This Could Be Michigan State Basketball’s New Transfer Big Man
We all know Michigan State's issues in the post this past season.
Mady Sissoko showed marked improvement from his sophomore year early on, but he struggled mightily once Big Ten play began, often getting schooled by opposing big men. Freshmen Jaxon Kohler and Carson Cooper showed occasional flashes — Kohler with slick low-post moves and Cooper with strong stretches of defense in the NCAA tournament — but they were few and far between, as is usually the case with freshmen.
The Spartans' three centers combined for 9.7 points and 9.9 rebounds in 33.4 minutes per game on the season, which is decent production. But in matchups against premier bigs, MSU came up small.
In the seven combined games MSU played against Zach Edey, Oscar Tshiebwe, Trayce Jacson-Davis, Drew Timme, and Hunter Dickinson, those opposing bigs averaged 24.5 points and 12.1 rebounds against the Spartans. Those are objectively horrible numbers, but they're even worse in the context of what Tom Izzo predicates this MSU program on.
MSU has some reinforcements inbound by way of its 2023 recruiting class. But the biggest star of the group — both physically and recruiting-wise — is Xavier Booker, a 6-foot-10 player who many expect to play power forward instead of at the 5. Coen Carr is also a part of the Spartans' incoming class, but he's a 6-foot-7 forward.
All of that has led many to speculate that Izzo will at least peruse the transfer portal for another big man this offseason. Stock Risers, a college basketball recruiting publication, reported Thursday that that's exactly what's happening — MSU may be interested in TCU transfer big Eddie Lampkin.
Lampkin, a 6-foot-11 big, just wrapped his redshirt sophomore season at TCU. He averaged 6.3 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.2 assists in 21.8 minutes per game in helping the Horned Frogs to a top-five finish in the Big 12 and an NCAA tournament appearance.
He comes with baggage, though. Lampkin left the TCU team and program ahead of the Big 12 tournament to deal with what he called a personal matter. He also publicly accused TCU head coach Jamie Dixon of using racist language and mistreating him.
Call me crazy, but, all things considered, Lampkin doesn't strike me as the type of guy Izzo recruits, let alone the type he adds via the portal. Then again, nothing makes sense in college basketball anymore, so who knows.