College Basketball
Tom Izzo, Michigan State land big-time scorer in Omaha transfer Frankie Fidler
College Basketball

Tom Izzo, Michigan State land big-time scorer in Omaha transfer Frankie Fidler

Published Apr. 23, 2024 2:43 p.m. ET

After staying away from the transfer portal over the past couple of years, Tom Izzo has made a splash. 

Omaha transfer Frankie Fidler made it official on Tuesday. The 6-foot-7 wing, who was the second-leading scorer in the Summit League this past season, averaging 20.1 points per game, announced his commitment to the Spartans. Fidler shot 45% from the field and 36% from 3-point range this past season, while also posting 6.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for the Mavericks. He gives Izzo a projected starter at small forward and someone who Michigan State can play through on the wing in a new-look offense next year with Tyson Walker, A.J. Hoggard and Malik Hall gone. 

Fidler picked the Spartans over Wisconsin, Nebraska and Creighton, with his visit to East Lansing on April 13 serving as a key cog in the decision process.


Izzo, who has previously been outspoken about portal chaos and elected to go against the college basketball grain in recent seasons, picks up his first transfer in 1,123 days. The last player to transfer to the Spartans from a different college was Walker back in March 2021.

With the way the game has shifted, Izzo had to go into the portal to get an experienced player on the wing.

But what does the acquisition of Fidler mean? It allows rising senior guard and double-figure scorer Jaden Akins to play his natural position at the 2, and gives the Spartans a solid perimeter with rising sophomore Jeremy Fears ready to make a leap at the point guard position.

What's next for the Spartans? Addressing the frontcourt needs. Xavier Booker put on 20 pounds of muscle during the season and started to get more opportunities from Izzo down the stretch, but the 2024-25 season will be time for him to emerge as a regular contributor.

While Jaxon Kohler is back and should take a step forward with another offseason under his belt, it's clear Izzo could use some experience on the interior. The Spartans can play smaller with the versatile Coen Carr, but in order for this team to take that next step, an experienced big man would be a godsend.

But for now, the addition of Fidler comes as welcome news. He led Omaha in points, rebounds and steals (1.2 per game) over the past two seasons and comes off as someone who Izzo can rely upon for perimeter shotmaking and creating mismatches on offense. This is a great momentum-booster for the Spartans heading into 2024-25.

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John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.


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