Michigan State Basketball: Ranking Tom Izzo’s top 10 recruiting classes

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Oct 24, 2014; Memphis, TN, USA; Miami Heat guard Andre Dawkins (24) guards Memphis Grizzlies guard Kalin Lucas (27) during the game at FedExForum. Miami Heat beat Memphis Grizzlies 98 – 104. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sport

2. Class of 2007

This was probably the most talked about class for Izzo in his career, but still not the No. 1 overall, in my opinion. It was loaded with three four-stars in Chris Allen, Durrell Summers and Kalin Lucas and a three-star preferred walk-on in the form of Austin Thornton. The 2007 group was a very guard-heavy one as the only player who played anything other than the one or two was Summers who could play a little small forward.

Thornton was the least celebrated of the class as he was asked to be a walk-on by Izzo and he showed some solid potential. Austin was nearly non-existent through his first three years with the team, but then caught fire his senior season in a surge that came out of nowhere and surprised everyone, finishing that year with 5.2 points per game while shooting nearly 48 percent — from three-point range. He became a dead-eye shooter and averaged 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds per game in four years.

Allen played just three years at Michigan State before transferring to Iowa State for his senior year for reasons unknown. Allen was also a shooting mastermind as he was brought in as an athlete as well as a deep threat. He shot 35 percent from three-point range as a Spartan while averaging 7.7 points and 2.1 rebounds.

Summers was an athletic freak and I, for one, can say that the hype for him was immense. Durrell brought fear to his opponents because when he was on his game, there was absolutely no stopping him. The 6-foot-5 guard wowed fans with his unreal hops and his ability to fly down the court for alley-oops on the regular. Summers was vital to Michigan State’s two Final Four runs during his time, but it’s sad that his career ended on a sour note with a somehow 19-15 team that was knocked out in the first round in 2011. Summers’ final line: 9.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

Since he left the program, many people were calling for Kalin Lucas’ number to be retired. Although he never won a championship, the point guard made some strides at greatness, even coming back from an Achilles injury to look as good as ever. Lucas led this team to a Final Four while sitting out with an injury during the team’s other national semifinal run. He finished his career just four points short of 2,000 as he averaged 14.2 points and 4.0 assists, never averaging less than 10 points per game during his four-year stint.

This class will go down as one of the most celebrated in MSU history, not just in Tom Izzo’s time.

Next: 1. Class of 2000

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