Michigan State Basketball: All-sharpshooting team from Tom Izzo era

Bryn Forbes, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Bryn Forbes, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Michigan State basketball
Adreian Payne, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) /

Forward/Center: Adreian Payne

Fans and critics were quick to label former blue-chip recruit Adreian Payne a bust after his freshman season at Michigan State. He averaged just 2.5 points in nine minutes per game and looked lost essentially every time he was on the floor.

That all changed from his sophomore to his senior seasons. He also developed one of the best long-range jumpers of any big man Tom Izzo ever had. We could probably call Payne the first floor-stretching big that the Hall of Fame head coach knowingly recruited for that purpose.

Payne didn’t really start feeling comfortable with his long-range jumper until year three as he attempted just three total through his first two seasons.

As a junior, Payne made 38 percent of his threes and then improved on that mark as a senior, making 42 percent. For his career, he finished as a 41 percent 3-point shooter and made 53 percent of his shots from the floor. He was automatic from long-range as a senior and for that reason, he’s a lock in the starting lineup.

Honorable mention: AJ Granger

Through two seasons at Michigan State, AJ Granger shot just 20 total 3-pointers, making only five shots and shooting 25 percent. Then Izzo let him shoot more as a junior and senior and he couldn’t miss. Some might argue he should be on this list, but he was basically a non-factor from deep for two seasons and then he made 23-of-46 (50 percent) threes as a junior and then 45 percent of 109 attempts as a senior. Granger could shoot, it just took too long to figure that out.