It's been quite the season for Michigan State basketball, both good and bad.
That has especially been true for senior point guard AJ Hoggard. The veteran guard was expecting to be an All-Big Ten performer this season and talked a big game all offseason, but he struggled early on and didn't quite look like himself. Heck, he even got benched early on this season and Michigan State was sitting at 4-5 after a loss to Nebraska and a main reason for the struggles was Hoggard.
He just wasn't himself.
That has quickly changed. Hoggard has taken control of the team since that Nebraska loss and Michigan State has won four straight games. It's no surprise that the second Hoggard began to perk up, the entire team followed suit. He looked like the point guard that dominated in the 2023 NCAA Tournament and really looked like a future MSU legend.
Through the first three games of the year, Hoggard was averaging 5.0 points and 5.0 assists per game to go along with 2.0 turnovers and he was just 5-for-26 from the floor.
Since then, he has not scored under 10 points and he has a 5-to-2 assist-to-turnover ratio and he has shot over 50 percent from the floor in every game but three and over 40 percent in all but one game. And he has that "dawg" back. He is playing with a chip on his shoulder again which is something we all begged to see from the senior early on.
On Saturday, he proved once again that he's back to his old self with a 17-point, 4-assist performance in which he put the team on his back when he needed to.
It's great to have the old AJ back.