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MSU Basketball Recruiting Round-up (5/19/15)

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Will Michigan State fill its last 2015 scholarship? Are Cassius Winston and Miles Bridges going to join Nick Ward as part of the 2016 class? Who is going to meet the need for wings in 2017? Spring brings many questions for MSU basketball recruiting!

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2015

Michigan State has a scholarship open for next season and continues to show interest in using it on Missouri transfer Johnathan Williams III. Coach Izzo did some recent double duty by watching Draymond Green face off against the Memphis Grizzlies in J3’s hometown while visiting him. The big development in this recruitment is that the school has lifted more restrictions on the transfer, including any Big 12 school. This has opened the option to Kansas and there’s now speculation that he may take a visit to Lawrence before making a final decision.

The news yesterday that Jamal Murray is on an official visit to Kentucky grabbed attention on Twitter.  Though still technically a member of the 2016 class, he could fill a void in the Kentucky roster next season.  John Calipari has missed on a few targets, most recently losing guard LaGerald Vick to Kansas, and the Wildcats still need players to make up for the seven man exodus this spring.  Though most teams recruiting Murray would take him any time, I'm putting this information under 2015 because this official is most likely about next season.

{Caveat}
This section originally had pre-Purdue commitment comments about the Swanigan situation.  I'm not going to be hypocritical.  Making fun of the weirdness of picking Purdue over MSU, UK, Duke, and Arizona is totally understandable, as is being flabbergasted about Rosie Barnes suggesting Purdue is "basically" as successful as MSU.  However, let's not get ugly, make personal attacks, throw out baseless accusations, or turn this into a locker room.  Deal?

2016

Miles Bridges did some moonlighting away from his AAU squad The Family to play with Boo Williams at the Hoop Group Jamfest in Virginia. As always, Bridges did everything we’ve come to expect from him and looks like one of the top wings in the 2016 class. MSU continues to be one of the schools recruiting him the hardest, making the list when Scout asked about it along with Iowa State, Kentucky, Michigan, and North Carolina.

Cassius Winston used time off with a wrist injury to make the short drive over to Ann Arbor for a visit. No commitment last weekend, but UM is probably neck-and-neck with MSU. As our writer Matt has suggested, Winston would come to MSU and have to share minutes with Tum Tum Nairn for two years. At UM, Winston could spend one year as an understudy to Derrick Walton then have an opening to start for three years. Whether this makes the difference for Winston remains to be seen.

Indiana center Joey Brunk continues to be busy. After taking a trip to Oklahoma, his next official visit might be to the much closer Butler. As MSU has one 2016 post wrapped up in Nick Ward and is still after Johnathan Williams III, Brunk would probably be a luxury for the Spartans.

2017

Another MSU target has received tons of positive press this spring. This may sound familiar, but 2017 guard Gary Trent Jr. has played so well in the Nike EBYL, leading it in scoring with 24 ppg, that Duke and Kentucky are showing interest. An OSU offer is attractive as his father is very close with Buckeye assistant, Jeff Boals. There’s also talk that it might be difficult to get Gary away from Minnesota. None of that is stopping Coach Izzo from doing everything he can to bring Trent to MSU. Gary recently told GiveNGoBasketball.com that "Tom Izzo and the rest of the Michigan State staff have been recruiting me the hardest so far."

Injury is keeping one of MSU’s newest offers, Nojel Eastern, out of spring ball, but the other, Paul Scruggs, has been hitting the gyms. He was selected to play in the NBA MVP Stephen Curry Select Camp in June. Meanwhile, he caught the attention of Scout’s Brian Snow while playing at the Adidas May Classic. Snow had this to say about Scruggs:

Paul Scruggs did what Paul Scruggs does all weekend long. He played harder than anybody on the court, and proved he is as tough as anyone in the country. While he is playing on the ball as a point guard, and that isn’t natural to him, Scruggs did a ton of good things. He got into the lane at will, he made some nice passes, and the mid-range jumper also looked better. Scruggs is going to make a home as a secondary ball handler in college where he can just be a junkyard dog player, and he showed how good he can be at that this weekend.

Here is some fresh video of Scruggs from this month.

That’s a look at where some of our recruits are at this summer as they continue to gain exposure, gain new offers, and take visits.