Michigan State Basketball: Tom Izzo’s 2016 recruiting future looks bright


As previously written about on Spartan Avenue, Tom Izzo landed Caleb Swanigan, a five-star center and gem of the 2015 recruiting class. Swanigan adds to an already strong class that consists of four-star Kyle Ahrens, four-star Matt McQuaid and five-star big man Deyonta Davis. Davis and Swanigan will be a down-low duo for Michigan State basketball unlike any other in history. The former is similar to Andre Hutson, and the latter to Zach Randolph but never before has Izzo had “Hutson-esque” and “Randolph-esque” players on court at the same time.

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Fans and recruiting experts are hailing this as Izzo’s last surge to win a national title before the end of a Hall of Fame coaching career. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. If Swanigan and Davis are the “thunder” to Izzo’s team, expect the 2016 recruiting class to be the lightning. Izzo was not joking when he said “we’re going to build an empire” at MSU

There are two important recruits that Izzo is heavily recruiting for 2016: Josh Jackson and Cassius Winston.

Cassius Winston: a 6-foot-1, 177-pound point guard from University of Detroit Jesuit High School. Izzo has been high on Winston from day one and has offered him along with a handful of other Big Ten teams. In his junior year, Winston averaged 25 points per game and showed the ability to play college ball on the big stage. Winston has tremendous speed and incredible basketball knowledge for his age. If Izzo could land Winston expect him to take over the point guard spot once Tum Tum Nairn graduates.

Josh Jackson: Jackson is the gem of the 2016 recruiting class and until now did not seem a feasible recruit for Izzo. It has been rumored that Jackson likes MSU but most likely will not attend the university; the same was said about Swanigan. After Swanigan’s commitment it has been proven that any recruit interested in Izzo has a great chance at coming to MSU. Jackson is another hometown player, residing from Southfield, Mich. At 6-foot-6, 184 pounds, he is rated as a five-star recruit and the third best player in the 2016 recruiting class. Jackson is a more refined version of Shannon Brown; he has tremendous athleticism with fantastic handles and a deadly step back jumper. If he commits to MSU, there is no doubt he will be starting on day one.

Miles Bridges, Nick Ward and Josh Langford: Jackson might be a long-shot as of right now as he’s one of the top-five recruits in the entire class. These three guys are all five-stars and will have a shot to fight for one or two open spots when the 2015-16 season has wrapped up and the class is starting to take shape. Bridges is an athletic wing man that reminds people of this year’s Justise Winslow from Duke. Ward is a solid post presence that some have also compared to Andre Hutson. Langford is a very versatile combo guard who can put the ball on the floor and drive as well as grab boards and put up monster point totals in the process.

A future starting lineup of Winston, Jackson, Clark, Swanigan, and Davis is unfathomable. It would be hard to bet against this team in any games and they would be an easy to favorite to win the Big Ten and national title.

Ultimately, it proves that Izzo hasn’t lost his passion for basketball, or more importantly for recruiting. For the last couple years, people have critiqued coach on the basis that he has not brought in enough top talent. Although justified, this proves the way Izzo recruits: cleanliness. He will never go out of his way to win a prima donna and he will never go through handlers, agents, bagmen, etc., to win a coveted player.

Anytime Izzo loses out on a player, give him the benefit of the doubt because he turns it around with a class of Swanigan and Davis, and a possible class of Winston and Jackson with possibilities of Bridges, Ward or Langford to go with.

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