A future Spartan? (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
After a few weeks of silence and speculation in the wake of his father Ernie Zeigler's firing, word came out last night about the transfer options of former Central Michigan guard Trey Zeigler. Steven Schwanda of All Eyes On U Hoops noted that Trey has heard from UCLA, Duke, Pitt, MSU, and UM and while Alex Kline of the Recruit Scoop was more definitive and cited a source saying that Trey would decide between Duke, MSU, UCLA, and Detroit. Right now, this is mostly various people passing WOTS around twitter so it's hard to get overly committed to this news.
Seeing MSU's name pop up did grab the attention of many fans who weren't expecting much interest from Coach Izzo. The wing roster for the Spartans is full of talent and scholarships spots are tight for the 2013 class (presumably Trey's first year to play). There is a new found premium on chemistry in East Lansing and it's worth asking how bringing in another guard in Zeigler's likely role might upset the balance. With this in mind, it doesn't appear unlikely that Trey will end up wearing the Green & White. It could be that Coach Izzo is simply doing his homework and touching base with the Zeigler party in order to be thorough. TZ is already taking an official to Duke this weekend and the interest from MSU could be one way to remind other coaches that Izzo isn't content to passively let a solid talent walk out of the state without making his competitors work.
On the flip, I'm not as quick to dismiss the idea of Trey Zeigler coming to MSU as many others. If the WOTS was correct, Coach Izzo was heavily invested in recruiting him out of high school and felt Zeigler's talents were comparable to his other top prospect Keith Appling. Despite the overwhelming odds that he would follow his father to CMU, Izzo kept recruiting Trey until the last moments when he committed. Izzo has already shown a recent willingness to stack his roster through bringing in a transfer player by adding senior Brandon Wood this year. Though the two situations aren't completely the same, it's not clear to me that Coach Izzo would pass on a talented contributor merely because the roster looks full in two years. There is still a scholarship spot available next year for Trey to wait on the bench. As a fan, I'm not advocating for Trey to MSU but I'm not ready to say definitively that it won't happen.
With a wide geographic and program caliber range from Duke to UCLA to Detroit, pegging Trey Zeigler's "market value" is challenging and this early list feels "exploratory" to me. The elephant in the room here is that #0 was good but not great in his first two years at Central Michigan. His stats are nothing to laugh at and he averaged around 16pts, 6 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in two years. However, his shooting percentages slipped as a sophomore and his overall effort was only deemed worthy of Third Team All-MAC. His Chippewa team struggled and never got a major bounce in recruiting or winning due to landing a high four-star recruit. For someone who had intense interest out of high school from Duke, Michigan State, Arizona, Michigan, and Providence, it's fair to say that more was expected.
In that light, this is a great second act opportunity for Trey Zeigler. Choosing CMU was a admirable gesture of loyalty to his father but, in hindsight, it may have not been the best choice for his basketball career. Now, Zeigler can either re-prove his star status for a school like Detroit or explore being an experienced role player at an elite program. It's too early to say whether Coach Izzo and his staff are ready to let him pursue that latter path at Michigan State.