Perhaps the MSU Formula Racing Team can let Coach take this out on the recruiting trail?
[Editor's Note: Autobump. Great stuff, as always. The idea is to use the comments section of this post as a discussion forum for other recruiting developments over the next month. A few people "Rec"ing this post would help in that regard by bumping it up to the top of the FanPost list. -KJ]
July is a big month for recruiting and Tom Izzo and his assistants have been hitting AAU tournaments to watch players of interest. This is important not only to evaluate athletes' skills but to make sure coaches are seen (if the NCAA won't let them be heard right now) by the players they're attempting to win over. It's been said that July is when you earn your offer so this is a big opportunity particularly for the 2012 class. I've complied a list of updates on various players with links to try and catch up on some of the latest information in this busy month. I've added a little bit of my own analysis at the end. Who would you like to see in Green & White in the next few years?
By all reports, Matt Costello was huge at the Adidas Invitational. He’s considered one of the top two big men in the state of Michigan for 2012. Izzo was watching but Costello is still apparently waiting for his MSU offer to add to USC, UM, Butler, and Oklahoma offers. If he continues to play at this level, he may not wait long.
There’s some signs Michigan State may be backing off of Muncie 2011 combo guard Jeremiah Davis. Despite being a primary target for quite some time, the Courier-Journal of Louisville (great recruiting coverage) hears that MSU is not giving him as much attention.
Jalen Reynolds continued to be the hot name in Michigan recruiting for 2011 and may have picked up a USC offer. Still, word is that he’d like to stay close to home so you may see him in Green & White or Maize & Blue if those offers come in.
We received evidence that MSU ($) is still very much involved in the recruitment of top 25 Indiana wing Branden Dawson. Dawson recently made a trip up to East Lansing and the WOTS is that the visit went very well. Even though Dawson has limited his search to a tight group of schools, he doesn’t have any plans to commit soon and may still be eying a late period signing for 2011. Because his decision could be 8+ months away, I’m thinking MSU’s shot with him is very much up in the air.
Jakarr Sampson has made a rather remarkable rise over the past year from a solid three-star to a national top 40/top 30 player on Scout and Rivals in his 2011 class. He still lists MSU as a school who is recruiting him and says he’d like to make a decision before his senior year begins. Considering the length of his list, he has some pairing down to do and official visits to take before that happens.
The Chicago Sun-Times prognosticators believe 2011 PF Mike Shaw’s recruitment will come down to MSU and Illinois with Illinois being the clear leader. In the eyes of professional scouts, he is one of MSU's highest rated targets.
Tommie McCune has put together some very nice summer performances against good competition but questions remain about whether he wants to play hard, focused basketball night in and night out. Honestly, I thought his opportunity to demonstrate this was missed last year and it's a question mark whether it's too late to persuade MSU that he should join their 2011 class.
Kenny Kaminski should be the first MSU 2012 target to make a college decision on July 31st. To make sure he knows he's wanted, MSU coaches were out in force to watch him play as the date draws closer.
Michigan State appears to be in great shape recruiting for the future. How precisely 2011 will play out is still a bit of a mystery. It looks less and less likely that tried-and-true names from the past year like Jeremiah Davis, Jakarr Sampson, and Tommie McCune will be added to the roster though you certainly can't rule anyone out. I think a big man like Mike Shaw or Jalen Reynolds is more probable. If one of those players verbals, Izzo can be content to sit on his three man class and wait to see what Branden Dawson decides next Spring. If Dawson passes, he has a fourth spot for 2012 or could push a scholarship down to 2013 (when only 2 are scheduled to be available).
In the meantime, Coach Izzo may have a fast track to compiling an outstanding 2012 class. Kenny Kaminski might verbal in a few weeks and MSU is in as good a shape as anyone with five-star wing Gary Harris, whose AAU coached worked for Mike Garland as an assistant at Cleveland State. MSU fans can also hope that Matt Costello will earn and jump at an MSU invitation. MSU's basketball's success and consistency is on track to continue.