Michigan State will be shorthanded when it begins practice in just over a week’s time, as one of their expected contributors has been sidelined due to injury.
Sophomore forward Marvin Clark Jr. underwent surgery on his left foot Tuesday, and as a result he’s expected to miss anywhere from six to eight weeks as a result. According to the Detroit Free Press a screw was inserted into Clark’s foot to address a stress reaction, and the decision was made to address this now given the fact that the season’s yet to begin.
Clark averaged 4.5 points and 2.2 rebounds in just over 11 minutes of action per game as a freshman, and with Branden Dawson having moved on he’s expected to play even more in 2015-16. With Clark now sidelined for the time being, freshman Deyonta Davis will be among those who absorb the sophomore’s minutes.
Coming off of a somewhat surprising Final Four appearance during the 2014-15 season, Michigan State will need some new pieces to step up after the departure of valuable senior starters like Branden Dawson and Travis Trice.
Earlier this week Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press profiled the improvement of senior guard Bryn Forbes and this weekend he had a feature on the strong summer of freshman forward and McDonald’s All-American Deyonta Davis.
The 6-foot-10 Davis has been playing in a local summer league and working with his new teammates during the summer and they seem to have positive things to say about him. Having Davis gives the Spartans more front court versatility than last season because at his size, he can play either the four or the five. Davis gives senior center Matt Costello and junior big man Gavin Schilling another player to work with if the duo gets in foul trouble or struggles to produce.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing what DD can do on the court,” Costello said of Davis in the story. “He’s big, he’s long, he’s athletic, and he listens to people. He’s not hard-headed at all, and I really appreciate that about him. It’s been a good summer with him.”
If Davis shows any kind of immediate impact, it would be a huge boost for Michigan State up front. He’s a very naturally gifted player and his potential improvement could really help Michigan State for the next few seasons.
For the last few classes it seemed like the Spartans and head coach Tom Izzo weren’t recruiting the kinds of high-end, All-American-caliber players necessary to compete every year on a national level. By adding players like Davis and the 2016 class commitments of Josh Langford and Nick Ward, it’s a great boost of talent coming into East Lansing the next few seasons with more potential players to come. Izzo made the Final Four last year and he’s certainly capitalizing on his recent success by keeping All-Americans coming into the Michigan State program.
Caleb Swanigan, a 6-foot-8 five star recruit, announced he committed to Michigan State on Friday evening.
Many believed that Swanigan, the No. 17 overall recruit in the Class of 2015, was going to land at Cal, and would later be joined by Oakland native Ivan Rabb, a 6-foot-9 power forward ranked No. 8 overall by Rivals.
Besides the Golden Bears, Arizona, Duke, Kentucky and Purdue were also being considered by the Fort Wayne native.
For Michigan State, on the heels of Tom Izzo’s seventh Final Four appearance, this is a big get. This serves as the first Sparty recruiting class since 2012 to have a McDonald’s All-American as Swanigan joins Deyonta Davis, another five-star big man. The class rounds out with four-star shooting guard Matt McQuaid and Kyle Ahern.
The Spartans lose Branden Dawson and Travis Trice, but do return the talented Denzel Valentine along with Lourawls Nairn, Bryn Forbes while also adding West Virginia transfer Eron Harris, who averaged 17.2 points per game during the 2013-14 season.