Recruiting can be a cut-throat business.
Indiana seemed close to reeling in its fourth recruit in the 2014 class. Tom Crean and his staff got 2014 forward Yante Maten on campus for an official visit beginning Sunday, his first official of the spring.
Less than 24 hours later, though, it appears the Hoosiers will have to turn their focus elsewhere in the 2014 class.
Michigan State offered Maten a scholarship on Monday, while Maten was still in Bloomington on his official visit. Maten, a 6-foot-8 prospect from the greater Detroit area, is now a heavy Michigan State lean.
Why? Because it seems Maten has been waiting for this offer all along.
"When we first started this recruiting process, Michigan State was No. 1 on his board," Bloomfield Hills coach Duane Graves told the Detroit News on Monday. "But MSU didn't have a scholarship available then. Now they do. This is awesome."
This isn't the first time Tom Izzo and Michigan State have gotten involved late on an Indiana target. They also offered guard Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn and forward Marvin Clark after the Hoosiers, both of whom are now headed to East Lansing in 2014.
The timing of Maten's offer, though, is quite interesting. Sure, it could be a coincidence. The Spartans fell to Connecticut in the Elite Eight on Sunday, and Izzo probably learned that at least one of his players (Branden Dawson, Gary Harris) will depart for the NBA. Or a player from Michigan State may be transferring. That opened up a scholarship, which he then offered to Maten.
But then again, Izzo could have known for some time that one of those players would leave after the season was over. He could have oversigned. But instead, he waited for Maten to take his official visit to Indiana, thus getting Crean to waste an official if Maten ultimately ends up at Michigan State.
I'd expect the rivalry between these two teams to heat up even more in the coming years.