Michigan State Basketball: 5 Dream Recruiting Scenarios for Spartans in 2014
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Tom Izzo certainly lands gems, but he doesn't always get the top-rated recruits on a year-in, year-out basis.
And that's quite surprising, considering the fact that Izzo-led teams are always in the mix for a Final Four.
But what if he did next year?
Instead of heading into 2013-14 with a 5-star, can't-miss player such as Parker, Izzo was forced to wait until 2014 for the mother load.
With Tyus Jones, Jahlil Okafor and Cliff Alexander considering the Spartans, Izzo could have his ideal haul in the near future. As the top three targets for Michigan State, getting commitments from Jones, Okafor and Alexander would be of historical significance for Spartans recruiting.
It's time to entertain a few ideal scenarios.
Okafor and Jones Aren't Package Deal
Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor want to play for the same school.
But what if they change the plan? What if Jones decides he wants to become the next great point guard at Michigan State?
Spartans coach Tom Izzo's ways with guards are nothing short of incredible. A staple of a true Spartans powerhouse, a strong point guard has defined the Izzo era.
Jones, a 6'1", 170-pound 2014 prospect, is the No. 1-ranked player of 2014, per 247Sports. The 5-star Apple Valley Senior (St. Paul, Minn.) point guard would likely start immediately.
At 6'10" and 270 pounds, Okafor, star center at Chicago Whitney Young Magnet, is the No. 2 overall prospect of 2014. He's the No. 1 center of the class.
Getting Okafor would be one of two best-case scenarios for replacing senior Adreian Payne, a Big Ten Player of the Year-caliber big man.
If split, the odds of Izzo getting one of the two increase. As long as Jones and Okafor are a tandem, Izzo's chances aren't great. Whether one-and-done, or two-and-through, Jones and Okafor could have instant impacts at Michigan State.
Kevon Looney Says 'Yeah' When It's Time to Commit
Kevon Looney has been in and out of Spartans recruiting talk.
And judging by this tweet from ESPNU's Paul Biancardi, Looney's back in the mix.
Just received a call from @Loon_Rebel5 who has officially cut his list to 6: Duke ,Florida ,Michigan State , Tennessee UCLA and Wisconsin— Paul Biancardi (@PaulBiancardi) August 1, 2013
Looney is the No. 9 player of 2014, per 247Sports. The 6'9", 208-pounder is the No. 2 small forward of his class and touts a familiar 5-star rating.
Getting a top-10 player would be ideal for Izzo. Should Okafor and Jones go elsewhere, Looney could headline 2014.
Looney wouldn't be the solution to replace Payne with, but he would add athleticism to the front court. By time he arrived at Michigan State, he'd likely be paired with 2013 recruit Gavin Schilling, who'd be a sophomore, or forward Matt Costello, who'd be a junior.
Devin Booker Joins Looney at MSU
Assuming that Okafor and Jones are off the table, Izzo may choose to aggressively pursue shooting guard Devon Booker, who would be an excellent complement to Looney's skill set.
Looney has been compared to NBA superstar Kevin Durant. At this point, most high-end recruits have been loosely likened to a top pro. That's how it goes.
If Looney has a sliver of Durant's skill, the Spartans could have have an in-and-out combination to fear—something like what Gary Harris and Branden Dawson could be in 2013.
With Devin Booker, the No. 6 shooting guard of 2014, the Spartans would get another athletic scorer with the ability to attack the basket. Filling Harris' spot—not necessarily "replacing" him—would be taken care of.
Watch the accompanying YouTube video. Booker's quickness to the rim stands out immediately.
Cliff Alexander Chooses Izzo, MSU
Chicago Curie 5-star F Cliff Alexander (Photo: 247Sports)
Sometimes, message boards are right.
Sometimes, they're wrong.
Depending on the validity of the claims made by commenters of an Illini forum, Cliff Alexander's top three will be Illinois, Kansas and Michigan State, with Kansas winning the race.
But let's say that information isn't correct. Let's say Alexander, the No. 10 player of 2014, per 247Sports, chooses the Spartans.
He could be there with Okafor and Jones, or he could join Looney and Booker. With the 2013 class more experienced, pairing together any combination of Booker and Okafor or Looney and Alexander would be ideal for any coach.
Per MLive.com's Diamond Leung, Alexander has entertained the thought of being the next Payne at Michigan State.
Jabari Transfers to MSU
In a crazy turn of events, Jabari Parker has a change of heart. Instead of playing at Duke, he asks to be released so he can enroll at Michigan State.
Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski gladly OKs the move. No sitting out. It's perfect. K calls Izzo with the good news and wishes Parker well.
The Spartans have room for Parker, who joins Alexander and Jones.
Wait, Booker and Okafor.
Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan State Spartans basketball writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81