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what's wrong with MSU hoops

Sad to say it, the cupboard might be a bit bare for Tom Izzo right now. And it might not get too much better. The issue that seems to be at the forefront is recruiting. Remember back when Michigan State won the national title in 2000. Look at their roster. Charlie Bell from Flint Southwestern. Mateen Cleaves from Flint Northern. Jason Richardson from Saginaw Arthur Hill. Morris Peterson from Flint Northwestern. Include Flint Northern's Antonio Smith who had graduated the year before, and Izzo had essentially just signed the Saginaw Valley All-Conference team and put them on the floor. And it worked. He has tried to keep it going over the years, bringing in another Flint Northwestern star Kelvin Torbet, but he hasn't gotten another chance to cut down the nets. Now on the roster there are two Flintstones, neither of which played in the SVC. Marquise Grey from Beecher is a great player and looked excellent against UNC in the Spartans second round loss, but he can't do everything by himself. Taking a redshirt this season was Tom Herzog from Powers. When he signed his letter of intent last year the office staff at Powers refered to him as "St. Tommy" and that is a very fitting nickname as he is very nice. Nice doesn't win basketball games. Neither does thin, and St. Tommy is that too, but if he bulks up the Coldwater Rd/ Carpenter Rd conection could look good in the paint. Unfortunately Grey and Herzog are hardly the best players the high school courts in Flint have seen in recent years. Currently in the SVC there are four players that are ranked near the top in the nation in almost every publication, SWA's Anthony Crater, Arthur Hill's Dar Tucker, and the High's Josh Southern and Draymond Green. Add Powers 2 guard Lavel Lucas-Perry into the mix and you have five guys who are going to see big minutes in division 1 ball the next few years. And none of them will be in green and white. Crater is heading to Ohio State, Southern to Boston College, Tucker to DePaul, Green to Kentucky, and Lucas-Perry to Arizona. Izzo had an entire starting five right under his nose and let five other coaches come in and snatch them up, one in his own conference. Izzo needs to remember what brought him to national prominence in the first place. Before he took over at MSU, the best players from Flint, like Glenn Rice, chose Michigan. Izzo turned the tide, and instead of heading down US 23 to Ann Arbor, they took the drive down I 69 to East Lansing. Well, the great athletes are still here. They just found other destinations. And if Michigan State wants to get back to where they were when this decade began, they need to do a better job of atracting the Saginaw Valley All-Conference team.


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