On Sunday, the Michigan State Spartans got some good news, as fans learned that guard Aaron Henry would be foregoing the 2020 NBA Draft and returning for his junior season with the Spartans. His decision was one of the most anticipated ones in the Big Ten and will certainly come as a relief for Tom Izzo and his staff.
Henry has played two seasons in East Lansing and averaged an impressive 10 points and 4.6 rebounds per game during that time. He was vitally important in Michigan State’s run to the Final Four in 2019 and started 29 games this season as the Spartans earned a share of the regular season Big Ten title.
From a Draft perspective, this probably isn’t a shocking decision. Many viewed Henry as a fringe Draft prospect this year, including Sam Vecenie, who rated him as the 69th best prospect in this year’s field. Assuming that projection is accurate, it means Henry would have gone undrafted and likely needed to perform in the Summer and/or G Leagues to make a roster. Obviously, that’s not where most prospects want to land.
For Michigan State, this is huge news. The Spartans are losing Xavier Tillman and Cassius Winston this offseason and desperately need some experience to make up for those departures. Having a guy like Henry is a big boost there. He’s played in big games and has produced when it counts the most. He also still has a lot of upside, which should be exciting for fans moving forward. Expect Henry and Joey Hauswer to lead things for Michigan State on the wing next season.
Whether Henry can live up to fan expectations next season remains to be seen, but Spartan fans have to be excited about having a key player like him back in the fold.