MSU guard Rocket Watts enters transfer portal


MSU guard Rocket Watts celebrates after the Spartans knock off No. 19 Ohio State 80-69 to click the Big Ten regular season crown in 2020/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Manit Patel, General Assignment Reporter

EAST LANSING- The Michigan State men’s basketball team took a hit on Monday when rising junior guard Rocket Watts announced he would be entering the transfer portal.

Watts, a 6-foot-2-inch, 185-pound combo guard from Detroit played extensive minutes for the Spartans both this season and last season as well, running the point guard position. His freshman year, Watts averaged 9 points per game, with 1.7 assists to go along with that; however his shooting numbers weren’t great, as he shot 38.9% from the field and 28.1% from beyond the arc. While Watts wasn’t expected to be an elite offensive contributor — his defense being his better half — the shooting percentages weren’t exactly where fans wanted them to be. 

Going into his sophomore year, much was expected; COVID-19 threw a monkey wrench into that. With less time for offseason workouts, less practice to get ingrained with new teammates and a bout with the virus itself, Watts’ play was affected. He averaged 7.7 points per game, with 2.7 assists. His shooting numbers dipped from last season as well, shooting 33.6% from the field with 25.3% from the 3-point line to go along with that.

Watts gave Spartan fans flashes of what he could truly be when he was playing well on both sides of the floor in big games against Duke and Michigan, but for most of the games, underwhelming was a common word to describe his performances.

Watts was the highest rated recruit in the Spartan’s 2019 class that included Malik Hall, Julius Marble and Joey Hauser as a transfer. He played at Old Redford Academy in Detroit before transferring to SPIRE Academy in Ohio for his final high school season. Watts garnered a 0.9865 composite rating which was good for the 39th spot in the entire class, according to 247Sports.

Watts only visited two schools: Michigan State and Florida State, but had a bevy of offers with Alabama, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois and USC to name a few of the 24 teams that wanted Watts. Of the teams that offered him, keep an eye out for Alabama, USC and LSU to all try and add him to their program 

While Watts had his moments of promise for the Spartans, he will transfer out as one of the more underwhelming players in recent memory. However, if he transforms his game wherever he lands, he could retain his status as an NBA prospect.