Ramsey: Boakye’s commitment puts Spartans on top

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Tom Izzo/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Jared Ramsey, General Assignment Reporter

For Michigan State basketball, the rich keep getting richer. This morning, five-star Enoch Boakye announced his commitment to Michigan State, making him the third five-star recruit to commit to MSU within the last month along with Emoni Bates and Max Christie. Boakye’s AAU coach said there is a likely chance that Boakye would reclassify to the 2021 class, meaning he would be a part of a historic recruiting class that features Christie, Pierre Brooks, and possibly Bates and Jaden Akins as well. 

The narrative that coach Tom Izzo could not compete for elite five-star talent has completely vanished as Michigan State has dominated recruiting for the next two upcoming classes. As of now, Michigan State is right up there with Duke and Kentucky, competing for the best talent in high school basketball, and is seen as a legitimate place to develop NBA prospects. Just ask Jaren Jackson Jr. and Miles Bridges.

Boakye is ranked 18th nationally in the 2022 class and is the No. 3 ranked center according to 247Sports but would be re-ranked as a four-star recruit if he reclassifies to the 2021 class. Boakye would be arguably the best athlete that Izzo has ever had at the center position, standing at 6-foot-10 with a freakish 7-foot-5 wingspan and a 35-inch vertical. Boakye is an elite rim protector due to his size and leaping ability and looks to dunk on anyone that gets in his way on the offensive end. 

Boakye is much more than a rim protector and rim runner, however, as he has a complete arsenal of post moves that are reminiscent of Nick Ward in a much better body. Boakye can hit a hook shot with either hand, as well as face up in the high post and break down the defender with an effective array of dribble moves. 

The aspect of his game that is perhaps the most impressive is his playmaking ability as a center. Often times for the Canadian national team, Boakye would grab the rebound and bring the ball up the court as an effective playmaker in the open court. In the halfcourt, Boakye can stretch the floor due to his shooting ability and ball handling and sometimes played as the de-facto point guard for his high school team. He will give Izzo lots of flexibility with his lineups because of his ability to shoot and be a secondary playmaker and will thrive playing with the other elite talent that is coming to East Lansing. 

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the 2020-21 season, Michigan State has the brightest future of any college basketball team in the country at the moment, and the 2021 class is shaping up to be the school’s best recruiting class ever if Boakye and Bates reclassify. There is a strong chance that MSU trots out five freshmen as starters in 2021, which would have been unheard of for Izzo in years prior. The expectations for the 2021 team are firmly championship or bust at this point if those two end up reclassifying, as they would join a squad that could feature Gabe Brown, Aaron Henry, Rocket Watts, A.J. Hoggard and Mady Sissoko. The team will have a perfect blend of veteran leadership and elite young talent, and should comfortably be the best team in basketball.

Jared Ramsey is a general assignment reporter for WDBM Sports. Follow him on Twitter at @jared_ramsey22.