Just when you thought it was safe to stop paying attention to MSU basketball recruiting . . .

. . . this happens:

"I actually had an opportunity to talk to Coach Izzo and we had a very good conversation," said Harris Sr. "I can say this, based on our conversation it was similar to conversations we had in the past about Gary, and Michigan State being a possible excellent choice for him with his college. I don’t think that anything has changed."

"Harris Sr." is Gary Harris, Sr., the father of 2012 basketball recruit Gary Harris.  While the 2012-13 Michigan State basketball roster is now completely full on paper, Tom Izzo is apparently leaving the door open to Harris becoming a Spartan.  From a logistical standpoint, it's very hard to see how that's going to happen.  One of the 13 players currently slated to be on basketball scholarship in the fall of 2012 would have to forego that position.  Possibilities:

  • One of the current 2011 or 2012 MSU recruiting commits decides to decommit (and/or has his verbal offer pulled).  This would be a pretty unusual move for an Izzo-era recruit and/or Izzo.  As Josh has noted, it would also be a potential PR nightmare for a program that has prided itself on creating a stable, family-oriented atmosphere.
  • Somebody goes pro early.  Unless Harris is willing to wait all the way until April 2012, that would have to be Adreian Payne going pro after just one year (so that Harris would only have to wait until April 2011).  Possible, but I think unlikely.  If Payne had intentions of being a one-and-done college player, I really don't think he would have chosen to come play for Tom Izzo, a guy with a reputation for developing players over 3-4 years, rather than featuring talented stars right off the bat.
  • Somebody transfers.  Again, possible, but hard to foresee.  Assuming it's not one of the 2011 recruits (after one season), it would have to be someone who's going to be a freshman or a sophomore this upcoming season: Nix, Sherman, Appling, Gauna, Payne.  No reason to think any of those players aren't going to have productive careers at MSU.

Another potential scenario is for Harris or one of the players currently slated for a scholarship to come in on a non-basketball scholarship.  Matt Costello reportedly has a 3.8 GPA (HT: Donaldo).  Gary Harris plays football.  I have no idea how stringently the NCAA polices the use of academic or football scholarships for athletes clearly coming into a university primarily to play basketball.

Longtime readers know that recruiting talk in general creeps me out, and talking about which players officially slated to be Spartans may not end up being Spartans really creeps me out, so I'm going to leave it there.  Needless to say, stay tuned for future developments.  From everything I've read, Harris is certainly a player who would be a great asset to the program, potentially helping with the point guard situation after Kalin Lucas and Korie Lucious are gone.  How that could become a reality remains to be seen.  As with so many other things, in Izzo we trust.

Update: One more thing.  Even if you can squeeze Harris on to the roster, there's also the matter of how you find enough playing time for 9 perimeter players during the 2012-13 season (8 if Kaminski develops into a legitimate power forward).  Again, stay tuned.

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