EAST LANSING, Mich.—Tom Izzo received his third verbal commitment for Michigan State's 2010 class on Thursday. Alex Gauna of Eaton Rapids, Michigan selected the Spartans over a host of other schools.
The athletic, 6-foot-9 power forward played his high school basketball just 23 miles away from the Breslin Center and grew up cheering for the Green and White.
At Eaton Rapids, a Class B school south of East Lansing, Gauna played on varsity for three years. He broke out his sophomore year, averaging 15.4 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 4.2 blocks per game.
Gauna's dominance continued his junior season, when he averaged 16.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks.
His high school coach, Adam Trumpour, compared him to outgoing senior Goran Suton: "He has similar ball skills, he is a good passer, a very good ball handler, and shoots it very well, but also has developed a little nastiness to his game. That has started to come out in him with his back to the basket. He has a chance to be a great rebounder."
Under Tom Izzo, he is expected to bring versatility to the four position. Able to score in bunches and defend the perimeter, Gauna was rated the No. 121 best prospect in the nation by Rivals.com.
He held scholarship offers from Xavier and Northwestern, and received interest from Dayton, Florida, Georgia Tech, Indiana, Louisiana State, Marquette, Minnesota, Northwestern, and Notre Dame.
John Beilein also expressed heavy interest in bringing Gauna to Michigan, but never offered a scholarship after sensing his consistent lack of interest.
He joins two guards in Michigan State's 2010 recruiting class, Keith Appling of Pershing High in Detroit and Russell Byrd of Fort Wayne (Ind.).