Michigan State Basketball: How Bryn Forbes Would Change 2014-15 Outlook

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Michigan State Basketball: How Bryn Forbes Would Change 2014-15 Outlook
Associated Press
In what was perhaps his best collegiate game, Bryn Forbes scored 22 points versus then-No. 3-ranked Kentucky on Nov. 25, 2013. He also had five boards and hit 11 of 11 from the FT line.

As far as shooters and scorers are concerned, Bryn Forbes is about as pure as they come—and luckily for Michigan State, the former Lansing Sexton star decided to return home and play for Tom Izzo.

Next year, though, he’s not supposed to be eligible until 2015-16. But the 6’3”, 175-pound transfer from Cleveland State is worth the wait.

However, according to Spartan Mag’s Paul Konyndyk, Forbes could debut earlier than anticipated. The well-respected insider communicated with program officials Thursday, confirming that there is a decent shot of Forbes clearing hardship waivers and suiting up in 2014-15.  

Yes, this year.

“I assume he’s going to get a waiver,” Konyndyk said during an interview with Sports in the Mitten. “I just don’t see how he can’t. He’s got as good of a case for a waiver as anybody that’s appealing for one…I think he’s going to play this year.”

Of course, the intimate details of Forbes’ waiver process haven’t been made public and probably won’t be for weeks. But he does present a compelling case to the NCAA, one that would make it difficult to deny his request: He has a nearly one-year-old son and an ill family member in the Lansing area.

During an interview with MLive.com’s Mike Griffith posted on July 23, Forbes said: “I’m still waiting to hear; hopefully next month.”

Well, Bryn, if you’re reading this, it sounds like things could be a go, so plan on getting ready to run with your former Sexton teammate Denzel Valentine, Branden Dawson, Lourawls “Tum-Tum” Nairn, Matt Costello and, among others, Travis Trice.

 

What Forbes Brings

The word “sweet” immediately comes to mind when analyzing Forbes’ shot. He’s smooth. His mechanics appear nearly flawless—although there is no perfect shooter—and he has a wonderful release. Basically, he’s a model specimen, all the way down to elbow and hand placement, lift and weight distribution.

"Bryn is one of the best shooters I've ever seen, hands down,'' Trice told Griffith. "That ability he has to shoot the ball will really space the floor.''

In 2013-14, Forbes averaged 15.6 points per game, putting him at No. 5 overall in the Horizon League. He also shot .826 from the line (No. 5) and .424 from long range (No. 4). Whether or not he can do that in the Big Ten remains to be seen, but people aren’t raving about him without ample cause. 

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His scoring ability and range could, in part, make up for the loss of Kenny Kaminski, who was recently dismissed because he didn’t want to follow team guidelines. Of course, Forbes won’t fill Kaminski’s role on the glass—that just means he has to make more shots to avoid that issue all together.

He's nimble enough to be a great option on the run, too. Imagine a Trice-led charge with Forbes and Branden Dawson on the wings. And since he can drive, defenses will have to respect him inside as well. Slashing, darting, screening and ducking, Forbes is the type of guy who pops up from thin air and knocks down shots. 

Personnel-wise, Forbes is already somewhat familiar, giving him a leg up on the standard transfer. Much like Brandon Wood, who transferred from Valparaiso in 2011-12, Forbes has friends who play for Michigan State. Of course, he knows Valentine, but he's also acquainted with other members of the team. 

He's switching one green jersey for another, and that's about it. It doesn't sound like he'll experience culture shock. Quite the opposite really. In all likelihood, it'll be similar to a homecoming. And he's a great fit for the backcourt, which just lost Keith Appling and Gary Harris. 

Forbes' presence this year wouldn't dramatically increase the Spartans' chances of success, but it wouldn't hurt it. He'd add great scoring and, more importantly, another body to roster. He's enough to bump up Michigan State at least half of a rung on the conference ladder. 

Far from the typical, all-around threat, there are weaknesses in Forbes' game. Not many, but there are one or two, with the primary knock being strictly physical—as in, he needs to gain weight and strength so he can play better defense. He’s not a bad defender, but he needs to stack on a few pounds in order to take beatings in the Big Ten.

And in Izzo’s practices, which have been known to get football-ish.

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

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