Thank you to all the coaches who have recruited me, however I have decided to commit to The Michigan State University. #Spartandog— Nick ward (@best_at_hoopin) April 30, 2015
Less than three weeks after Michigan State picked up a commitment from Indiana big man Caleb Swanigan, they received another commitment from 4 star Ohio big man Nick Ward. Ward is currently ranked #47 by ESPN, #68 by 247Sports, #69 by Rivals, and #72 by Scout. MSU's main competition was previously Ohio State but they currently have two bigs committed for 2016 and recently brought in 2015 big man Daniel Giddens. At 6'9" 235, Ward brings a wide body who can create space and block shots as he currently leading the Nike EYBL in rebounding as well as blocking 3 shots per game. Right now he isn't particularly explosive but both the offensive rebounds numbers (ability to create space) and block numbers (good timing) seem to be very positive aspects moving forward. Rexrode compared his game to Zach Randolph and I would say a much less polished Z-Bo is a fair comparison in terms of style of play. Based on his highlights and EYBL stats, he does not shoot many jump shots and is instead an almost exclusively back-to-the-basket player.
|Nick Ward Nike EYBL Stats|
Nick Ward plays for Gahanna Lincoln High School and is a former high school teammate of current Spartan Javon Bess. Per Paul Konyndyk, Ward's friendship with Bess was a factor in the decision along with the fact that MSU was his first big offer. He also plans to try and brings some friends with him:
New MSU commit Nick Ward (@best_at_hoopin) said he is hoping to bring Miles Bridges and Cassius Winston with him to MSU.— Mike Wilson (@MikeWilson247) April 30, 2015
With Ward in place, Izzo and his coaching staff can focus on who seem to be the two main 2016 targets in Cassius Winston and Miles Bridges. With Matt Costello set to graduate in spring 2016, Ward will join a frontcourt of Gavin Schilling, Marvin Clark, Deyonta Davis, and Caleb Swanigan. Although the losses of Denzel Valentine, Bryn Forbes, and Matt Costello will hurt, (assuming no early entries) the 2016-2017 team should be set to contend again if the 2016 class can pan out favorably.
Nick Ward Highlights