Tom Izzo ReLoads Spartan Basketball with an Amazing 2011 Recruiting Class

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Tom Izzo's Decision to Stay at MSU has Proven a Great Choice on the Recruiting Trail.  Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

Tom Izzo's Decision to Stay at MSU has Proven a Great Choice on the Recruiting Trail. Photo courtesy of Starr Portice.

This week has provided Spartan fans with a lot of excitement on the recruiting trail. Tom Izzo appears to have solidified his 2011 recruiting class heading into the fall and the early November signing period. Michigan State already had two members of the 2011 class locked up going into the week. Both Brandan Kearney (SG/SF, Detroit, MI) and Dwaun Anderson (SG, Suttons Bay, MI) were already committed prior to the events that transpired this week.

When the Spartan Nation woke on Thursday morning the 2011 class had grown into a stellar class of four members after Izzo and company landed pledges from Branden Dawson (F, Gary, IN) and Travis Trice, Jr. (PG, Dayton, OH). This gives Michigan State a 2011 class that will likely rank them in the top ten nationally and will certainly be a consensus top twenty class after the early signing period.

Dawson is one of those rare athletes that Izzo covets. He is a 6’6” wing forward built very much in the same mold of Jason Richardson and Durrell Summers. He is a rebounding machine. He is a quick jumper that loves to dunk the basketball when he is around the goal. He is already strong having eclipsed the 200 pound mark and has the frame to add twenty more with time in the weight room. He will be the headline recruit of MSU’s 2011 class. Most analysts rank him in the top twenty players nationally. Most importantly, his athleticism and willingness to rebound make him perfect for the Izzo system. We won’t be running out of alley-oops when Durrell graduates.

Trice on the other hand is an exciting point guard. His resume is not as “star-laden” as Dawson’s, but he boasts quickness, a great change of direction and the ability to set up himself and his teammates on the break and with dribble penetration. Trice is listed at 6’ and a hair under 170 pounds. I am guessing that he will be the all around point guard that has the ability to compliment Keith Appling who is more than capable of playing the shooting guard position. Trice’s versatility continues the MSU trend of multiple point guards that can both distribute and score. Without Korie Lucious last year, a banged up Kalin Lucas surely would have spelled an early tournament departure for MSU. Much like Eric Snow and Travis Walton, Trice will be a sure four-year player with system experience that will pay dividends when he reaches upper classmen status.

The 2011 class currently has no true post player. Izzo and his staff made the wing positions a priority for 2011 and they appear to have gotten a very solid diverse group of young men. Kearney is 6’5” and very strong. The MSU staff identified Kearney early and made him a priority. He should have a breakout senior season this winter. Kearney has improved his shooting over the past two seasons and shows the ability to play both inside and outside.

Dwaun Anderson is a very athletic shooting guard. He is comfortable playing above the rim; he too is a high riser with an outstanding vertical leap. Anderson has the right size to be a division one shooting guard at 6’3”. He will need to improve his outside shooting consistency and ball handling. He is the right kind of athlete to be a force running MSU’s patented fast break.

Dawson will inherit the highlight reel from Durrell Summers. He is extremely versatile like a Morgan and J-Rich. He could potentially play as many as three positions with the ability to defend four. The addition of Dawson allows MSU to focus heavily on the next wave of players that can play with their backs to the basket. Throw Kaminski into the fold in 2012 and you can safely say that the forward position is covered nicely for years to come.

Here is a link that features Branden Dawson!