For the first time since 2003, the Michigan State Spartans will be represented by two future players in this year's edition of the McDonald's All-American Game. Shooting guard Josh Langford will suit up for the West and combo forward Miles Bridges will play for the East squad. Both players are rated as 5-star recruits and currently account for half of Michigan State's 2016 recruiting class.
Tom Izzo is also hoping to round out an already stellar recruiting class with an additional 5-star talent in small forward Josh Jackson, who will also be playing in the McDonald's All-American Game, which will be held at Chicago's United Center on March 30th.
Bridges and Langford are presently the only two Big Ten commits named to the high school all-star game, but with a handful of players in the game still undecided on their college choice, that number is subject to change until every letter of intent is signed, sealed, and delivered.
Michigan State got a first-hand taste of some late recruiting turbulence when 2015 McDonald's All-American Caleb Swanigan switched his Michigan State commitment to Purdue last May. That left Deyonta Davis as Michigan State's lone McDonald's All-American last year.
Including Bridges and Langford, Tom Izzo has successfully recruited a total of 14 McDonald's All-Americans in his 21 years of coaching at Michigan State. He was also able to secure 2 players in the game in 2003 (Shannon Brown, Brandon Cotton) and 2000 (Zach Randolph, Marcus Taylor). In search of his first trio of All-Americans in a single class, Izzo was in attendance earlier this month for a 32-point performance from Josh Jackson.
Michigan State is mired in a conference play skid that has put them behind the eight-ball in the race for the Big Ten regular season championship, but this remains an important two-year stretch for Tom Izzo and the Spartans as the program looks to add a third national championship banner to the Breslin Center rafters.
Despite dropping out of the top ten in this week's national polls, Michigan State retains its status as a top championship contender this year in college basketball futures betting markets. Considering the loaded recruiting class coming in for the Spartans in the fall, it would be quite surprising for MSU not to be in the mix for the national title next year as well.
If things fall perfectly into place in East Lansing, fans will be watching three future Spartans in the McDonald's All-American Game on March 30th while getting ready to head back to Houston for another Final Four trip.