Freshman will resume play in 2004-05

Former Michigan State freshman point guard Brandon Cotton is transferring to Detroit after playing in only three games because of a stress fracture in his foot, ESPN.com has learned Friday.

Cotton, a McDonald's All-American who was expected to be the starting point guard, will receive a full release from Michigan State. He'll be eligible to play midseason in 2004-05. Cotton is in class and will be practice the rest of the season.

"To me, it's a sad situation because I think a lot of people got in his ear, and as I told you before, he's had a variety of personal problems and he's had the injury," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said last week.

"I think a lot of things happened that were not related to us or our team," Izzo said. "That's all I can tell you right now. I don't know exactly what he's going to do. He's not here as a player right now. I guess if he comes back and goes to school and it worked out for him, that's his [choice]."

Freshmen who transfer fall under the national letter of intent rule. If Michigan State didn't release him, he would have to sit out two seasons and lose both of them. By the time he would be eligible, he would be a senior. If the Spartans had given him a partial release, he would have to sit out two semesters, but the two would count as his sophomore season.

Since Michigan State intends to give him a full release, he will be like most four-year transfers and be eligible at mid-season 2004-05 as a sophomore without losing eligibility.

The Spartans need a reliable point guard and were counting on Cotton to be there from the outset of the season but his injury set him back.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. Click here to send Andy a question for possible use on ESPNEWS.