Michigan State Basketball: Tom Izzo's Potential Sales Pitches to Top Recruits
Under an encouraged Tom Izzo, the Michigan State Spartans will enter the 2014-15 season with high hopes. But their 2015-16 team will be much more talented, with a solid recruiting class coupled with two talented transfers becoming eligible to play. If Izzo can secure one last top-flight recruit for 2015, Sparty will be even more loaded.
In order to do so, he must devise some effective sales pitches to his targets.
Among the remaining top recruits on Izzo’s radar are: Caleb Swanigan, Eric Davis and Montaque Gill-Caesar. All three are listed in the top 50 of ESPN’s recruiting rankings.
This slideshow will feature the sales pitches that Izzo must present in order to further attract these prospects.
Caleb Swanigan: Start as a Freshman and Form a Dynamic Duo with Deyonta Davis
The former part of the title slide has already come to fruition. Caleb Swanigan and Deyonta Davis are scorching the Amateur Athletic Union circuit with their combination of size and skill for the Spiece Indy Heat. Already committed to MSU, Davis has shot up the rankings after an impressive summer campaign.
Only one spot ahead of him on the ESPN 100 is his frontcourt counterpart, Swanigan.
He kills opponents with his robust frame, great court sense and soft touch around the rim. Swanigan is a beast in the post who scores by assuming low post position and bullying opponents.
His antithesis, in terms of style, stands on the other block. Davis is lankier and more perimeter oriented, relying on his smooth mid-range jumper and craftiness to impact a game.
The two complement each other beautifully, and they could potentially dominate at the next level. Why not continue something that has already blossomed?
If the 6’9” bulldozer were to commit, he would likely start immediately. Given the team’s meagerness at the forward positions, as Branden Dawson is a senior and the only true impact player in the frontcourt, Swanigan would play pivotal minutes.
Matt Costello and Gavin Schilling are both young but very raw. This upcoming season will tell how much each of them have improved over the offseason, as both players will be forced to play important minutes in the wake of Adreian Payne’s departure.
As a polished, college-ready prospect, Swanigan has the potential to thrive in East Lansing immediately. According to 247sports.com “crystal ball” predictions, it is a likely scenario.
Eric Davis: Help Form the Country’s Best Backcourt
MSU’s backcourt for the 2015 season is already loaded. Tranfers Eron Harris from West Virginia (averaged 17 points last season) and former Cleveland State guard Bryn Forbes (averaged 15 points) were massive acquisitions. Unless Forbes is granted the hardship waiver for which he applied, both players will first become eligible in 2015.
Combine that duo with the speedy Lourawls Nairn, who will be a sophomore in 2015, and incoming recruit Kyle Ahrens, the Spartans already have a deep rotation of worthy scorers and playmakers. That isn't even mentioning Alvin Ellis, a potential starter for the Spartans in the upcoming campaign.
Where Eric Davis would fit in is unknown. But if he were to join this loaded backcourt, he would only add another lethal scorer and equally effective playmaker.
Davis can bring the ball up and orchestrate, or he can play off the ball. His smooth three-point stroke is another weapon that Izzo could utilize if he were to join the Spartans.
A potentially six-deep guard rotation could cause nightmares for opponents. Every one of those contributors can impact a game, and Davis can add to that firepower if he were to commit.
Montaque Gill-Caesar: Be the Next Great Wing
Montaque Gill-Caesar has talent with unlimited potential. An athletic wing with a solid set jump shot, he could become the program’s next great wing player.
MSU has its history of great 2- and 3-guards, from Morris Peterson, to Jason Richardson, to Maurice Ager, to Gary Harris. All enjoyed great success under Tom Izzo.
Gill-Caesar certainly has the abilities to join that exclusive bunch. He is a tremendous driver, slasher and finisher around the rim. The 6’5” Huntington Prep prospect elevates above defenders and also has an accurate jump shot when he sets his feet.
His offensive repertoire is improving. Gill-Caesar already has the athleticism, court awareness and touch around the rim, but he needs to continue to diversify his skill set.
With some fine tuning under Izzo’s tutelage, he will blossom into a fantastic collegiate wing player. If Denzel Valentine stands out in the 2014-15 season and declares to go pro, Gill-Caesar could fill that void.