Big development in Xavier Booker's offseason muscle gain

Ohio State v Michigan State
Ohio State v Michigan State / Rey Del Rio/GettyImages

It's time to fire up the Xavier Booker hype train again.

After being a five-star big man out of high school, everyone was hoping that he was going to become a star right away in East Lansing but Tom Izzo warned fans that he would be a work in progress and it would take him some time to develop.

Many heeded that warning and were let down when he played minimally in the first half of the season. His body just wasn't Big Ten ready as he got pushed around a lot when he was in the game.

Although he got better throughout the season, his 6-11, 220-pound frame just wasn't strong enough to live in the post on either end of the floor. He was able to stretch the floor and score from the perimeter, but Izzo and the Spartans need him to be able to have an impact down low so getting some more muscle on his 6-foot-11 frame is important.

It sounds like he's done just that in the past two months since the end of the 2023-24 season.

Booker has reportedly added 20 pounds of muscle so far this offseason, now sitting at 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds. That's a much more Big Ten-capable body for a big.

For reference, Jaren Jackson Jr. was 6-foot-11 and 242 pounds during his freshman season at Michigan State and his frame was more than capable of defending and scoring in the post in the Big Ten. Also, Adreian Payne was 6-foot-10 and 245 pounds and he had a similar skill set. If Booker can develop like those two did, Michigan State will be in luck.

Let's hope he becomes that key player that MSU has been missing down low.