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Michigan State Basketball: Could Grant Nelson be a transfer target?

Could Tom Izzo take a look at this big man?



Michigan State basketball
© Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Grant Nelson from North Dakota State has entered the portal. Would Michigan State basketball consider bringing in the viral big man?

Having a highlight reel of spin moves, euro-steps, and 3-pointers while being the tallest player on the court requires a unique combination of size and skill. Size and skill that will get you noticed when you enter the transfer portal. North Dakota State’s Grant Nelson’s tape is full of this, which should have many programs (maybe Michigan State basketball?) interested in the junior’s services next season.

Averaging 17.9 points and nine rebounds per game is no easy task in and of itself. Nelson does this, but in an even more impressive fashion.

Grant Nelson measures at 6-foot-11, but his play is more reminiscent of a point guard. Nelson is able to bring the ball up the court with confidence, and is quick to make a move toward the basket. His ball handling is extremely impressive for his size and allows him to not only get to the basket, but finish with little difficulty. If a smaller forward is locked in on Grant, he is able to use his height to take advantage. When up against a traditional big man away from the basket, Grant dips into his point guard bag and is able to take advantage of the less coordinated big men.

With that being said, there are a few aspects Nelson would need to improve on if the Spartans were to pursue the transfer big man. His 3-point attempts have increased each season, but his three point shooting percentage has decreased exponentially each year, now cashing in on just 27 percent from deep.

Moreover, Nelson’s 6-foot-11 frame would need to be addressed if he were to compete against Big Ten centers. Sitting around just 220 pounds, the junior’s frame has similarities to Marcus Bingham Jr. during his time at MSU. His lack of muscle would limit him taking control downlow.

Ideally, as North Dakota State often did, Nelson would play a stretch four position with a more imposing running mate down low. This would allow Nelson to move away from the basket, utilizing his ball handling skills and opening up the paint for his teammates.

Nelson’s gameplay is similar to that of an incoming recruit for Izzo and Co.

Now, would Tom Izzo consider targeting Nelson to add to next year’s title-contending roster? Normally, I would say that while he may not due to his personal views on the portal, he ought to. Nelson’s offensive ability would offset Mady Sissoko’s lack of scoring in a perfect marriage of sorts. However, with Xavier Booker coming in, I don’t think Izzo would welcome the logjam that would be created.

In ironic fashion, Nelson is quite possibly the type of player many believe Booker can become; a ball-handling big man who can move away from the basket, but may struggle pushing Big Ten-caliber forwards/centers around in the paint. Add the similarities of Nelson and incoming Booker to the fact that Izzo isn’t fond of the transfer portal, and I think it’s quite unlikely we will see Grant Nelson in East Lansing next season.

But, if you want to see what I think Xavier Booker can become, take a look at Nelson’s highlights from this last season. It’s difficult to matchup against a 6-foot-11 point guard.


Michigan State basketball prioritizing 5-star SG Isaiah Elohim

Elohim would be a heck of a 2024 addition.



Michigan State basketball
© Andrew Jansen/News-Leader / USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan State basketball is one of six schools reaching out the most to five-star shooting guard Isaiah Elohim.

In a tweet from 24/7 High School Hoopsit was recently revealed that Michigan State basketball, among five other programs, is showing plenty of interest in highly-ranked shooting guard Isaiah Elohim from California.

The 6-foot-5, 190-pound Elohim isn’t an athletic freak like Coen Carr, but has excellent size, speed, and athleticism regardless. He also has a good shot and excels at scoring the ball from around the court. It’s easy to envision him being the kind of guy in the future who can drop a flurry of jumpers and take over a game.

Elohim is currently attending Sierra Canyon in Los Angeles, Calif. This is big-time basketball school that has produced plenty of NBA talent, including Kenyon Martin Jr. and current Detroit Piston Marvin Bagley. It’s also the same school that Bronny James attended. The fact that Elohim was able to excel at such a prestigious basketball school (against excellent competition) gives me plenty of confidence that he can translate to the next level.

Tom Izzo will have to beat out other big-name programs such as Kansas, UCLA, Duke, Kentucky, and Baylor (who have also reportedly been showing interest) for the top-20 ranked shooting guard. Michigan State just capped off a top-five ranked class for 2023, but keeping the recruiting hot streak going for 2024 would be massive for the program. The more five-stars you have, the more five-stars you get — talent wants to play with talent.

Look for a visit to be scheduled soon.

It might be time for Izzo to land his latest five-star.

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Coen Carr throws down incredible free throw line dunk (Video)

Coen Carr is a freak.



Coen Carr
© Michael Caterina / USA TODAY NETWORK

Coen Carr flashed his elite athleticism once again, throwing down a dunk from the free throw line this weekend.

Incoming MSU freshman forward Coen Carr has displayed his extreme athleticism all offseason. It seems like every week a new video surfaces of him doing something mindboggling.

Today’s highlight shows Carr dunking from the free throw line.

This is something that most NBA players can’t even do but Carr looks like he is able to do this with ease and had the whole gym rocking in the video.

Coen Carr is one of four players joining the Michigan State Basketball program this season, joining five-stars Xavier Booker and Jeremy Fears as well as four-star Gehrig Normand. According to 247Sports, he is the No. 31 player in the class and No. 7 at his position. Carr was not always ranked this high, but his ranking skyrocketed during his senior season as he vastly improved his game.

Michigan State’s 2023 class is one of Tom Izzo’s best ever. The Spartans class is No. 4 in the country and is the best in the Big Ten. Each freshman will be ready to play day one and will mesh perfectly with the returning players.

What will Coen Carr do next? My guess is we won’t have to wait too long to see his next high-flying dunk shock the internet. He’s going to tear the roof off of Breslin next year.

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Michigan State basketball makes top 7 for 4-star PF/C Tyler McKinley

MSU and Ohio State are the only Big Ten teams to make the cut.



Michigan State basketball
© Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State basketball has made the cut for one of the top 10 centers in the 2024 class, four-star Tyler McKinley.

Michigan State basketball is in the running for one of the top centers in the 2024 class as four-star Tyler McKinley released his top seven schools on Monday afternoon.

McKinley, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, is currently playing high school ball in Missouri and has become one of the top 10 centers in the 2024 class. He’ll be choosing between MSU, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Xavier, Virginia Tech, Alabama, and Tennessee. That’s quite the mixed bag as there are SEC teams, Big Ten teams, an ACC team, and some prominent local teams from where he grew up.

Tom Izzo will have to fight hard for this commitment.

The 6-foot-9, 220-pound center is ranked No. 60 overall in the 2024 class and he’s the 10th-best at the position. With his frame, he may translate more to a power forward at the next level and he could complement Jesse McCulloch in the post.

McCulloch also projects as a power forward so this would be an interesting target for Izzo if he were to make a heavy push here.

Flory Bidunga is likely the Spartans’ top center target in the 2024 class, but it looks like Indiana has a lead there while Cincinnati is also in the running.

Michigan State’s 2024 recruiting class currently ranks No. 10 in the nation after landing McCulloch and four-star wing Kur Teng this spring. Adding another top-60 recruit to the class would just be another sign that Izzo still has it and he’s not “washed” like some rival fans claimed a year ago.

McKinley doesn’t currently have a visit to Michigan State scheduled, but I’d assume that he sets some officials before making a final decision.

I’d expect the 2024 Michigan State basketball recruiting class to be three or four players deep.

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