Michigan State looks to add to an already impressive freshman class with 4-star recruit Taurean Thompson as he narrows his college decision to three schools.
The forward from Wolfeboro, New Hampshire has been recruited by 26 schools; receiving scholarships and offers from 20 of them. He is tied to the Big Ten conference as Maryland and Rutgers both showed incredible interest in him, but unfortunately fell away to Michigan State.
With 26 programs nipping at his heels, he finally broke down his decision to three schools; Michigan State, Seton Hall and Syracuse. While Syracuse remains the favorite, Michigan State only reached out to him April 28, less than three weeks ago.
The 6-9 and 200 pound big man from Brewster Academy remains one of the top prospects in the country. His ability to play center despite his smaller stature shows his tenacious mindset and physical abilities. Ranking No. 20 in the nation amongst power forwards according to ESPN, his inability to step out and shoot regularly may scare off schools and fans alike but the potential of being a true great center is there. The No. 59 overall prospect has a unique and unmatched ability of finishing with both hands equally at the basket with an array of post moves.
His value and skill were on display at the Jordan Brand Classic Tournament. His play can be easily summarized on this stage where he went 13 for 15 shooting for 27 points alongside 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocks en route to the MVP award.
Syracuse may be confident he will ultimately choose them, but Michigan State believes he is a perfect match.
Michigan State already has had one of the more productive offseasons in recruitment as four athletes from ESPN's top 40 prospect list declared to be a Spartan in the 2016 class. Nick Ward, a power forward/center hybrid from Columbus, Ohio signed on with them in November 2015. If Thompson were to join Ward in the Spartan frontcourt, it would be a deadly combination.
Michigan State beefed up their backcourt as well with a new point guard, shooting guard, and swingman. Point guard Cassius Winston signed with Michigan State November 11 from Detroit, Michigan.
Josh Langford from Madison Alabama, and the No. 8 overall ranked prospect Miles Bridges from Huntington, West Virginia joined Michigan State on the same day as future teammate Winston.
With this incredible new lineup of freshman ready to take over collegiate basketball, the acquisition of Thompson would be more than icing on the cake, but a promise of a deep run into March Madness. With the departures of five front court players this offseason and technically only two remaining in the program, Thompson would have enough room to create a name for himself despite the potentially star studded lineup in hand.
Syracuse sees the craftiness of Michigan State's recruitment work and we'll see who becomes the winner in a race that will become a lot more heated in the coming weeks.