Michigan State Basketball: How Each Top Recruiting Target Fits Spartans' Offense

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IIJuly 14, 2013

Michigan State Basketball: How Each Top Recruiting Target Fits Spartans' Offense

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    Set on getting Cliff Alexander, Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor committed to the 2014 class, coach Tom Izzo is trying to assemble one of the most talented groups to ever play for the Michigan State Spartans. 

    Their upsides evident, each 5-star prospect would push Izzo closer to his second national title. 

    Analyzing where they'd fit into the puzzle isn't all that difficult. Jones, an incredibly talented point guard, would be one of the finest floor generals Izzo has ever had. 

    The two bigs, Okafor and Alexander, would give him the frontcourt he's been looking for.

    With three available scholarships, Izzo wants to find the best talent for each opening. Alexander, Jones and Okafor are that. 

Tyus Jones, PG

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    Mateen Cleaves, Kalin Lucas and Drew Neitzel epitomized Spartans point men. They were also key to Final Four appearances. 

    Tyus Jones, Apple Valley High School's 5-star sensation, would be a perfect fit for Izzo's guard-driven offense. 

    Being Michigan State's ball-handler comes with responsibility, but it also comes with reward. Cleaves, Lucas and Neitzel were All-Big Ten; Jones would get the national recognition that accompanies being one of the top players in the land and get a go at a national title. 

    At 6'1" and 170 pounds, the St. Paul, Minn., player is just about there in terms of size. According to 247Sports, he's the No. 1 prospect of 2014. He's great off the dribble, not afraid of contact (he's no tank like Cleaves, though) and has impressive passing abilities. 

    This would a no-lose situation. Izzo knows how to groom guards, so getting the top-ranked guard makes things easier. There probably won't be a learning curve along the way, either. Jones is ready for the big time right now. 

Jahlil Okafor, C

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    The Spartans haven't had many dominant big men under Izzo. With the exception of Paul Davis, most of the centers have been average. 

    That would change with Jahlil Okafor, the No. 1-ranked center of 2014 from Chicago. 

    Whitney M. Young Magnet High School's 6'10", 270-pound, 5-star force in the paint wants to play with Jones. 

    They really want to do that. It's not just talk. It's been a plan for years. 

    They have their pick of the litter. Michigan State may not be the overwhelming favorite at the moment. But imagine that tandem. The Breslin Center would rumble from tip to final. 

    Okafor would be like senior Adreian Payne with slightly more power and punch. In a similar fashion as Payne, Okafor would be one of the country's elite centers. However, Okafor wouldn't have to wait until his senior year to lay claim to that title. 

    No, he'd be that immediately. 

Cliff Alexander, PF/C

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    Cliff Alexander's game has a mixture of Adreian Payne, Derrick Nix and Delvon Roe. 

    Obviously, Payne has been incredibly successful during the past two seasons. When healthy, Roe was a valuable contributor. Through no fault of his own, bum knees kept Roe from emerging as the 5-star phenom he was predicted to be. Nix, although inconsistent throughout four years, developed into a solid big man as a senior. 

    Barring injury and other unforeseen issues, Alexander, Curie Metropolitan High School's top option, could be a 3-in-1 solution for Izzo's offense. 

    Alexander's athleticism would allow him to be a rebounding savant like Payne. His power is comparable to that of a healthy Roe, and his physicality would be welcomed now that Nix is long gone. 

    Whether it be as a power forward or center, Alexander seems to be the best overall fit. He's the No. 10 player of 2014, so Izzo would get a polished gem to work with. 


    Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan State Spartans basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81