Tom Izzo


Could Michigan State basketball be in the mix for Purdue decommit Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn?

Four-star combo guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn decommitted from Purdue on Wednesday and Michigan State basketball could be in the mix.

Death. Taxes. Tom Izzo beating Matt Painter out for top recruits.

I tweeted this out after Xavier Booker committed to Michigan State basketball over Purdue and Indiana — the in-state schools — and it may actually need to come up again.

Four-star combo guard Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn (No. 48 nationally) decommitted from Purdue after being verbally solid since December. Izzo could swoop in once again and assert his recruiting dominance over Painter here.

Could Michigan State be in the mix for Gibbs-Lawhorn who was on the Spartans’ radar before he committed to Purdue? Ant Wright thinks so.

It’s wild how much Michigan State’s recruiting has turned around over the past couple of weeks. Maybe Gibbs-Lawhorn saw Booker commit to the Spartans along with Jeremy Fears (who he happens to be close with) and Gehrig Normand and wanted to be part of something special. Good players want to play with other good players and this could be just the latest case of that.

Michigan State may have reached out to Gibbs-Lawhorn or expressed interest in adding him to the expanded board, but I’m not completely sold that he’s priority No. 1 after Devin Royal commits to Ohio State.

After Royal, I think Izzo’s top priority is Coen Carr, a 6-foot-7 athletic freak from South Carolina, but it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan. Continuing to add to that recruiting board is important because if Carr commits elsewhere, he’ll look to add a high-caliber fourth prospect to the class. Gibbs-Lawhorn fits that bill.

For those who believe that Izzo could add both since there will be room and Carr and Gibbs-Lawhorn play different positions, I’d lean more toward him taking one or the other. Yes, both play different positions, but Izzo has been vocal about not reaching the scholarship limit anymore before “it’s impossible to make everyone happy.”

Plus, Gibbs-Lawhorn is a guard and he’d join an already-loaded backcourt with AJ Hoggard, Jaden Akins, Tre Holloman, Fears, and the potential for Tyson Walker to return for one final season. That wouldn’t make a ton of sense roster-wise. He’s 6-foot-1 so that limits his ability to play more on the wing like Akins.

And Michigan State hasn’t even offered yet, according to 247Sports.

Though I’m not sold on Gibbs-Lawhorn joining MSU just yet, others disagree. Tipton Edits posted about the decommitment and Xavier Booker commented along with Andrej Stojakovic, a top 25 recruit in the 2023 class who says that he believes that Fears and Dra “will be future teammates again.”

via Tipton Edits on Instagram

It’ll be interesting to see if Izzo puts on the press with Gibbs-Lawhorn and goes against his word this offseason and fills out the scholarships with a five-man class, but my money would be on him going all-in on Carr and by the time he decides, the Purdue decommit may have already chosen a new school.

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