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Michigan State Basketball: 5 Storylines from Spartans' 2015 Recruiting Trail

Adam BiggersSenior Analyst IIApril 28, 2014

Michigan State Basketball: 5 Storylines from Spartans' 2015 Recruiting Trail

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    Tom Izzo is on the lookout for newcomers.
    Tom Izzo is on the lookout for newcomers.Frank Franklin II

    Tom Izzo didn't get Montaque Gill-Caesar for 2014—but there's a chance that the 5-star shooting guard could be a part of the 2015 class. 

    And that, of course, would be a win on so many levels for the Spartans coach, who's had flirtations with several blue-chippers during the past few seasons. 

    Ranked as the No. 18 player in his class on the 247Sports Composite, Gill-Caesar is the prototypical great-shooting winger with baseline athleticism. At 6'5" and 200 pounds, he'd fit well into the Spartans' plans. 

    However, the Huntington Prep star finds himself entertaining offers from Ohio State, Kansas, Memphis and, among others, West Virginia. Per 247Sports, he has "cool" interest in and no offers from Kentucky or Duke, which are good things for Izzo. 

    But that could change at a moment's notice. 

    Until then, use this slideshow to review some of the most important storylines for Michigan State as Izzo dives deep into recruiting season. 

     

    Unless otherwise noted, all recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports and Verbal Commits

Izzo's Future

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    Will Tom Izzo leave for the NBA? Probably not. But he's entitled to think about it.
    Will Tom Izzo leave for the NBA? Probably not. But he's entitled to think about it.Al Goldis

    This slide will be kept short and sweet.

    Tom Izzo is rumored to be a candidate for the Minnesota Timberwolves' head-coaching job, per Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. And during March Madness, Sam Amick of USA Today reported that Izzo was tied to the Detroit Pistons. 

    Recruits, of course, probably want to know that the coach who sought after them will be the coach who guides them in college. Fair enough. 

    Rumors are rumors, though. Izzo's never left, and it's doubtful that he will any time soon. That being said, these NBA whispers, if not immediately put to rest, could be a factor on the recruiting trail. 

    There's a very small percentage of that being case, however, so don't worry too much about it. 

Commits

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    Thus far, Deyonta Davis of Muskegon High is the lone 2015 commit. 

    At 6'8" and 205 pounds, he's a few pounds away from becoming a sturdy 4 at the collegiate level. He's listed as a center, but he's probably better suited for the power forward position. 

    Davis plays well at the rim, under the rim and anywhere near the rim. He's a finisher who can rebound and score in the post, and he's also a flyswatter. 

    He's not yet a top-100 prospect, but he could crack the rankings this summer:

    #MichiganSt commit Deyonta Davis stood out at EYBL event. 103rd-ranked player in class of '15 averaged 18.7 PPG (77% FG), 7.8 RPG, 1.7 BPG.

    — TerpsRecruiting (@terpsrecruiting) April 27, 2014

     

    5. Deyonta Davis is going to skyrocket up the rankings. http://t.co/stAirrCsSX #BigReds

    — MuskegonBigRedHoops (@HoopsBigReds) April 28, 2014

Trevor Manuel

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    According to Verbal Commits, the Spartans have four open scholarships for 2015 (five total with Davis). 

    Oak Hill's Trevor Manuel is Izzo's top target, per 247Sports. The 4-star power forward once resided in Lansing, so he's quite familiar with the Michigan State program and its coach. 

    The 6'9," 215-pound power forward has caught the eyes of Michigan, Oregon and N.C. State; he's reported to have "warm" interest in each of them, along with the Spartans, who have a 56 percent chance of getting the big man, per 247Sports' Crystal Ball. 

    Wolverines coach John Beilein could end up in a late battle with Izzo, who's been aware of Manuel for the past handful of years. It'll be interesting to see if the hometown ties will be enough for Manuel to choose the Spartans. 

     

Eric Davis

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    Speaking of being aware of players for years, Izzo's had his eyes on Saginaw Arthur Hill's Eric Davis since he could walk. 

    OK, maybe not that long. But it's been a long time, and rightfully so. The 6'3," 172-pound point guard is the No. 1-ranked prospect in Michigan, per 247Sports. He has "warm" interest in the Spartans, who have long been considered as the leaders in the Davis Sweepstakes. 

    Others are giving chase, but they're getting the "cool" shoulder, as Izzo's been in the driver's seat. He has to remain there until he crosses the finish line with Davis, the No. 30-ranked prospect of the upcoming class. 

    2015 4-Star PG Eric Davis Becoming A #MichiganState Regular http://t.co/1En8wv8C2r @spartantailgate pic.twitter.com/smsvllS504

    — Sean Andrew Scherer (@SeanScherer247) January 8, 2014

Shopping for PGs

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    Tum-Tum Nairn enters as the next-gen point man this fall. In all likelihood, he'll be the man Izzo uses to move forward. That's how the story generally goes. 

    Point guards are always important, but for some reason, they're held in a little higher regard in East Lansing than in other places. That's the perception anywayand that's due to those who played in the past. 

    That being said, Eric Davis is a great target. So is Jalen Brunson, a 4-star recruit out of Illinois who is considered one of the best point guards in the nation. Hyron Edwards, a Chicagoland all-star, is an option, too.

    Brunson has "warm" interest in Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State. Edwards doesn't have an offer, according to 247Sports, but he has "warm" interest in the Spartans. He's also looking at Illinois, Indiana, Purdue and Michigan. 

     

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

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