Monday, September 28, 2020

Junior guard Jack Hoiberg earns final 2020-2021 MSU basketball scholarship

August 4, 2020
<p>MSU Head Coach Tom Izzo raises a hand to the crowd after the game against Michigan at Breslin Center on March 9, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines, 75-63.</p>

MSU Head Coach Tom Izzo raises a hand to the crowd after the game against Michigan at Breslin Center on March 9, 2019. The Spartans defeated the Wolverines, 75-63.

Photo by Anntaninna Biondo | The State News

After the departure of Xavier Tillman to the NBA Draft, Michigan State head basketball coach Tom Izzo has given redshirt junior guard Jack Hoiberg the team’s final scholarship.

“I knew with Xavier (Tillman) leaving, there was a spot open, but you never really know if there’s a chance or maybe what the coaches were thinking,” Hoiberg said in a press release. “I had spoken to Coach about it in the past, but again, you never really know. It was really cool when he told me.”

Izzo had previously been pursuing Karim Mane, a four-star combo guard from Canada to fill the final scholarship for the 2020-2021 season in anticipation of the departure of Tillman or Aaron Henry to the NBA Draft. Mane would later declare for the NBA Draft and Henry decided to stay in East Lansing for his junior season.

Last season, Hoiberg played in 14 games, including starting against Nebraska, who is coached by his father Fred Hoiberg. In those 14 games, Hoiberg showcased his floor general skill set, dishing out six assists against Western Michigan in just 13 minutes of action. 

Izzo seems to have recognized the potential in his young guard.

“This was not given, he earned this,” Izzo said in a press release. “He has been unbelievable since he came here. Jack didn’t just have this given to him. He has worked so hard and he deserves it.”

Hoiberg will join a backcourt looking to fill some big shoes with Cassius Winston transitioning into his NBA career after an illustrious four-year career. Sophomore Rocket Watts, incoming freshman AJ Hoggard, junior Foster Loyer, and Hoiberg will all be in the mix for point guard minutes for the upcoming season. For the junior guard from Burr Rige, Illinois, he feels a satisfaction for a goal finally accomplished.

“Coach told me afterward that I earned it and to hear that means the world to me,” Hoiberg said in a press release. “It’s something I set as a goal when I came here. I’ve worked my tail off and to finally earn it makes it all worth it, the hard work and everything.”

After months of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State basketball has finally finalized its roster for the 2020-2021 season.

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