Rocket Watts transferring from Michigan State to Mississippi State

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

Rocket Watts has gone from one MSU to another.

The former Michigan State guard from Detroit, who entered the NCAA transfer portal after the end of the 2020-21 season, announced Saturday on Instagram that he has committed to Mississippi State.

Watts is the fourth Spartan to find a new team. Guard Foster Loyer has committed to Davidson while forward Thomas Kithier is headed to Valparaiso. Former walk-on guard Jack Hoiberg will play next season at Texas-Arlington.

Rocket Watts and Michigan State are in the NCAA Tournament.

For Watts, his sophomore season was a difficult one. Trying to make the transition from shooting guard to point guard, missing the summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic limited his progress. He started 15 of 28 games and played well early in the season, scoring in double figures in four of the first five games, including a 20-point outing in a win over Duke and a career-high 23 against Detroit Mercy.

But the consistency never came and Watts finished the season averaging 7.7 points and 2.7 assists while shooting 33.6%, including 25.3% from 3-point range. In two seasons, Watts started 31 of 55 games, averaging 8.4 points and 2.2 assists.

With the Spartans bringing in a highly rated recruiting class of guards — five-star Max Christie along with four-stars Jaden Akins and Pierre Brooks — as well as the transfer of Northeastern point guard Tyson Walker, playing time was going to be hard to come by for Watts. That likely led to his decision to transfer.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @mattcharboneau