Izzo is reportedly in the hunt for 6’7″ shooting guard Russell Byrd out of Fort Wayne (a 2010 recruit), as is John Beilein. Byrd’s father indicates Iowa is currently the leader, though. This quote from Mr. Byrd is enlightening regarding Izzo’s plans for the next two recruiting classes:
“They said they had three scholarships for that 2010 class and wanted to make sure that he knew that he was one of the three,” Mr. Byrd recalled. “They talked about the point guard. They need a point guard, a shooting guard and a big man. It sounded like they had already made some progress. They seemed pretty high on (Detroit Pershing guard Keith Appling) and they felt like he and Russell would make a pretty good pair in that 2010 class.”
This would seem to indicate Izzo plans to bank one of the four scholarships available for the 2009 class so he’d have three available for the 2010 class. That leaves only one more spot for 2009 then; hard to figure what Izzo does about top target Jamil Wilson, who doesn’t plan to announce his college choice until next March (which isn’t to say, I suppose, that Izzo and the other coaches involved won’t have a good sense what his plans are before then).
Regarding the two 2009 verbal commitments already on board (Garrick Sherman and Derrick Nix), they’re apparently enough for ESPN.com to anoint MSU’s class the 9th best in the country at this early date. Illinois is #2; Purdue is #10.
Izzo recently pontificated on a number of topics at a recent community event in Fort Wayne (a coincidence?). He talked about the tough task ahead for Crean at IU and was pretty blunt regarding the state of college basketball recruiting:
“Cheating’s getting worse,” Izzo said. “Everybody feels they have to get a player for a year and win big. …It’s kind of too fast of a track right now, if you ask me.”
An explanation as to why Steven Lavin–the #1 college basketball commentator in all the land, as judged by the Spartans Weblog–has such an extensive vocabulary: his Dad was an English teacher.
Apparently, Drew Neitzel’s doing OK in Orlando:
Amongst the wings, Drew Neitzel (9 pts, 1 reb) and Robert Vaden (13 pts, 2 reb) shot the ball relatively well, but showed a stark contrast in shot selection. Neitzel did a great job taking what the defensive gave him, while Vaden seemed more content shooting with a hand in his face after a rhythm dribble.
That would be the Robert Vaden formerly of the Indiana Hoosiers and more recently of the UAB Blazers. The Indy Star puts a better spin on Vaden’s offensive performance and quotes Neitzel as follows:
Vaden spent most of his time in the backcourt with Michigan State point guard Drew Neitzel.
“I’ve known Robert since high school. We played against each other in some camps,” Neitzel said. “He’s got the smoothest shot I’ve seen. It’s a lot of fun playing with him because he gets you a lot of assists.”
If you want to be an undersized NBA point guard, I suppose a few assists can’t hurt.
Finally: The “Going on the Fritz” Part
So the plan is to migrate the blog to a paid hosting site over the next week or two. I’d expect this may result in some downtime at some point and that posting will be fairly light. (Do note that I’ve posted three straight days, though, by golly.) I really don’t have a great sense of how this will work. I think this address ought to get you to the existing content during the migration:
Eventually the new whizbang site should be here (note the use of vague “whizbang” modifier since I really can make no promises there will be, you know, actual improvements):
Once everything is up and running, we’ll do some historical research on MSU’s tempo-free tendencies over the years. I know the anticipation will be killing you . . .