A.J. Hoggard and Jaden Akins have withdrawn their names from the NBA Draft and will be returning to Michigan State for the 2023–24 season. Hoggard returns for his senior year and Akins for his junior season with the hopes of winning a national championship for the green and white. Now that these two are both coming back, this will be Michigan State’s best team since 2019–20.
Ready to get back to work. pic.twitter.com/k3mL1u3eP9
— Michigan State Men's Basketball (@MSU_Basketball) May 31, 2023
A.J. Hoggard and Jaden Akins Impact
This backcourt is filthy, with Akins and Hoggard returning with Tyson Walker as well. This will be one of the best, if not the best, backcourts in the NCAA. The Spartans bring back two guys who bring athleticism and heart back to this team. With the addition of the No. 3 recruiting class in the nation and only the loss of Joey Hauser, this team is lethal. Hoggard is coming off of his junior year, averaging 12.9 points, 3.7 boards, and 5.9 assists. Akins wasn’t healthy for the majority of his sophomore season, but at the end and in the NCAA Tournament, we saw a taste of his potential.
The Breslin Center is rocking for Jaden Akins 🔥
— Stadium (@Stadium) December 11, 2021
Michigan State Expectations for 2023–24
The goal for this Michigan State squad is to win the Big Ten and the National Championship. There hasn’t been a better opportunity since the 2019-20 team was canceled when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and March Madness was canceled. A week before all of that went down, MSU took down Ohio State to win a share of the Big Ten regular-season title. Many experts believed that Cassius Winston and Xavier Tillman would’ve led the Spartans to their first championship since 2000. Nonetheless, we will never know, but this opportunity for MSU to chase a ring hasn’t been better. The Spartans should be favored by many experts to finish at the top of the Big Ten. This will be a fun season for Spartan fans.
Photo Credit: © Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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