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Should Michigan State basketball pursue former Michigan commit Papa Kante?

Are the Spartans in the market for another big?



Tom Izzo
© Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Could Michigan State basketball be in the market for another big man in the form of former Michigan pledge Papa Kante?

Earlier today, four-star 2023 Michigan commit Papa Kante announced that he is requesting a release from his National Letter of Intent and will be reopening his recruitment. The 6-foot-10 center from South Kent, Conn., is currently ranked the No. 107 overall player in the 2023 class and the 14th best center according to 247Sports Composite.

Kante has a listed 7-foot-4 wingspan which would immediately make him a threat down low on the defensive end to block shots and clean up the glass on missed shots. There is definite room for improvement on the offensive end, but the tools and strength are there to develop into a legit scoring threat as well. Should Michigan State basketball be interested?

Two of Michigan State’s biggest weaknesses last season were depth and a formidable presence down low. Kante would immediately help in both of these areas as he would be able to provide quality minutes in the post which we could have used desperately last year. He may not be someone we could rely on to win us games, but MSU has plenty of talent returning where that is not needed.

The Michigan State basketball squad already has plenty of bucket-getters, but Kante would fit perfectly in the role of another quality piece down low that can give good minutes each game when needed.

We also know that Tom Izzo is very selective when it comes to adding talent from the transfer portal, so I could see him being interested in adding a developmental big to this class who projects to be in the college game for 3-4 years. The pairing with five-star Xavier Booker just makes sense in this aspect as well. Booker will likely be headed to the NBA in 1-2 years, giving Kante a couple years to get used to the college game and ready to play significant minuets after Booker leaves and Sissoko graduates.

Kante would be joining the already third-ranked 2023 class in the country that includes five-stars Xavier Booker and Jeremy Fears as well as four-stars Coen Carr and Gehrig Normand. The addition of Kante would keep MSU’s 2023 class as the third-best in the nation, according to 247Sports, just a half point behind Duke and Kentucky who each have four five-stars.

Adding Kante to Michigan State’s roster would only strengthen my expectations for next year as he would be able to contribute early on in the event of foul trouble or any potential injuries. It would also be fun to steal a recruit from the team down the road this late in the cycle, which only increases the intensity in our rivalry with the Wolverines.

Will Izzo and MSU show any interest here? That is yet to be seen, but it would make a lot of sense to purse Kante to complete the roster for the 2023-24 season.

Lead writer for Spartan Shadows since April 2023, writing over 450 articles. Michigan State basketball, football and recruiting expert. Class of 2019 graduate from Michigan State University specializing in Sports Management. Daily MSU runs a popular X page (@daily_msu) covering all things MSU Sports.


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