Michigan State Basketball Recruiting: Odds for Spartans to Land Top 2015 Targets
The Michigan State Spartans will likely lose at least three starters to the NBA draft, which means that recruiting dynamic classes for 2014 and 2015 is imperative. Luckily for Tom Izzo, a variety of potential difference-makers are strongly considering joining the program in a couple of years.
Currently, just as it has been for a while, Izzo has reeled in one verbal commit, Deyonta Davis. He is adept at knocking down mid-range jumpers and is uniquely crafty for someone of his stature. The 6'8" big man needs to add some bulk to his frame, but he holds true potential under Izzo's tutelage.
Meanwhile, Michigan State has several other interested high school juniors. This slideshow will feature those players' skill sets and current recruitment standings.
Montaque Gill-Caesar has expressed enough interest to lead Michigan State fans to believe he will soon be a Spartan. What is more uncertain, however, is which class he will elect to classify himself with, as he is currently in 2015's class but is considering switching to 2014.
Either way, he is ready for the rigors of Big Ten basketball.
He averages more than 16 points per game for the renowned Huntington Prep basketball program, which just reached the semifinals of a national tournament.
The 6'5" wing loves to slash to the hoop and play above the rim. An outstanding athlete, Gill-Caesar can rise up and dunk on just about anyone.
The high school junior also has a smooth release on his jumper. He jumps off both feet, elevates straight up and shoots with great form. His jump shot needs some work but has the form to develop nicely.
Securing him would be a monumental grab for Izzo and the Spartans, especially considering Gary Harris' probable departure for the NBA. Gill-Caesar has the body type required to play in arguably the country's toughest league as well.
Per 247Sports, he is expected to end up as a Spartan, as 88 percent of the site's experts predict him joining Izzo and Co. Ranked 18th on ESPN's top 60, Gill-Caesar is capable of making a splash upon his arrival wherever he ends up.
Chances are that destination will be East Lansing.
A local product from Saginaw, Michigan, Davis' impressive junior campaign has placed him near the top of the list for Sparty's desired recruits.
At 6'3", he may have trouble guarding bigger, more athletic guys at the shooting guard position, especially with a skinny 172-pound frame. However, he has shown he can run the point. He is an esteemed passer who can run the offense in the half court, utilize his vision to involve teammates and lead the fast break in transition.
Davis is mostly revered for his silky-smooth shooting touch. He effortlessly finds spots in the defense to spot up from the perimeter and kill opponents with his shooting accuracy. While he isn't a jaw-dropping athlete, he is deceptively quick and uses his craftiness to finish well in the lane.
If he can continue to progress as a point guard, then the lanky Davis will provide potential mismatches over his size.
He is basically a guarantee to wind up in East Lansing, according to 247Sports' 12 experts who have predicted his future residency. The consensus was Michigan State.
Securing Davis would be a nice pickup for the Spartans. He and Lourawls Nairn could potentially form a solid backcourt, as Nairn is a breeze in transition and Davis is a steady scorer. Right now, it looks as though that will become a reality.
Manual is ranked 50th on ESPN's top 60 but has the potential to be one of the very best from the class. He is a tremendous leaper and a fluid athlete with fantastic touch around the rim.
He's 6'9" and runs similarly to a wing. He must improve his strength, however, as 215 pounds is far too light for a player of his stature. If he gets stronger and develops more of a consistent mid-range jump shot, he will blossom into one of the great 4s in the class.
Currently, Michigan State appears to be the front-runner for Manuel. He is being closely recruited by in-state foe Michigan, along with N.C. State. He hasn't publicly made many comments that validate his preference toward Michigan State, but that is how it appears.
Manuel isn't a lock to join the green in 2015, but by the current looks of it, Michigan State has the slight edge to gain his services.
Brunson isn't one of Michigan State's most desired recruits, although his 32nd rank in ESPN's top 60 makes it seem like he should be. Currently, Illinois head coach John Groce is strongly pursuing Brunson, as he has been labeled as a "must-get," per Loren Tate of The News-Gazette.
Additionally, Michigan has expressed interest in Brunson, which he has reciprocated. Per 247Sports, he is most likely headed to Ann Arbor, as 64 percent of the site's experts have agreed.
Brunson possesses all of the tools to be an elite point guard at the college level. He's quick but doesn't rush, runs the offense with purpose and shoots the ball effectively from the perimeter.
Considering Michigan State's continued interest in local point guard Eric Davis, who is another top recruit, and its securing of 2014 commit Lourawls Nairn, it's understandable why Brunson isn't so sought after. That point guard void certainly appears to be filling quickly with quality players.
Brunson could sport a green-and-white jersey in 2015, though it appears a couple of other Big Ten foes have the edge.