Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM


EVANS: Tre Holloman emerging at the perfect time for Michigan State

Jack Moreland
MSU sophomore guard Tre Holloman (5) finished with nine points on 5-5 shooting from the floor to go along with four assists, two steals and a block in MSU’s 77-67 victory over Minnesota in the B1G Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 14, 2024 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN.

MINNEAPOLIS – After every tournament win, Michigan State has a tradition. 

The team votes for one player to move MSU’s sticker into the next round of the bracket, based on their contribution to the win. 

 After MSU defeated Minnesota 77-67 on Thursday afternoon, the team had several players it could’ve cast votes for. 

A.J. Hoggard recorded 17 points, six assists, and didn’t miss a single shot.

Tyson Walker started slow, before rattling off 10 points in the second half and taking over for a stretch. Jaden Akins, who recorded nine points and a game-high seven rebounds, was labeled the game’s “unsung player” by MSU head coach Tom Izzo after the game.

Seven players scored five points or more, with almost all of them making one crucial play down the stretch in what was one of the team’s best performances of the season from top to bottom. 

And yet, with plenty of options to choose from, everyone voted for the hometown kid. 

“It was unanimous that Tre was the guy,” said Izzo. “It wasn’t because he’s from here, it was because of the lift he gave us and the plays he made.”

Holloman, a 6’1 guard from Minnesota, isn’t a starter. He doesn’t lead the team in any major statistical categories, and has only scored in double figures five times this season, while averaging less than six points per game. 

And MSU would not have won Thursday’s game without him. 

In his second trip home this season, Holloman recorded nine points, four assists, and two steals in 21 minutes, helping to guide the Spartans past the Gophers and likely solidifying MSU’s 26th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. 

“I’m really proud of Tre and happy for him,” said Izzo. “You come home and you wanna play well in front of some of your family and friends.” 

Holloman’s numbers aren’t at all indicative of his impact on Thursday’s game. If there was one stat that could highlight his importance, it would be his plus-minus rating of 12, which was a game high. 

MSU sophomore guard Tre Holloman (5) celebrates with senior guard A.J. Hoggard after scoring in MSU’s 77-67 victory over Minnesota in the B1G Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, Mar. 14, 2024 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN.
(Photo by Jack Moreland/WDBM Sports/Michigan State University) (Jack Moreland)

What the numbers won’t show is that Holloman commanded MSU’s offense for a stretch when AJ Hoggard and Tyson Walker weren’t at their best, and continued to do so even when the both of them inevitably found their groove. 

Where Holloman excelled in Thursday’s game, and where he has for most of the season, is doing the unordinary things that often go unnoticed, but make an incredible difference to MSU’s offense.

When Hoggard went out in the first half, it was Holloman who got MSU into its sets with pace. When Walker needed to get off the ball and reset a possession, he found Holloman to do so.

On a team full of veterans, MSU has needed Holloman and his production. On Thursday, he delivered again, and took another step as an entrusted presence for a team that responded to adversity as well as it had all season. 

Tom Izzo has always said he believes guards win teams games in March. He’s said on record this year’s team will be no different. 

One of those guards comes off the bench and plays limited minutes, but is an undisputed piece to MSU’s success, and is morphing into one of the team’s leaders during tournament time. 

“Me and [Izzo] had talks about me staying confident, staying ready, and being a leader,” said Holloman. “I’m just trying to embrace that.”

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About the Contributors
A.J. Evans
A.J. Evans, Sports Editor
A.J. Evans (He/Him/His) is the Sports Editor at Impact 89FM. He is from Southfield, Michigan and is majoring in journalism. He has covered football, women's and men's basketball for the Impact. “Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, and live the phrase sky’s the limit….see you chumps on top.” - Biggie  
Jack Moreland
Jack Moreland, Sports Photo Editor
Jack (he/him) is a Journalism major focusing in sports reporting and media photography. Growing up in nearby Okemos, Michigan, he has been a lifelong Spartan and is proud to sport the green and white. Jack is a big Baby Keem fan and is known to post on your block with your wishlist on you.

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