The always reliable PrepHoopsTV presenting Trey Lyles.
There are new offers, updated lists, planned visits, and in-home meetings now that the "Recruiting Period" in the NCAA calendar has started up in preparation for fall signings. Tom Izzo and staff have been out traveling to meet with recruits and evaluating them during exhibitions at their schools. There’s lots to update on as a result.
Michigan State has at least one new offer out in the class of 2014. Coaches Izzo and Fife made it down to watch skilled power forward Trey Lyles at Tech High School in Indianapolis. They’re weren’t alone and reports had them joined by John Calipari plus two members of his staff, Butler coach Brad Stevens, and assistants from Stanford, Georgetown, and Duke. His workout must have been impressive and he now boasts offers from all of those schools including MSU.
It’s interesting to see MSU get involved here. First, Lyles recently made a controversial de-commitment from Indiana coach and long-time Izzo friend Tom Crean. Lyles made his Hoosier pledge all the way back during his freshman season and his decision to explore other options was a disappointing surprise to Indiana fans. Tom Crean was noticeably absent at the exhibition and it’s highly unlikely that Lyles ends up back in pinstripes. The second curiosity is the rampant rumors that Lyles abandoned Indiana with the determined intention of joining up with the Kentucky Wildcats. It makes sense that other coaches would throw their hats into the ring but the WOTS is that Lyles is a Wildcat in everything but signature.
More after the jump…
Speaking of players who like Kentucky, James Young is making a final push to wrap up his recruitment and has focused on five schools – Kentucky, Michigan State, Kansas, Arizona, and Syracuse. The Courier-Journal has a lengthy piece filled with quotes and insights from Young’s godfather Sean Mahone as they work to conclude the process. It’s hard to tell when someone is just playing politics but the most significant passage might be this:
"When you think about Kentucky, you look at what they’ve accomplished, it’s hard not to get excited and appreciate what they’ve done," Mahone said. "And obviously James has aspirations of playing at the NBA level, and seeing what (the Cats) have been able to do … he is unbelievably excited about them. And you think about Coach Cal and his legacy and what he’s been able to achieve, there’s a lot of excitement."
Mahone added: "But the truth of the matter is when you think about Michigan State and being able to play in front of your home state and continue what he’s trying to accomplish here and establish (his) legacy in Michigan and continue the winning tradition in Michigan and in evaluating Coach Izzo, Izzo is a winner as well.
This tension is probably the central issue of Young’s recruitment. Are there any tells in a statement like this? Will the thrill of the home-state tradition win over the NBA factory down south? Who wants Young more? We’ll have to wait and see.
There’s an Indiana invasion coming to Michigan State soon. I posted the FanShot about 2014 Evansville guard JaQuan Lyle’s visit for next weekend. However, he won’t be the only young talent from the Hoosier state in attendance. The Spartans are also expecting the arrival of Jalen Coleman, one of Indiana’s best sophomores (2015). According to Kyle Neddenreip, they were among the schools in to watch him this week as well and it must have paid off as MSU secured their second visit from Coleman in two months. Rankings are limited and premature for 2015 but Jalen is considered a top talent guard (high four-star?) in his class and already sports offers from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame, Providence, and Illinois. Though no reported offer yet there appears to be lots of mutual interest between Coleman and Michigan State.
The MSU recruiting resources got a workout this week when Tom Izzo traveled to Apple Valley, MN to visit with Tyus Jones. Just hunching here but it still looks to me like Jones is working on a slightly accelerated timetable. Though only a junior, he’ll soon have visited most of major suitors and is entertaining coaches at home. He may be someone to take advantage of new rules about official visits during his junior season or be thinking even sooner to wrap things up. That would be huge as Jones could be a major recruiting catalyst for whoever lands him. Lots of players love playing with a great point guard and there's few better at his level right now than Tyus Jones.
Tyus' friend Jahlil Okafor has a blog post at USA Today High School Sports. For a casual, conversational entry, there’s a good deal to intrigue MSU fans. Okafor mentions talking on the phone to Tom Izzo and Izzo’s intention to watch Okafor’s open gym and the musical influence of Jabari Parker. He also states again how serious he and Tyus Jones are about playing together in college and suggests that they’re trying to arrange attending a Michigan State football game together. The days of dismissing MSU’s shot with Jahlil Okafor are long over and I think it’s safe to say they have as good a shot as anyone.
News will continue to roll and MSU should be welcoming some official visitors soon. We’re all waiting on Jabari Parker who is expected to take officials and decide this fall by early November. No final word yet but this going to be big when it all goes down.