Michigan State Basketball: Building Tom Izzo’s perfect Spartan basketball player

Cassius Winston, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Cassius Winston, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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Michigan State basketball
Miles Bridges, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images) /

Athleticism: Miles Bridges

This was the toughest one to choose on my list. There have been more than enough freak athletes under Tom Izzo and it really came down to Miles Bridges and Jason Richardson. Because of my own familiarity, I stuck with Miles. That’s no slight to Richardson, who is one of the best athletes in the history of the NCAA and the NBA.

As a five-star recruit and 10th overall player in his class, Bridges turned down offers from powerhouse schools like Kansas and Kentucky to come play for his hometown Spartans.

From Flint, the trip was easy and so was the transition for this incredible athlete. From the moment he donned the Michigan State basketball uniform, everybody knew he was going to be an incredible athlete.

In his debut game vs. Arizona, he threw down countless dunks and finished alley oops left and right, instantly impressing coaches and players around the country with his 40-plus inch vertical.

Bridges would eventually enter the NBA draft after his sophomore season and earn a bid to the NBA Dunk Contest during his first year with the Charlotte Hornets. He’s a consistent starter in Charlotte and looks like he can put together a great NBA career.