No sophomore will have a more prominent role when the season returns than Michigan State guard Rocket Watts. With the loss of savvy veteran Cassius Winston, Rocket will be asked to take on primary point guard responsibilities and pick up the scoring load with the potential departure of Xavier Tillman as well.
In his freshman season, Watts progressively got better as he became more acclimated. Due to academic requirements he was late in joining his fellow freshman class in East Lansing. He arrived on campus in early July, then missed four games in December due to a stress reaction in his lower leg. Like many freshman players Watts just had to remain patient. In the second half of the season Rocket played with more confidence which was evidenced in State’s last four games in which he averaged 17.8 points.
As a senior at Spire Academy, he was backcourt mates with Melo Ball and the two were an ideal backcourt as you can imagine. They were interchangeable at the guard spot and Rocket was able to showcase his fearlessness in his play. He’s shifty and creative off the bounce. He’s more athletic than Cassius Winston and has a serious bag. His ability to create separation on the perimeter with crafty step backs, side steps, and dribble drives makes him as tough a cover as anyone in the Big 10.
The Detroit native is on everyone’s radar. Most media publications have listed him as their premier potential breakout player for the 2020-2021 season. Losing Cassius Winston the Spartans obviously will rely heavily on Watts and his ability to run the show and lock up defensively. He finished with 21 against Illinois and Iowa so clearly he can score in bunches. Much will he asked of the speedy guard but like with every Michigan State squad I think Rocket and the team will be ready come March.