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You won’t get to see Michigan State men’s basketball take the court for a regular-season game for another 22 days, but hoops season has in essence already begun.
Coaches and players convened in New York for Big Ten Media Day on Thursday, and they’ve already been practicing for several days. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, senior point guard Tum Tum Nairn and sophomore star Miles Bridges will quickly make their return to East Lansing for Michigan State Madness on Friday night.
The annual event signifies the start of the season, even though it sits right between the start of practice and the start of the regular season. It brings out a thousands of students and fans, and sitting courtside will be a handful of top recruits.
Scout’s Brian Snow reports that 4-star New Haven (Mich.) small forward Romeo Weems “will be in attendance” at the Breslin Center on Friday, but Land of 10 has been unable to confirm. Weems does play football, and New Haven has a game Friday night.
With that said, we’ve put together a list of those expected to attend. Unless otherwise noted, Land of 10 has confirmed all plans. Ratings and rankings come from the 247Sports composite.
4-star Grand Rapids (Mich.) Catholic Central forward Marcus Bingham Jr.: The highest-rated player in Michigan State’s 2018 class has already taken his official visit but at least plans to attend the festivities Friday. The 6-foot-10 standout somewhat resembles freshman Jaren Jackson Jr. with his length and ability to shoot from outside.
4-star Belleville (Mich.) wing Gabe Brown: Things are looking up for Brown, who is almost back to full go after knee surgery in July. He will take his official visit to Michigan State over the weekend. He fulfilled his late father’s dream for him over the summer by committing to Michigan State.
4-star Clarkston (Mich.) point guard Foster Loyer: Michigan State will get an official visit this weekend from its tough, smart point guard commit, the son of former Pistons coach John Loyer. He hardly turns the ball over, has impressive range and only misses a free throw seemingly once every full moon.
3-star Ben Davis (Indianapolis) wing Aaron Henry: Michigan State’s most recent commit told Land of 10 he’s upset that he can’t stay for the whole weekend since he already took his official visit in September shortly before his decision. But at least Henry can join his future teammates at the Breslin.
3-star Clarkston (Mich.) forward Thomas Kithier: It seems as though Kithier has been committed for a decade, but it’s (only?) been about a year and a quarter. He will take his official visit with Brown and Loyer before he teams up with the latter this basketball season at his new school.
5-star Fort Wayne (Ind.) North Side wing Keion Brooks: Standing 6-8 with tremendous length, perimeter skills and the ability to guard anyone on the floor, Brooks is one of the most highly touted players in the 2019 class. Michigan State will be battling Indiana not only in football on Saturday but for Brooks’ commitment, and this visit could be a good step forward for the Spartans.
4-star Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) forward Trayce Jackson-Davis: Jackson-Davis is a talented big man from Indiana who plays primarily in the post and is very disruptive on the defensive end. Michigan State offered him after he visited in September, and Friday is expected to be his return to campus.
4-star Old Redford (Detroit) combo guard Mark “Rocket” Watts: Michigan State has also offered this high-scoring in-state guard. Watts has long been an offensive threat, but his defense has gradually been catching up. And the latter is what Izzo has been keeping his eye on. Watts visited Michigan State Madness last year.
4-star Flint (Mich.) Beecher point guard Jalen Terry: Snow also reported that Terry will be on campus Friday. He’s another Flintstone, a 5-10 point guard ranked 26th in the 2020 class. He’s just a junior, so he’s far from a decision and maybe far from a Michigan State offer. Iowa has offered, though, as have Cleveland State, Detroit Mercy and Tulsa.
Benton Harbor (Mich.) forward Carlos Johnson: Prep Hoops Michigan reported that “Scooby” Johnson will visit Michigan State with his teammates on Friday. He stands 6-6 and has attracted Spartans interest for quite some time. Assistant coach Dwayne Stephens watched him work out last month.
2020 6’6 Benton Harbor SF Carlos Johnson & his HS teammates are visiting MSU this weekend for Midnight Madness. Big time talent. @scoobycm35
— Braeden Proctor (@BraedenP_3) October 17, 2017
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