The Spartans recently had some good news on the recruiting front with the addition of UNLV transfer Ben Carter, though Tom Izzo and company are still working on trying to add some more talent for the 2016-17 season.
UNLV transfer Ben Carter will be a Spartan
In short, the addition of Carter provides some much needed depth to the front court and another senior for a team that will rely heavily on freshmen talent. It leaves the Spartans with only one open scholarship for the upcoming season. How might they fill that scholarship?
A possible late addition for next season
The biggest news of the high school recruiting scene for the Spartans this past week was that 2016 big man Taurean Thompson included Michigan State in his final three schools to choose from, along with Syracuse and Seton Hall. If that's an unfamiliar name to fans it's likely due to the fact that Thompson wasn't offered a scholarship by Tom Izzo and his staff until just a couple of weeks ago.
Michigan State has now offered @BrewsterHoops unsigned ESPN 100 Taurean Thompson.— Adam Finkelstein (@AdamFinkelstein) April 28, 2016
The offer came just a week before Carter's commitment, but according to Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv, Michigan State is still interested in bringing in Thompson for a visit. Assuming that's true, it's clear that Izzo isn't yet satisfied with his front court depth and is still interested in using his last remaining scholarship on a potential four-year contributor.
Thompson is far from just a body to fill out the roster. The 6-10 forward from New Hampshire is rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals, ESPN, and Scout. He's ranked in the 80s by each of the scouting services. He was the MVP of the Regional Jordan Brand Classic game in April and participated in the Pangos All-American Camp last summer - the most premier non-shoe company sponsored elite camp - and made the Top 30 All-Star game at the camp.
Thompson is a strong and athletic prospect with a lot of potential. He's got a decent shooting stroke for his size and is a relentless rebounder and shot blocker, but not tremendously skilled in the low post, although his strength allows him to muscle his way to the basket against weaker opponents.
Getting a visit from Thompson will be crucial for the Spartans after not just being a few minutes late to the party, but nearly missing it entirely. It's encouraging that they're still being considered and others like Georgetown, UConn, and Providence were cut from his list after recruiting him for a much longer amount of time. Kansas was in the mix for a while, but apparently interest waned on one or both sides there. Syracuse just got their second visit from Thompson and he was at Seton Hall the week before. Those two have recruited Thompson for much longer than Michigan State, but the fact that his recruitment has dragged on for this long may speak to him not being totally in love with either school.
Either way, it appears Izzo and the Spartans aren't quite finished recruiting for 2016 just yet.