So, as it turns out, my timing for updating the projected roster last week was bad for pretty much every reason. First, Johnathan Williams III is rumored to be looking at MSU. Then Nigel Williams-Goss announces that he's going to transferfrom Washington as well, and mentions Michigan State. Finally, the Caleb Swanigan bomb dropped.
With all of these things in mind, here's a newly updated projected roster:
The commitment of Caleb Swanigan does absolutely hamper the possibilities of Williams III or Williams-Goss transferring to MSU. A transfer out would be necessary, and I don't see that happening until the freshman are on campus. That timeline doesn't bode real well for MSU, as there will be significant interest in both Williams III and Williams-Goss from other major programs, and I assume both of those guys won't want to wait around.
And perhaps that's just as well. As you all noted in the comments last week, a Williams-Goss transfer in might scare off Cassius Winston, one of the most important 2016 recruits. And you'd likely rather have four years of Winston than two years of Williams-Goss.
Further, I don't think Williams III brought to the table the unique skillset that Swanigan does, regardless of potential years in the program. Low-post scoring ability is difficult to find anywhere in the NCAA, and Swanigan brings that to the table in ways I don't believe Williams III would have.
There's been lots of talk about this already, so I'll keep it short and sweet. This MSU team should be a national force next year. And I say that because, well, there are no weaknesses. There's rebounding, playmaking, speed, depth, low-post scoring, perimeter shooting, and I assume some chemistry. There might be a little over-reliance on two young bigs, but Matt Costello will continue to be an important cog. This team has had the experience of fighting for its life on the bubble, as well as getting to a Final Four.
With so many new faces, it's going to take some time for them to shake all the kinks out. So it'll be a typical Izzo-Era MSU team, that is frustrating early and through Big Ten play, but has things together at the end of the year. The Big Ten will be more competitive overall, and that'll be fun. I'm pretty excited for next season.
Needs in Future
As mentioned before, MSU needs a point guard in the 2016 class. Cassius Winston is the hope there. Swanigan's commitment makes a big a little less necessary in 2016, assuming that neither Swanigan nor Deyonta Davis is a one-and-done.
The roster has filled out nicely, and there's quite a bit to be excited about. And not just next year, but down the road a few years as well.
And now (for me at least), onto spring football!