With the class of 2014 already signed, I wanted to take a closer look at the talent Tom Izzo is bringing to East Lansing this summer as he looks to replace some key seniors. Today’s feature focuses on Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn out of Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Air, Kansas. Coming out of high school Nairn was rated as the best player in the state of Kansas and the 72nd best player in the country according to ESPN Recruiting rankings. With that in mind lets examine Nairm’s game and see how he fits with the Spartans.
Nairm is an explosive athlete. He’s quick in pick and roll plays and has great fast-twitch muscles that allow him to jump cut and explode at the rim. Great finisher at the rim, even in traffic, which is impressive considering he’s only listed at 5’10". Great at leading the break in transition, but also has the wherewithal to pull the ball out and reset the offense when easy buckets are not there. Good vision, able to set his teammates up well when given the opportunity.
Jump shot can use some work. He actually has a very good shooting stroke so the good news is improvement should come with repetition, he doesn’t have to rework his shooting motion. Also, because he is so explosive he can get out of control at times, particularly when attacking the rim, which can lead to turnovers or poor shot selection.
The more tape I watched on Nairm the more I realized why he’s such a great fit for Michigan State. It’s hard to watch this kid’s game and not be reminded of the point guard he was recruited to replace. Though Tom Izzo would have likely preferred top recruits Tyus Jones or Tyler Ulis (both of whom State recruited hard) the late swoop and sign might even turn out better in the long run. Nairm is long and plays tough. This mindset makes him a perfect fit in a system that places a premium on defense and rebounding. I could easily see Nairm becoming the next four year starting point guard for Coach Izzo and when you examine the type of players Izzo recruits you come to understand he prefers these kids over the perhaps more talented one-and-dones. Hard to predict now that Nairm will be another Keith Appling but the talent, and maybe more importantly, the coach are in place to allow him to excel at the college level.