It’s the day that Michigan State basketball fans have been waiting for since the end of the 2022-23 season. Tyson Walker is back, folks.
The senior guard made it official on Instagram and Twitter, stating that he will be back next season for one more year. He joins one of the best rosters that Tom Izzo has assembled in years and if everyone else stays, this team could be a top-five national title contender.
But I’m going for a bold prediction more related to Walker than anything else.
While I think Michigan State has serious Final Four potential next season with him back, I think that he reaches some personal goals of his own, contends for Big Ten Player of the Year, and makes an All-American team by the end of the season.
I think we’ll see AJ Hoggard and Walker have huge final seasons in East Lansing and feed off each other.
Michigan State basketball’s best backcourt since…?
This is probably Michigan State’s best backcourt in a decade since Keith Appling was leading the way with Gary Harris as the shooting guard and both Denzel Valentine and Travis Trice coming off the bench. That team lost in the Elite Eight to eventual champion UConn, but this backcourt might end up being even better.
Hoggard will be a senior and one of the best passers in the Big Ten again and if he can work on his jumper, he’ll be seriously dangerous.
Assuming Jaden Akins returns after potentially testing NBA waters (something I can see happening, as expected), he’ll take a major leap and hopefully play more with the ball in his hands. He’s already a knockdown shooter, but just needs to create for himself more.
As for Walker, I can see him becoming an All-American in his final season as one of the most clutch players in college basketball. I’d already rank him the best guard in the Big Ten, so it’s all about how much he wants to shoot next season. He needs to get at least 13-15 shots per game.
Next year should be fun.