Report: Michigan State to host Butler in 2023 Gavitt Tipoff Games

Jake Lyskawa05/22/23
Article written by:On3 imageJake Lyskawa


Tom Izzo
Tom Izzo and Michigan State will host Butler in the 2023 Gavitt Tipoff Games (Ben Solomon/Getty Images).

East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State will reportedly face Butler in the 2023 Gavitt Tipoff Games, according to Jon Rothstein via Twitter

This is the second time in three seasons that Michigan State and Butler will meet in the Gavitt Games. Michigan State made the trip to Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on the Bulldogs in 2021, winning that game, 73-52. This year, Butler will make a return trip to the Breslin Center.

Michigan State also hosted a Gavitt Tipoff game last season. The Spartans beat Villanova, 73-71, last November, a win that contributed to the Big Ten’s 6-2 victory over the Big East. 

This year’s matchup with Butler will feature the return of former Spartan Pierre Brooks to the Breslin Center. Brooks, a former four-star recruit from Detroit (MI) Douglass High School, averaged 2.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in two seasons with the Spartans before transferring to Butler on April 9. 

Brooks is one of the Bulldogs’ three incoming transfers for the 2023-24 season. Butler is set to lose 10 players to the portal and graduation, however, including its five leading scorers. 

Butler finished 14-18 (6-14) under the command of first-year head coach Thad Matta last season, good for ninth place in the Big East. 

Matta, who coached at Ohio State for 13 seasons (2004-17), was hired by Butler in 2022 to replace LaVall Jordan. Matta played three seasons at Butler (1987-90) before returning to the program as an assistant coach on two separate occasions. Matta also spent one season as head coach of the Bulldogs in 2000-01 before his hiring in 2022. 

Butler’s 2023 recruiting class ranks 63rd in the nation, according to the On3 Industry Rankings. The Bulldogs are bringing in three-star combo guard Finley Bizjack and three-star center Boden Kapke from the high school ranks. 

Michigan State is waiting on the NBA Draft decisions of point guard A.J. Hoggard and shooting guard Jaden Akins. Aside from those two, Michigan State is set to return all of last year’s playing group with the exception of Brooks and forward Joey Hauser

Michigan State’s 2023 recruiting class is ranked sixth in the nation, according to the On3 Industry Rankings. Five-star center Xavier Booker, four-star point guard Jeremy Fears, four-star forward Coen Carr and four-star wing Gehrig Normand make up the class. 

Michigan State is 3-0 all-time in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, dating back to the Spartans’ 76-73 win over Seton Hall in 2019. The Gavitt Tipoff Games are named in honor of Dave Gavitt, who became the first commissioner of the Big East Conference after serving as athletic director of Providence College for 11 years.