Will Maurice Joseph Transfer?

With Izzo bringing in four freshman guards; Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Chris Allen and walk-on Austin Thornton, Joseph might be looking at very limited playing time next year on a deep and talented Spartan team, which is where speculations of him transferring arise.

EAST LANSING - Before Tom Izzo could even take a breath in his season wrap-up press conference, he was being asked about sophomore shooting guard Maurice Joseph's status with the team.

With Izzo bringing in four freshman guards in Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, Chris Allen and walk-on Austin Thornton Joseph might be looking at very limited playing time next year on a deep and talented Spartan team, which is where speculations of him transferring arise.

"First of all, he's a great kid," Izzo said. "He's a very good student. He's a kid that could almost graduate by next year. But, there's times when its a good deal for one side or a good deal for the other side or a good deal for both sides. I want this to be a good deal for both sides."

After starting the year well, Josephs season started going downhill when he suffered a stress fracture in his foot on Dec. 9 against BYU.

In his absence, freshman guard Isaiah Dahlman emerged off the bench as a replacement, showing good defense but not having much of an effect on offense.

After missing three weeks with the injury, Joseph's highest scoring output was a 12-point effort in MSU's home rout of Iowa. Izzo noted poor defense as a reason for Joseph's decreased playing time.

"My thing with MoJo is, we've just got to increase the defensive structure, the strength, the toughness, the ball-handling skills," said Izzo. "He's a good enough shooter to play anywhere, but its hard at this level - not (just)at Michigan State - but this level to be a one-dimensional player if youre going to play any minutes.

With rumors swirling around in the media and on the message boards at this point, Izzo wanted to make it clear that there have been no decisions made and the possibility of Joseph transferring has only been discussion between player and coach and nothing else.

"Right now, there's been no decision made. I still think he wants to be here, I think we want him here," said Izzo.

The situation is one that does not have Izzo wanting Joseph out, but rather him discussing with MoJo a realistic position as to where he might fit into a crowded backcourt next season.

A decision on the topic might not come until April or later and Izzo did not rule out that there still might be a spot for MoJo on the team, even with the incoming freshmen.

"They're gonna have important spots on the team, but they don't have to take over the team," Izzo said.


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