Miles Bridges said he'll talk to his mother and coaches on whether he'll leave early for the NBA
Tulsa, Okla. — If Miles Bridges played his final game at Michigan State on Sunday, he went out the only way he knows how — fighting until the final minute.
The Big Ten freshman of the year overcame a hip injury suffered early in the first half to score 22 points and grab eight rebounds in Michigan State’s 90-70 loss to top-seeded Kansas in the second round of the Midwest Regional at the BOK Center.
Afterword, Bridges addressed his future.
“I’m gonna talk to my mom and my coaches about that,” Bridges said. “We’ll find out.”
Bridges didn’t give a timetable for how long he would take to decide and didn’t say what it was that he would use as criteria for making his decision about whether to return to MSU or enter the NBA draft.
“I don’t really know now. I’m just trying to spend time with my seniors, get some motivation from them,” he said. “This loss is really motivation for us to get better.
“Friendships, I mean, I love my team but I’m always gonna make the best decision for myself.”
Most projections have Bridges going in the top half of the first round in this summer’s NBA Draft and if he decides to go, it will be the second straight season Michigan State has had a player go one-and-done. Deyonta Davis left early last season.
Bridges accomplished plenty in his first season, entering the final game averaging 16.7 points, second-best for a Michigan State freshman behind Magic Johnson. He also set the single-game freshman scoring record with 33 against Purdue and was named the Big Ten’s freshman of the week five times.
He also made second-team All-Big Ten, joining Gary Harris and Shawn Respert as the only freshman to earn all-conference honors since Johnson in 1978.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo emphasized after the game how the prospect of Bridges heading to the NBA was never an issue this season. Instead, he said Bridges was focused on sending the senior class out the right way and winning a championship.
He came up short of winning a title, and while Izzo wasn’t guessing at what Bridges might do, he was quick to praise everything he got from Bridges this season.
“We’re gonna sit down this week and try and figure out roughly where he is at, which means a lot to most people, it won’t mean a lot to Miles,” Izzo said. “Magic could have left and been the No. 1 pick as a freshman and he stayed. Gary Harris could have left and been a lottery pick and stayed another year. What will matter to Miles is what he wants to accomplish and where thinks he is.
“I think Miles will be a very high draft pick, so it will be a decision that he has to make and he gets to make. I’m sure I’ll have some help in that, I’m sure some of our former players will have some help in that, but that’s the other thing that’s been such a treat. I’ve never been around a kid so humble with the way he plays. He can take coaching, take my orneriness, and to do that he has to be a hell of a guy and he was.”