Surprising news came out of East Lansing on Monday, when starting guard Rocket Watts entered his name in the transfer portal. He was a key part of Michigan State’s late season run that landed the Spartans in the NCAA Tournament.

A few hours after the first report came from 247Sports, Watts released a statement on his decision. He posted his announcement on Twitter.

Watts just completed his second season with the Spartans, helping extend its March Madness streak to 23 consecutive years.

Watts played in all 28 games for Michigan State during the 2020-21 season and was a key part of the team’s success down the stretch. He averaged 7.7 points, 2.7 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game while logging an average of just under 23 minutes per contest.

In Michigan State’s most pivotal stretch in late February and early March, Watts had two huge performances. In MSU’s 81-72 win over No. 5 Illinois, Watts had 15 points and 5 assists to propel the Spartans to a big win. In the regular season finale against No. 2 Michigan, he had 21 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds in a 70-64 win that essentially locked up the team’s spot in the NCAA Tournament.

Watts scored 9 points, collected 5 rebounds and had 2 assists in Michigan State’s loss to UCLA in the play-in game.

Because the NCAA has granted a blanket waiver to all winter student-athletes, Watts will still have three years of eligibility remaining.