The Bay City Big Man (I like it!) Matt Costello chose to became the latest member of the Michigan State Spartan basketball program. With Travis Trice covering the point guard position and MSU bringing in a wealth of riches on the wing, Matt was the last piece of the recruiting puzzle to ensure that the frontcourt is covered for the future. He chose MSU over offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, Bulter, Indiana, and, again, the University of Michigan. Entering his junior year in the neighborhood 6'9", 215 lbs, size shouldn't be a issue in limiting his success. Costello's HS coach Chris Watz called him a "maniac" in the weight room so Matt should only improve his ability to hold his position and play with power. Also, he'll fit right in with incoming Spartans like Adreian Payne and Alex Gauna as post players who can also step away from the basket and shoot.
I'll give you his rankings but then tell you why they don't tell the whole story after the cut...
SCOUT: Three-star, #20 C
ESPN: Grade of 91
Despite Costello's blue-collar reputation, there's been plenty of high praise about his play. He made a big impression this summer at the Motown Showdown. Joe Stapleton of UM Hoops watched him in action and commented on how game-ready to his position and adjusted to his size Costello was:
Now here’s someone to get excited about. Costello is tall, long, tough and coordinated. A lot of times with young big guys, you get the sense that they’re still growing into their bodies, but he looked perfectly at home.
At the same event, LifeInLansing's Sam Hosey described his game this way:
Agile, active big man is very talented. Can score inside with his back to the basket but can step outside and do some damage, too. Really impressive filling the lane. Like all big men his age, Costello needs to add strength and grit but he's one of the state's best young big men.
To top it all off, Mlive contributor and AAU coach Steve Bell suggested that Matt could be the best Michigan big man prospect since Al Horford(!) and we all know that one worked out rather well for the University of Florida. One of the best notes in the article is Bell's statement that Costello is not one of those passive, lax post players whose body screams "potential" but whose play says "unmotivated." Costello plays tough, aggressive basketball and should fit in nicely as a Spartan from day one.
Taking commitments two years before players begin college can be a risk--and a risk MSU is running all-in lately. Worst-case scenario, Michigan State picked up a solid, role-playing post player with the right attitude who comes from a excellent family. Best-case scenario, Izzo just got a verbal from the next Al Horford. That's win-win for me.
Coach Izzo is on a recruiting streak unparalleled in MSU history, basically landing FIVE straight Plan A's within the span of two weeks. On paper, the 2011 and 2012 classes are now both full. I know everyone is speculating if MSU will continue to pursue Gary Harris. It could be a Trey Zeigler-style situation in which Harris states that he's been assured of a spot even if the public isn't sure where the scholarship is coming from. However, this could also be the end of the road for his involvement with Michigan State. As talented as guys like Harris (and Jordan Hare) might be, MSU is in fantastic shape already. Until we know more, trust in Izzo.