By Adam Biggers/@AdamBiggers81
The loss of Caleb Swanigan isn’t the end of the world for Michigan State. It hurts the Spartans, but it’s not a deal-breaker, nor does it negate the positive possibilities for 2015.
Late this past week, Swanigan, a 5-star center/forward out of Ft. Wayne, rescinded his verbal commitment to Tom Izzo’s 2015 class—it was a surprising move, but not all that shocking in the grand scheme of things. For starters, the 6’9”, 265-pounder never signed a letter of intent. Secondly, he was all but headed to Cal prior to picking the Spartans this spring.
Truth be told, Swanigan’s entire process just didn’t appear to be on the up-and-up at all times, and his commitment to Michigan State was met with a great deal of skepticism.
His decommitment marks the third “spurn” by a big-time recruit in as many years for Izzo, who lost out on 5-star wing Jabari Parker of Chicago in 2013 and 5-star forward Cliff Alexander of Chicago in 2014. However, Swanigan’s disassociation doesn’t spell doom for the Spartans, who were recently ranked No. 11 heading into 2015-16 by CBS Sports, it just means that Michigan State fans may have to think twice before planning a trip to Houston, the site of the 2016 Final Four.
There isn’t a coach in America who wouldn’t want a 6’9”, 265-pound bully with good feet, a nice bag of developing post moves, some range and the all important length factor. Swanigan’s reach would have made life a lot easier for Michigan State next season, and considering the loss of Branden Dawson—who led the Big Ten with 9.1 rebounds per outing—the departure of Swanigan becomes a decent concern.
But it’s not anything that can’t be countered.
Matt Costello, Marvin Clark—who is more of a 3 than a 4—and Gavin Schilling will just have to up their levels, a point emphasized by Izzo during a season-ending presser at the Breslin Center.
At 205 pounds, 4-star incoming freshman Deyonta Davis has a way to go before he fill out his 6’8” frame. Once that happens, the Spartans could have another Adreian Payne on their hands.
That’s been the comparison, anyway.
Getting Swanigan didn’t guarantee success, but that brief moment did provide more potential to a group that was already thought capable of running well into March next year.
Incoming 2015 class is ranked No. 16 (No. 3 Big Ten) by 247Sports
Kyle Ahrens, 3-star SG, 6’5.5”, 195 pounds: The Ohioan is athletic enough to get to the rim, big enough to defend in the paint and quick enough to defend on the perimeter. The former Versailles High star shoots well, too—he’s a quality find for Michigan State.
Deyonta Davis, 4-star PF, 6’8”, 205: The Muskegon forward is a threat anywhere in the paint or near the rim. With a further developed shooting touch, he’ll be a complete package. Expect Davis to really bloom as a sophomore and junior.
Matt McQuaid, 4-star SG, 6’5,” 175: Already compared to former Michigan star Nik Stauskas, McQuaid will bring perimeter scoring and respectable all-purpose athletic ability to the mix this season.
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