After the loss, Kansas State got to play FAU and then the Owls played San Diego State for a potential trip to the national title game. But they lost on a buzzer-beater.
So Michigan State’s road would have been No. 9 FAU and No. 5 San Diego State to get to the national title game against No. 4 UConn. That’s a winnable road and it had to hurt watching the tournament unfold after the Spartans’ loss.
Returning in 2023-24 with the incoming No. 3 recruiting class and basically all starters returning besides Joey Hauser (most likely), the Spartans would not only be a favorite to win the Big Ten but also a national title favorite.
While his legacy would be cemented with an All-Big Ten season and some improvement, it would be even greater with a Final Four or national title run.