Michigan State Basketball: What's Next for Spartans After Jabari Parker Decision

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - MARCH 22:  Head coach Tom Izzo of the Michigan State Spartans reacts as the Spartans take on the Louisville Cardinals during the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball West Regional Semifinal game at US Airways Center on March 22, 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Elite high school basketball recruit Jabari Parker snubbed Michigan State on Dec. 20 when he announced his decision to commit to the Duke Blue Devils. 

Jabari Parker commits to Duke twitter.com/BleacherReport…

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 20, 2012

Losing out on Parker is a huge setback for Spartans head coach Tom Izzo, whose 2013 recruiting class is not very impressive thus far.

Parker is the fifth-ranked player in his class, according to 247 Sports, and now there are only three players in the top 10 (Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle and Aaron Gordon) that haven't made a decision yet.

Michigan State has no commitments from any high school stars on 247 Sports' list of top recruits for the 2013 class.

This is not good news for Spartans fans, especially considering the fact that in-state rival Michigan already has three commitments from 247 Sports' list.

Even though the Spartans' 2013 class isn't spectacular yet, the amount of top-tier talent on this year's team does give fans reasons for optimism going into next year.

Anytime a bunch of quality players with good experience are being coached by someone of Izzo's caliber, there is a chance to do something special in the NCAA Tournament.

The next step for Izzo is to find recruits who provide the Spartans with impressive size and elite offensive skills at the small forward position, which are two strengths of Parker's game.

If Izzo can bring in a couple solid recruits for next season, it's quite possible that Michigan State could make another Final Four run in March of 2014.

Izzo has shown in the past that he can win without elite recruits coming to East Lansing, so what he needs to do over the next few months is find players who will address his current team's weaknesses and fit his system well.

It's unlikely that Izzo will make a strong effort to bring one of the top 10 recruits still unsigned to Michigan State. According to 247 Sports, the Spartans have not offered Wiggins, Randle or Gordon a scholarship.

The best decision for Izzo would be to focus on the class of 2014 because he already has a strong group of talented players who should be ready for a successful 2013-14 season.