Michigan State guard Janai Crooms announced via Instagram that she will be entering the transfer portal just one year after transferring to Michigan State from Big Ten rival Ohio State.
“I want to start by thanking the coaches, teammates, fans and everyone else that played a role in my experience at Michigan State University,” Crooms said. “With that being said, I will be entering my name in the transfer portal and further my options.”
Crooms for the Spartans started in 12 games, averaging 5.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. The junior guard was known for her high energy and ability to run an offense alongside Michigan State star guard Nia Clouden and sophomore guard Alyza Winston.
“We need her and her energy,” Michigan State Head Coach Suzy Merchant said earlier in the season. “She brings it like that every day, even when it’s practice, shootaround, she’s like the loudest kid out there. She’s fully engaged in what’s going on. I really do feel like she’s a really big part of our ability to progressively get better, and it’s just fun to see her get more comfortable out there.”
The team will surely miss that energy with the departure of seniors Mardrekia Cook, Claire Hendrickson and Laurel Jacqmain in addition to the departure of freshman forward Kendall Bostic, who also departed Michigan State via the transfer portal last week.
The Spartans will still have a dynamic backcourt with Clouden and Winston returning along with the arrival of four-star guard Damiya Hagemann but will have to turn to guards like Moira Joiner to bring the defensive effort and have Clouden and Winston step up with their playmaking to make up for Crooms’ departure.