Rocket Watts was a revelation during his freshman season with Michigan State, especially as the Spartans won six of their final seven games to secure a share of the Big Ten crown. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged 17.5 points over the last four contests and threw in 21 during a massive road win over Illinois. Much was expected of him coming into this year and he inherited massive shoes departed by Cassius Winston.
And things didn't go well. At all. Watts' scoring average dipped to 7.7 points as the point guard duties proved a bad fit. His shooting percentage plummeted to 33 percent overall and 25 beyond the arc. There were flashes though, once again turning brilliant in limited doses down the stretch and almost singlehandedly preserving a space in the NCAA Tournament by dropping 21 in the season finale against Michigan.
Rumors of his departure were not quiet and therefore no one was too surprised when his name hit the transfer portal today. With three years of eligibility remaining and the ability to get buckets in bunches, he's an attractive piece for a team capable of using him as an off-ball guard. Or that operates in a system with more free-flowing chaotic energy than Tom Izzo's expansive play sheet allows.
Like Florida State.
Watching the Seminoles get dismantled by Michigan on Sunday, it was clear that they could use a player comfortable playing in a looser structure who can create his own shot from distance and while driving to the hoop. Throw in a seemingly endless list of athletic bigs who could be on the other end of alley-oops and, baby, you've got a stew going.
Now that Watts has made his decision to transfer, it certainly feels as though Florida State has to be near the top of his list as the fit would be perfect. He chose Michigan State over FSU and Louisville three years ago so there's long been mutual interest.
A change of scenery and roles would could really unlock potential that's clearly there.