Spartan Nation Izzo Commit Russell Byrd Switches AAU Teams to Play With His Future Spartan Teammates and Potentially Good News on Top Notch Recruit Adreian Payne C, from Ohio

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Spartan Basketball Recruit Russell Byrd Switches AAU Teams To Play with Future Spartan Teammates and Also Plays Recruiter with Some of the Nation’s Top Talent!


Excitement is the name of the game when it comes to Spartan Basketball. Tom Izzo has endeavored to build a family atmosphere. That branding of “Family” is so strong that now it applies to young men who have yet to don the green and white.


Fort Wayne Indiana sharp shooting guard Russell Byrd has left his Indy Spiece AAU basketball team to play for the Michigan Mustangs. To play for maybe the correct analogy, but it is actually to play with his future Spartan teammates Keith Appling of Detroit Pershing and Alex Gauna from Eaton Rapids. They will head to Las Vegas for their first big tournament July 21-27.


Byrd has been tearing up the camps and is an absolute star in the making and his choosing to play with his future Spartan teammates can only help long term. Coach Tom Izzo is not allowed to comment on recruits publicly, but surely this move to bring about team unity before his new Spartans even get on campus has to make him happy.


I caught up with Russell and I asked him what Izzo thought of the decision when he told him, “Coach Izzo was really pushing for it to happen. He wanted to get me to play with my future teammates and was really happy I did it.”


Byrd saw the move as the next natural decision considering his desire to do great things at MSU and his desire to build cohesion even before they invade East Lansing. “We are going to be playing together in a year, and we just want to get to know each other and how each other plays. I think it just helps us be even better when we get to East Lansing, that we already will know how we play.”


While I had him on the phone, I asked Byrd if he has been doing any recruiting on his own. “I have really been talking with Adreian Payne a lot. I have played with him at the LeBron James camp and he was a force. I would love to get him to Michigan State and win a National Championship with me. He has great moves inside.” Since Byrd has been recruiting Payne, the 6’10” center out of Dayton, Ohio, who is an amazing talent, I asked him if he felt the Spartans were in the hunt for Payne to join him in East Lansing. “I think he is really interested in coming to MSU. I think we have a really good shot at getting him, we really do.”


We know this. We are excited to have Byrd and his efforts to think of the future and play with future teammates, and being a great recruiter shows once again the kind of young man he is.