With Kenny Kaminski released from the team, the once-limited remaining potential for Tom Izzo's 2015 class has expanded. Now, there are two scholarships available for the prospects within Izzo's sights.
The more scholarship space, the more possibilities.
Izzo was initially in a much more difficult spot with the precariousness of which recruit would fill that void after Eron Harris and Bryn Forbes transferred. State's signal-caller has located several highly targeted high school seniors and extended offers.
Last week, one of those players, Montaque Gill-Caesar, signed on with the Missouri Tigers. That eliminates one prospect on Izzo's radar, with several still remaining.
Given the team's current personnel, Izzo will have to emphasize which recruits are most important to acquire.
In terms of personnel in 2015 and sheer talent level, garnering Caleb Swanigan must be at the top of Izzo's priorities. Not only is he ESPN's highest rated recruit out of MSU's offers, but his skill set also perfectly addresses Sparty's biggest issue: frontcourt talent.
Branden Dawson is the only returning forward from last year's team who played meaningful minutes. Role players Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling also return, but neither played a key role last season. Both players are inexperienced and lack offensive skill.
Skill is certainly present with Swanigan. And so is size.
The 6'8", 275-pound forward imposes his will with physicality. Still developing a solid jump shot, he has a soft touch around the rim and fantastic perception of nearby defenders.
Swanigan seals opponents deep into the paint and finishes right over them. He knows how to use his robust frame to dominate in the post, and his skill around the rim makes him such a difficult cover.
A player with that type of skill set and mindset fits MSU perfectly. Once Dawson graduates after the 2014-15 campaign, State will have to rely on Costello, Schilling and Deyonta Davis, who is Swanigan's AAU teammate and a talented stretch 4.
Despite Davis' potential, that frontcourt needs some help. Swanigan is already a polished post player, something that seems more and more distant in today's guard-dominated world of college and professional basketball.
Think Zach Randolph.
Like Randolph, Swanigan uses his overpowering size and craftiness around the rim to score. Combine his bruising mentality with Davis, who complements him wonderfully, and MSU will have one of the most complete lineups in recent memory.
The guard play will be loaded. If Swanigan is acquired, the frontcourt will boast similar potential, though it won't retain as much depth.
He is evidently the most important target for Izzo because of the team's desperate need for size and talent down low.
Acquiring Brunson after official visit
Jalen Brunson is one of the top point guards in the 2015 class. For a while, Temple was a plausible destination for the 6'2" scorer after his father was hired by the staff.
Brunson's son, Jalen, is considered the top point guard in the Class of 2015 -- and appeared primed to join his dad at Temple.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 31, 2014
But now, it appears as though MSU is back in the running.
According to 247Sports' Crystal Ball Predictions, Brunson is most likely to sign with Michigan State. If this were to happen, MSU would boast one of the most talented backcourts in the nation, if not the deepest.
With Tum Tum Nairn running the point, transfers Harris and Forbes shooting from the perimeter and Denzel Valentine showing his ubiquity on the wing, the guards are already appearing formidable.
But if Brunson, who is arguably more talented than any of the aforementioned names, were to sign, this would be one of Izzo's best backcourts he's ever had.
Brunson can distribute to teammates and run the show. He can certainly light it up as well.
For Izzo, acquiring the necessary fit for his system and personnel situation is often most important. But Brunson is so talented and polished that he would immediately become a dynamic threat on the perimeter, despite the overload of options MSU has.
Izzo's "small-ball" lineup with those mix of players would be deadly. Brunson is reportedly scheduled to visit MSU in the near future.
Jalen Brunson of Stevenson has his fifth and final official visit set. Will head to Michigan State September 19-21— Joe Henricksen (@joehoopsreport) August 9, 2014
The prospect of him joining this loaded backcourt certainly is exciting for Spartan fans.