Michigan State Basketball: Travis Trice was massive Izzo success story

Travis Trice, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Travis Trice, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Former Michigan State basketball star Travis Trice came to East Lansing as a three-star recruit but he clearly surpassed expectations.

Travis Trice came to Michigan State with little fanfare. He was the lowest-rated of all Michigan State signees in the class of 2011, joining Branden Dawson, Dwaun Anderson and Brandon Kearney.

Early on, he had a role as a shooter off the bench, averaging 17.2 minutes as a freshman and 18.6 as a sophomore with no starts through his first two seasons. He shot over 40 percent from deep through those first two seasons but didn’t have much of an offensive game inside the arc. He averaged 4.5 points and then 4.8 points per game.

And then as a junior, the Spartans needed him to step up as he averaged a career-best 22.3 minutes per game to go along with 7.3 points and 2.3 assists. He was slowly developing into a solid starter — he started eight games as a junior.

Not many saw his breakout as a senior coming, doubling his point production (15.3 points), assists (5.3) and rebounds (3.2) while shooting 40 percent from the floor and 37 percent from deep. He was relied upon heavily, averaging over 33 minutes per game.

His career went from on par with expectations to smashing them.

Final Four run defined Trice’s Michigan State basketball career

Trice’s senior year was fantastic, no doubt, but it may have gone without much of a second thought if not for a Final Four run. That 2014-15 Final Four run defined his Michigan State career, turning him into a fan favorite in just a few months.

After losing to Wisconsin in the 2015 Big Ten Tournament title game behind one of his worst efforts of the season, Trice put together a legendary NCAA Tournament.

In fact, he averaged 19 points and 4.2 assists per game. He also shot 43 percent from the floor and 38 percent from deep. He was responsible for leading upsets over the likes of Virginia, Oklahoma and Louisville before falling short against Duke in the Final Four.

Trice finished his Michigan State career with 1,135 yards and 387 assists while shooting 40 percent from deep. He carved out a heck of a four-year run as an undersized point guard and even got a shot in the pros with the G-League and overseas. He wasn’t expected to do much coming in as a forgotten recruit in the Midwest, but he became the Spartans’ most successful 2011 signee.

Not too shabby of a career for the former three-star point guard and No. 207 overall prospect in the 2011 class with no major program offers outside of Michigan State.

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