The 2014-15 campaign may be gloomy, depressing and confusing at times, but fear not fellow Spartans! Recruiting allows us to look ahead to greener pastures with a promising crop of incoming talent on the horizon.
Here’s a report on the top basketball recruits headed, or possibly headed, to East Lansing next year.
Deyonta Davis – Power Forward, 6-9, 210 lbs, 5-stars (Signed)
The earliest commit of the class of 2015 and the most promising, Deyonta Davis is simply a beast. He is ranked by ESPN as the No. 5 power forward in the country, the best player in the state and No. 16 in ESPN’s top-100. He is a bit on the tall, lanky side (think Chris Bosh) who has some range and good speed for a big man.
For a team desperate for an inside presence and losing Branden Dawson next year, Davis could see the starting lineup immediately. His versatility could allow the Spartans to stretch the floor more and run in transition without giving up size down low.
Highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrRAB3aV2uQ
Matt McQuaid – Shooting Guard, 6-4, 175 lbs, 4-stars (Signed)
Ranked No. 67 in ESPN’s top-100, McQuaid is a straight up shooter. Originally committed to SMU, McQuaid re-opened his options last May. MSU and Creighton emerged as the frontrunners, with the Spartans edging the Blue Jays in September. The Texas native seems out of place at Michigan State, but McQuaid has grandparents who live in Midland.
McQuaid could potentially embody the nickname “baby-faced assassin” as he is deadly from the perimeter and looks like he belongs in the eighth grade. His shooting is certainly ready for the next level, but his defense will have to improve before McQuaid gets a solid chunk of minutes.
Highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDCyPtETwh0
Kyle Ahrens – Shooting Guard, 6-5, 180 lbs, 4-stars (Signed)
Ahrens is a very similar player to McQuaid. He has excellent range but is also explosive off the dribble. Ahrens, who committed to MSU in June, suffered a broken leg in his junior year of high school. Now fully recovered, he will be able to spread the floor at the wing with his shooting and sneaky athleticism.
Highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBGrSmiH7t8
Caleb Swanigan – Center, 6-8, 275 lbs, 5-stars (Undeclared)
Here is where things get interesting. Every year it seems MSU is in the running for an elite recruit, only to fall short to Kentucky or Duke or the “highest bidder”. This could be different.
Swanigan is an immovable force in the paint and would immediately bring the Spartans’ front line to the next level. He is the No. 8 ranked recruit in the nation according to ESPN and the No. 3 center. Although MSU is one of 13 schools in the running for the big man, according to ESPN’s “hot board” (Insider required), there is a good chance Swanigan could end up in the green and white.
When paired with Davis, Swanigan could lock down the paint while Davis becomes a stretch-four and spreads the floor. Swanigan could also platoon with Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling, allowing a constant rotation among the three to keep them fresh without losing size.
MSU would most certainly have the most formidable frontcourt in the Big Ten. Other notable teams in the hunt for Swanigan are Kentucky, Arizona, Duke, and Cal. Call me a foolish optimist, but I have a feeling MSU’s luck is about to change.
Highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NQT9VRj0uy8
Michigan State’s recruiting class is currently ranked No. 14 in the nation by ESPN.
Blake Froling is the co-host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.