Tom Izzo, MSU Basketball Aiming High with Pursuit of Top Prospect

The Michigan State Spartans are reportedly among the teams reaching out to the No. 1 prospect in 2026, Brandon McCoy Jr., the most.
St. John Bosco's (Calif.) Brandon McCoy Jr. dunks the ball as the Braves take on the Central Bulldogs during the 39th Annual Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions at Great Southern Bank Arena on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024.
St. John Bosco's (Calif.) Brandon McCoy Jr. dunks the ball as the Braves take on the Central Bulldogs during the 39th Annual Bass Pro Shops Tournament of Champions at Great Southern Bank Arena on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. / Nathan Papes/Springfield News-Leader /

Michigan State and head coach Tom Izzo have been on the recruiting trail for the 2025 class. Izzo has been in hot pursuit of several big names, such as one of the best guards in in-state prospect Trey McKenney, and one of the top forwards in Niko Bundalo. Izzo has also been interested in Trent Sisley and Jordan Scott, two players with elite ability, too.

Now, it seems the Spartans are also looking ahead to the future, and the 2026 class. The United States U17 National Team is currently competing in the U17 FIBA World Cup, and competed against New Zealand in the Sinan Erdem Dome in Turkey. A player the Spartans are targeting the most on the roster, No. 1 recruit Brandon McCoy Jr., had a night. A post by HS Top Recruits on X, formerly known as Twitter, listed the stat line.

McCoy is the No. 1 player in the 2026 class, per 247Sports Composite, and the best point guard. The St. John Bosco product was reportedly contacted by Michigan State after the June 15th date allowed the Spartans to reach out to him. 247Sports' Eric Bossi wrote about McCoy's prowess at the U17 trials in Colorado Springs.

"After taking some time to blend in and do the little things, Brandon McCoy came alive on Sunday night," Bossi wrote. "The 6-foot-4 guard out of California was almost impossible for defenders to contain off the dribble. He got to whatever spot he wanted. McCoy finished at the rim, hit jumpers to keep the defense honest and made plenty of plays for others. Maybe most impressive was the work that he did on the defensive end and how often he was able to rise up from within a crowd of much bigger players and snag contested rebounds."

McCoy is a complete player, with elite prowess on both ends of the court. Defense is a key aspect that Izzo likes in a player. McCoy is the type of player that could potentially put the Spartans and Izzo over the top for that coveted second national title. On3's Jamie Shaw also touted McCoy after the camp at Colorado Springs.

"He has quick feet and active hands, with excellent length," Shaw wrote. "He also has a want-to and a determination to guard, capable of quickly turning defense into easy, attacking offense. McCoy will need to continue adding strength, as you would expect any rising junior in high school to do, to hold up in the half court, but his nose for putting pressure at the point of attack and his toughness and willingness to make plays on the defense end keep him at the top of the conversation in this class."

There is still a ton of time in the recruitment for McCoy, and the competition will be stiff, but Izzo is clearly targeting the top prospect. Don't count Izzo out.

Michael France is Sports Illustrated's Michigan State recruiting beat writer, covering all things Big Ten recruiting for Spartan Nation. Be sure to follow him on Twitter/X@michaelfrancesi for exclusive Spartans recruiting coverage.

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Michael France

MICHAEL FRANCE