When Tom Izzo lost out on 5-star small forward Brian Bowen, there weren’t many options left for Michigan State’s final 2017 scholarship spot.
However, according to the Detroit Free Press, Izzo had been contemplating what to do with the open spot. After all the debating, the Michigan State coach decided to simply keep the scholarship in his back pocket.
“The plan for the last three months, to be honest with you, is to hold on to it,” Izzo told the Free Press at the Coaches Beat Cancer event. “Hold on to it because you never know who’s transferring or who’s doing what anymore. The second reason would be, next year is a big recruiting class and having an extra scholarship could be very important.”
This makes sense for the Spartans, considering Izzo also told the Free Press he and his staff have not actively recruited anyone else in the 2017 class.
Izzo has also vetoed another use of the scholarship: He will not use it on a transfer.
“I don’t think this team needs a grad kid,” Izzo told the Free Press. “We’ve got some experience, we’ve got some depth. It would be more for the future.”
While holding the scholarship might seem like a wasted opportunity to add a player to the mix, the Spartans’ two-man 2017 recruiting class includes some top-rated players. 247Sports lists 5-star forward Jaren Jackson and 4-star forward Xavier Tillman as Michigan State signees for the 2017-18 season.
Keeping that scholarship open also provides Michigan State with some major flexibility when it comes to recruiting in the 2018 class. According to 247Sports, only two players on the Class of 2018’s list of top 25 players have verbally committed to a school, leaving tons of available talent.
According to 247Sports, the Spartans already have two commits in the class of 2018 in 4-star forward Thomas Kithier and 3-star guard Foster Loyer.