On Tuesday afternoon, elite 2017 prospect Gary Trent, Jr. cut his list to just five schools and Michigan State was fortunate enough to make the cut. The Spartans have been in on Trent for quite some time and still appear to be in on him at this point.
Along with Michigan State, Trent listed four other members of college basketball’s royalty. These schools were Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, and UCLA. Currently, Duke has received 100 percent of the predictions on 247Sports’ Crystal Ball picks.
‼️‼️‼️‼️— GARY TRENT JR ⁉️ (@THAT_KID_GARY) August 2, 2016
TOP 5 #final5 pic.twitter.com/l5Amnw3ZRP
As mentioned, Trent is one of the highest rated prospects in the country. In fact, 247Sports rates Trent as a five-star recruit, the No. 11 player overall in 2017, and the No. 2 shooting guard in the nation. The recruiting service also has him listed at 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds.
Undoubtedly, Trent is the type of player that can make a massive difference at the college level. He’s an elite scorer, can get the ball inside, and has the ability to create his own opportunities. If he were to join the Spartans, he would immediately be an early Big Ten Freshman of the Year candidate.
Nonetheless, considering the nature of Trent’s recruitment, this is going to be an uphill challenge for Michigan State. Even with the exceptional 2016 class coming to East Lansing this fall, pulling a recruit away from schools like Arizona, Duke, Kentucky, and UCLA is never an easy task.
Impossible? No, but keeping the recruitment in context is important.
Of course, if Michigan State does somehow reel in Trent, it would be huge for the 2017-’18 Spartans. On paper, the team will be uber talented heading into that season, but with so many elite young players on the roster this year, there’s a decent chance at least a player or two tests the NBA waters. As such, Trent could give Michigan State a great option either at the two or on the wing to play with whichever major prospects from Michigan State’s 2016 class end up returning to school after their freshmen years.
Additionally, this is also big news for several other Big Ten programs, including Ohio State, who was believed to at least have some role in Trent’s recruitment. With Trent cutting the remainder of the Big Ten, those schools will be left to pursue other options in the coming months.
The battle for Trent’s commitment will be one that goes down to the finish line, but as things currently sit, the Spartans are at least still in the race.