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

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Apr 10, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) reacts during the first half against the Utah Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

1. Class of 2000

Does this class count since it was the class of 2000? Of course it does, I am ranking all of the classes since the championship team in 1999-2000. This one may have been a bit forgotten because the two players who were committed for the class of 2000 were both top-10 national recruits who were also named McDonald’s All-Americans.

This was the first of three occasions that Izzo had lured two McDonald’s All-Americans — the other two aren’t on this list because I’m not counting the recent 2015 class nor did I add the class with Shannon Brown and Brandon Cotton because the latter did not remain with the Spartans for more than a season due to minimal play and a transfer.

Marcus Taylor was a highly-regarded point guard from Lansing Waverly and was one of the best in the entire class at his position. He started his freshman year with high hopes, but it was his sophomore season in which he really took off, averaging 16.8 points and 5.3 assists per game. It was after his sophomore year that he thought he was ready for the NBA and declared early, much to the surprise of Izzo and the rest of Spartan Nation. However, he didn’t really pan out at the next level and was a flash in the pan of MSU basketball history despite being Michigan’s Mr. Basketball.

Zach Randolph was easily the most successful player of the class, finishing his Michigan State playing career after a mere one season. Randolph was the MVP of the McDonald’s All-American Game, finishing with 23 points and 15 rebounds as the future looked very bright in East Lansing immediately following a national title in 2000. With the addition of the bruising big man, it looked like a second straight national championship was likely, but the team fell just short as it made a Final Four and nothing more. Randolph’s one season looked like this: 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest.

This seems to be a class forgotten.

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