MSU Plays Beat The Buzzer With Guard

Tom Izzo hunted a point guard during the summer and fall. The Spartans missed out on all their high school prospects, but played beat the buzzer last week with a junior college candidate.

Johnson Signs, Beats The Buzzer

Last Wednesday was the final day of the early signing period. Mott JC guard Rashi Johnson was poised to wait until the spring to make a decision and then the call came.

"Izzo called me right before their game Wednesday at Madison Square Garden," Mott coach Steve Schmidt said. "He said he's like to get [it signed] if we wanted too. I got together with the kid and he take care of it."

So, Michigan State now has itself a serviceable guard to give them depth in the backcourt.

"He's pretty good," Schmidt said. "I think he's being recruited with the idea that he's going to be an impact player. To give you an idea, we think they are an elite program and he brings an element that they need right now and that's a defensive-minded hard-nosed presence. I think there's a sincere interest in him playing right away. I've coached a lot of good players and he has unlimited potential."

Johnson did not take an official visit in the fall, was willing to wait for the spring. But, according to Schmidt, the process was becoming a drain. "Actually, the recruiting process got to be a distraction and it affected his play. Michigan State did such a thorough job. Initially we were going to wait until April. It's out of the way now and he can focus on having a great sophomore year and getting ready for the next level. He needs to focus on the books and he's on track and needs to bear down."

Southern Cal, Cincinnati and NC State would have been in line for spring official visits. Mott is 7-1 on the year.

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