Predicting the Next Wave of Michigan State Basketball Stars

Matt OveringContributor IIIOctober 5, 2012

Draymond Green will be missed.
Draymond Green will be missed.Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Michigan State fans have heard some form of the following statement too many times: Draymond Green will be tough to replace. But if you know Tom Izzo, you know he has the next set of Michigan State stars lined up.

You'll notice some familiar names on this list. Some of these players are already in East Lansing for the start of the 2012-13 season. I'm predicting they'll stick around at least one more year to become a "star" for the Michigan State Spartans.

But first, we'll look at the best recruit in the 2013 class: Jabari Parker.

Parker has long been linked to the Michigan State program, partly because of his location and partly because the school seems to be a perfect fit.

His size (6'8") makes him an ideal 3.5 at the college level. He'd be able to play the small forward or power forward position, and that type of versatility is what Izzo loves. Think of a leaner, more athletic Draymond Green, but with similar ball skills.

He's a revolutionary talent that has enjoyed a relatively quiet recruitment thus far. But Michigan State is consistently predicted as one of Parker's top choices. If he chose Michigan State, there is no doubt he'd be a star in 2013-14.

Chances are, Parker would be a one-and-done player, but if he stayed longer, he would cement his legacy as one of the best Spartans ever. 

So who would he join in his single season as a college basketball player?

Two freshmen, Denzel Valentine and Gary Harris, should be back in 2013-14 when Parker arrives.

Valentine isn't ranked as high as Harris or Parker, but his passing ability has drawn strong reviews.

Continue to hear tremendous things about Michigan State freshman Denzel Valentine. Unbelievable feel. May be Spartans' best passer.

— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 14, 2012


We'll see just how great his point skills are this season, but if the hype is any indication, Valentine will play point guard in the future for Michigan State.

As for Harris, he too has received his fair share of hype. He's the highest-ranked player to enter East Lansing since Kalin Lucas in 2007. 

He'll be a star in his first season under Izzo, but will it also be his last? Harris has the talent to play in the NBA, but he would have the chance to create a "dream team" of sorts if he stayed and played with Parker (if Parker chose MSU). 

The trio of Valentine, Harris and Parker has Spartan fans salivating, and we're still over 12 months away from seeing Parker in action. Valentine has the passing ability to feed two scorers in Harris and Parker. Their size (Valentine is 6'5", Harris is 6'4" and Parker is 6'8") would make them a formidable trio for any team to match up against.

Fortunately, Valentine and Harris will be in action soon. Midnight Madness is Oct. 12.