COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 30 Indiana State at Michigan State
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Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said Monday that the program is planning to seek a redshirt for freshman guard Jeremy Fears Jr., a former four-star prospect who played in just 12 games before being shot in the leg in late December.

"He's a tremendously quick healer. He was walking, and now he's doing a lot of stuff, he's jogging underwater," said Izzo, who suggested it was not likely he would be back this year. "Does that mean he's going to play this year? No. But does that mean that he's getting better and will have a spring and summer to get well on and improve his skills? Yes."

Because Fears played in just 12 games and is likely to miss all of the second semester as he recovers, he could be eligible for a redshirt. Izzo said the school is "going to try" to apply for the redshirt at some point and feels he has a strong case because of his unique circumstances.

"Right now, I think we've got 40-year-olds playing in some football leagues," Izzo said. "We should be able to petition and get something. His circumstances are more than deserving of that."

Fears was the second-highest ranked signee for Michigan State in its 2023 recruiting class, which ranked No. 7 nationally at 247Sports. The 6-foot-2 combo guard averaged 3.5 points and 3.3 assists per game in an off-the-bench role early in the season before being shot in his left leg just before Christmas in his hometown of Joliet, Illinois. The injuries he sustained were not life-threatening but required surgery and a brief hospitalization. 

Michigan State has managed to make ends meet without its promising freshman after defeating in-state rival Michigan on Saturday to improve to 8-2 in its last 10 games. The Spartans are 10-4 since Fears' injury and a projected No. 8 seed in the latest bracket released Monday by CBS Sports Bracket expert Jerry Palm.