Michigan State Basketball: Will 2021 class be Tom Izzo’s best ever?

Tom Izzo, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Tom Izzo, Michigan State basketball (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

Tom Izzo has landed three five-star recruits in the span of a month, but will the 2021 class become his best with Michigan State basketball?

Tom Izzo has landed some absolute gems since taking over as head coach of Michigan State. In over two decades, he has landed 10 five-star prospects and countless McDonald’s All-Americans which have helped lead him to eight Final Fours and a national title.

Back in the late 1990s to early 2000s, Izzo was picking up commitments from blue-chip recruits left and right and that continued with guys like Shannon Brown, Maurice Ager, Kalin Lucas, Delvon Roe, Durrell Summers, Raymar Morgan and Marquise Gray before 2010. Those are just a handful of the high-four and five-stars the Spartans landed in that time frame.

Izzo continued his recruiting success through the 2010s and has seemingly ramped things up in 2020 with the 2021 and 2022 classes.

After landing Emoni Bates (No. 1 recruit in nation for 2022), Max Christie (No. 13 recruit in 2021 class), Pierre Brooks (No. 68 recruit in 2021 class) and Enoch Boakye (No. 18 recruit in 2022 class), there’s talk about Izzo being as hot as he’s ever been on the recruiting trail. While two of those guys are technically in the 2022 class right now, there’s a good chance they could reclassify to 2021 and join a loaded group potentially with Jaden Akins (No. 71 in 2021).

So would the 2021 class be Izzo’s best ever?

Let’s take a look back at some of the best since 2000 when recruiting rankings really began to take shape. These classes may have something to say about 2021 being the best Izzo has ever had.

2007 class (No. 10 natioanlly)

  • Kalin Lucas, PG (No. 31 nationally)
  • Durrell Summers, SG (No. 40)
  • Chris Allen, SG (No. 45)
  • Austin Thornton, SG (No. 323, walk-on)
  • Mike Kebler, PG (walk-on)

2008 class (No. 10)

  • Delvon Roe, PF (No. 15)
  • Draymond Green, PF (No. 69)
  • Korie Lucious, PG (No. 78)

2010 class (No. 9)

  • Adreian Payne, C (No. 22)
  • Keith Appling, PG (No. 37)
  • Russell Byrd, SF (No. 96)
  • Alex Gauna, PF (No. 148)

2012 class (No. 12)

  • Gary Harris, SG (No. 19)
  • Matt Costello, PF (No. 89)
  • Kenny Kaminski, PF (No. 95)
  • Denzel Valentine, SG (No. 112)

2016 class (No. 3)

  • Miles Bridges, SF (No. 12)
  • Josh Langford, SG (No. 19)
  • Cassius Winston, PG (No. 31)
  • Nick Ward, PF (No. 42)

So where would a class with Bates (No. 1), Christie (No. 13), Boakye (No. 18), Brooks (No. 68) and Akins (No. 71) land on Izzo’s all-time list?

For a while, the 2007 class was Izzo’s best with the trio of Allen, Lucas and Summers and then it was topped by the 2016 group with Bridges, Langford, Winston and Ward. It’ll be hard to top a class that had a lottery pick, best point guard since Mateen Cleaves, Freshman All-Big Ten center and returning fifth-year senior who averaged 15 points per game before an injury but the 2021 group would have to be No. 1 for Izzo.

It’s close, but five top 75 guys has to just slightly trump four top 50 recruits when one of the five is the No. 1 player in the country and dubbed the “best prospect since LeBron”.

If all goes as planned, the 2021 class will be Izzo’s best to date.

dark. Next. 3 players who could leave early after 2020-21