Michigan State Basketball: 5 Reasons Why MSU's Lack of Recruits Isn't a Big Deal

Sean MerrimanCorrespondent IFebruary 21, 2013

1. Derrick Nix is the only notable senior on the roster

If Michigan State was losing several players after this season, then the Spartans' lack of recruits for the 2013 class would certainly be a larger concern.

But, assuming all the sophomores and juniors come back next season, Derrick Nix will be the only notable player gone next year.

Now, of course, Nix is a big-time player for this MSU team. He is a huge presence down low on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. But it's not like Jabari Parker or James Young, two guys who MSU went after in this 2013 class, would be playing Nix's position anyway next season.

With only one senior on the roster, MSU should be in good shape either way in 2013-14 and beyond.

2. There are still possibilities out there

Tom Izzo lost out on the top prize of this class, Chicago Simeon's Jabari Parker. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Izzo and the Spartans are going to come up empty-handed in this class.

One notable player who MSU is currently going after is 6'9" forward Gavin Schilling of Findlay Prep.

According to Rivals.com, Schilling is a 3-star prospect who is also considering Minnesota, UCLA and Villanova, along with Michigan State.

If you take a look at Schilling's YouTube highlight tape, you will see a kid that is raw, but extremely athletic and talented. A few years under Tom Izzo's watch, and this kid could be a star in the making.

Another possibility is Jonathan Williams III, who the Spartans recruited hard before his commitment to Missouri back in September. However, with the possible compliance allegations facing Frank Haith, is it possible that Williams re-opens his recruitment before signing day?

At this point, we can only wait and see. Either way, there are certainly options out there for Michigan State.

3. MSU's 2014 recruiting class has a chance to be special

If you think going after Jabari Parker was a big deal in 2013, take a look at who Tom Izzo and the Spartans' coaching staff are going after the following year.

Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander are all consensus top-10 prospects in the 2014 class, and Michigan State looks to be in on all three of them.

In fact, rivals.com lists Okafor, Jones and Alexander as the No. 1, 2 and 4 prospects in the nation.

Rivals.com also lists Michigan State as the early leader for Alexander, while Okafor and Jones are expected to come as a package deal, and both have MSU listed among their college choices.

If MSU can land all three of these guys, this would be the highest-rated class ever in Tom Izzo's time at Michigan State, and certainly make a few fans forget about missing out on Jabari Parker.

4. Emergence of Matt Costello

Several folks around the Michigan State program were confused when Tom Izzo elected not to redshirt freshman forward Matt Costello this season.

Oh, how the tables have turned.

Costello has come on strong as of late and appears to have emerged as the top big-man reserve for the Spartans this season. He was exceptional in the Spartans' big win over Michigan last week and played more valuable minutes in the close loss to Indiana on Tuesday.

Losing Derrick Nix will hurt next season, make no doubt about it. But it makes it a little easier knowing that the Spartans have a good, young player in Costello, who should be ready to step up and fill that void in 2013.

Costello's emergence, along with Adreian Payne, Alex Gauna and redshirt freshman Kenny Kaminski, should give the Spartans some solid frontcourt depth next season, regardless of what recruits they could have or do end up landing in this 2013 class.

5. Izzo knows who he wants

For those of you who haven't figured this out yet, Tom Izzo has a very specific criteria for the players he recruits. Most importantly, they have to fit his standards, which includes wanting to be at Michigan State.

James Young, the nation's No.10-ranked prospect in the 2013 class, plays his high school basketball just over an hour away from East Lansing. But throughout this entire recruiting process, you never really saw or read about Izzo going hard after Young. I'd have to believe that's because the love wasn't mutual.

Young was extremely high on Kentucky from the very start of his recruitment, and it just seemed like MSU was always a second option with him. The same can be said for a guy like Demetrius Jackson as well.

Izzo knows the types of players he wants, and in this class, he really wanted Parker, but ultimately lost out to Duke.

There will be plenty more recruiting battles in 2014 with Michigan State and other elite programs such as Duke, Kentucky and Kansas.

You can count on that.


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