Days after returning from his official visit to East Lansing, Matt McQuaid became the third member of the 2015 Michigan State basketball recruiting class joining Deyonta Davis and Kyle Ahrens. He withdrew a rushed pledge to SMU this summer, and Creighton was thought to hold the early inside track in his renewed recruitment. Yet, the Spartans won him over and he told Evan Daniels at Scout, "I chose Michigan State because I made a good relationship with coach Izzo...I feel like I fit in really good in their system. When I went down there I learned a lot from the other guys and they always have guys coming back trying to help. Draymond Green and Gary Harris came back. They always have people coming back. There's tradition there. I liked that and they win." It's great to hear about an official visit making a difference especially when a player and his family get a sense of the unique comradery at Michigan State around not just the current but also former players. In addition to the titles, NBA picks, and aura of Izzo, that's something that should really sell our program. Though his residence of Duncanville, Texas is not the usual recruiting radius, the McQuaid family has Michigan roots as Matt's father was a star athlete for Midland in the 1970s so it'll be great to bring him "home."
In the Matt McQuaid scouting report, the first thing everyone says is "shooter from deep." Three-point shooting is his calling card and that's what his first priority will be at Michigan State. With the transfer of Kenny Kaminski and this year's graduation of Travis Trice, the Spartans will have recently lost two of their best scorers from deep. Regardless of the shooting development of other players, the roster should now include at least one floor stretching ace. It would be hasty to think MSU is getting a one-dimensional player, however. As the impressive footage below shows, McQuaid is a strong athlete who is capable of attacking the basket from lobs and drives. He's also reported to be 6'5" so height is not an issue on the wing. It also looks like he will benefit greatly from time in a D1 strength and conditioning regimen and more years of maturation. He could be someone who really improves during his time at Michigan State.
That said, there is an impending logjam at the wing in 2015-2016. Barring an early departure, Michigan State will have Denzel Valentine (Sr.), Bryn Forbes (Sr.), Eron Harris (RS Jr.), Alvin Ellis III (Jr.), and Javon Bess (So.) in addition to two freshmen, Ahrens and McQuaid. Though it has been a difficult pitch to redshirt un-injured wings, that might be the best route for one of Ahrens or McQuaid. The decision will be interesting as Ahrens looks more physically D1 ready but McQuaid has a irreplaceable skill to help the team.
We'll leave that for the staff and next season. Right now, welcome Matt McQuaid and his family into the Spartan family!
An excellent mixtape of Matt McQuaid:
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His Game Resembles A Young Klay Thompson? Matthew McQuaid Ballislife Summer Mix! (via Ballislife South)