Should AJ Hoggard or Mady Sissoko return to Michigan State basketball?

Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard (11) dribbles against North Carolina guard Cormac Ryan (3) during
Michigan State guard A.J. Hoggard (11) dribbles against North Carolina guard Cormac Ryan (3) during / Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

Probably the hottest Michigan State basketball debate heading into the offseason has to be the pending decisions of AJ Hoggard and Mady Sissoko. The two seniors have options to return for a fifth year because of COVID and both said they haven't made a decision yet.

Hoggard has been one of the most polarizing players in the Tom Izzo era as he had some ups and downs and he'll probably be remembered most for his inconsistency and nonchalant attitude. But while he gets a ton of criticism for playing "carelessly", he has gotten the respect of his teammates and when he's on, he's one of the better guards in the Big Ten.

Unfortunately, we never know when he's going to go off for 17 points and 10 assists or two points and four assists with five turnovers. His inconsistency was a problem this year and it arguably held the team back.

As for Sissoko, he saw his minutes dwindle near the end of the season as Xavier Booker had his minutes increased. Realistically, Mady probably should've been playing somewhere in the ballpark of 10-15 minutes per game all season rather than the 20-25 he played to start the year. If he developed a post game, he could be good for 20 minutes. But that never happened. However, closer to the end of the year, he was better on the glass and even showed some post moves against North Carolina.

But should either opt to return for one more season?

I'll be completely honest, I think Mady is what he is and he probably wouldn't bring much more to next year's team outside of being a great teammate and a depth piece down low. He's a backup center who can defend and rebound but not at the level that's necessary to secure a starting job or make a huge difference. Moving on would be best for both sides there even though he's an awesome dude.

As for Hoggard, this may be controversial, but I could see him having a redemption arc type of fifth year. We saw it with Malik Hall and Joey Hauser. Both players were oft-criticized and fans ripped into them constantly but their fifth and final years were special. They each had redemption stories and went out as beloved Spartans. I think Hoggard could follow that trend.

There's too much talent with Hoggard and the potential is there, he just has to assert himself and be the leader that he's supposed to be and not a guy who has poor body language and throws his hands up in the air whenever he feels like his teammates made a mistake. He needs to improve in all aspects.

Now do I think Hoggard wants to return? Probably not. His starting job isn't exactly guaranteed with Jeremy Fears Jr. and Tre Holloman returning, but it wouldn't be the worst thing for him to come back, fix his NBA stock, and really make a name for himself by turning his career around.

A lot of fans are ready to move on from Hoggard, but they were also ready to move on from Hauser and Hall. I don't think this would be horrible, but he'd have to completely buy in much like Hall and Hauser did.