As regular readers have no doubt deduced, I don’t know much about recruiting (sing this to the tune of “Don’t Know Much About History” by Herman’s Hermits). Prior to the creation of this blog, I paid almost no attention to it. I don’t subscribe to Rivals or Scout. And I find the whole notion of following 16- and 17-year olds’ every AAU performance, public statement, and Facebook profile update fairly creepy. (As opposed to having one’s emotional well-being riding on the athletic performances of 18- and 19-year old college students, which is a perfectly sane activity, right?).
I now, however, feel some obligation to know a little about what’s going on in terms of the Michigan State basketball recruiting scene. Plus what else is there to talk about for seven months of offseason?
So I thought we’d do a little group project and see if, between the lot of us, we can piece together what the MSU’s recruiting strategy is (or should be) going forward. Let’s review the situation:
- Looking at the projected roster, Izzo had up to four scholarship slots for 2009. Two of those slots are taken by the verbal commitments of big men Garrick Sherman and Derrick Nix.
- If all four 2009 slots were used, there’d be two slots for 2010. (I’m assuming Isaiah Dahlman is not going to do a mid-career redshirt.) One of those slots is filled by the verbal commitment of guard Keith Appling.
- So, at the moment, there’s two slots remaining that could be used for either 2009 or 2010 and one additional slot for 2010.
- Per Joe Rexrode, the two guys on the radar for 2009 are 6-7 forward Jamil Wilson of Racine, Wis., and 6-6 forward Roger Franklin of Duncanville, Texas.
- And the top guys on the radar for 2010 are 6-3 guard Trey Zeigler of Mount Pleasant, 6-9 center Alex Gauna of Eaton Rapids, 6-8 forward Jon Horford of Grand Ledge and 6-7 shooting guard Russell Byrd of Fort Wayne, Ind.
Regarding the two 2009 candidates:
- Wilson has “narrowed” his list to seven schools: Duke, Kentucky, Marquette, Michigan State, Oregon, Purdue and Texas (alphabetical order; no Badgers, who appear to have used up all their scholarships). He doesn’t plan to announce his choice until next March, to honor the anniversary of mother’s death.
- Sam Webb provides the low down on Franklin in today’s Detroit News. Franklin is currently ranked the #49 propsect in the nation by Scout.com; his list of schools is Indiana, Arizona, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Michigan State (with MSU making a late push). He appears to be a thoroughly Tom Izzo-sort of player:
“The first thing that sticks out about Roger Franklin is his consistency,” [Scout.com analyst Evan] Daniels said. “Night in and night out you know he is going to hit the glass, knock down mid-range jumpers, and play defense. He’s the ultimate glue guy. He’s expanded his game to the point where he can play on the wing full-time. He brings a lot of attributes to the table, but his biggest goal every time out is to get the victory. Every college program needs a tough, hard-nosed guy like him that will do whatever it takes to win.”
Coffee Talk Question(s): So, Spartans Weblog faithful, what happens to the three scholarship slots available over the next two years? Would Izzo take both Wilson and Franklin–who both seem to be “tweeners” at the 3/4 spots? Who should the priorities be for 2010? What should be/is Izzo’s overall strategy?
I’m confident at least a few of you can offer more educated guesses than I can to these questions.
Back to the here and now (or at least the here and five months from now): Northwestern Wins (which is not, in fact, a Northwestern blog) gives us his predicted order of finish in the Big Ten. He likes MSU to beat out Purdue for the conference championship and is (relatively) high on Michigan and Northwestern.
Regarding our presumed rivals for the Big Ten crown, the Boilermakers are currenly touring down under; Boiled Sports reports that E’Twaun Moore is putting up big numbers.
Having seen no recent news about the Candadian tour that MSU was planning to take over Labor Day at one point, I’m assuming that’s now dead. Maybe the Roe/Lucious injuries made Izzo think this wasn’t the year to use up their touring privileges?