For Travis Trice the pressure of playing his final year of high school basketball has become so much better since his commitment to Michigan State. Just how good?
"It's been real good; in fact it has actually helped me because I don't even have to focus on who is in the gym or what school I'm going to. Now I can just focus on our team and what is needed for us to win a state championship."
The first thing you learn when talking with Trice is he'll fit in right away when he hits the court next season in East Lansing. A team player first, Trice knows winning brings everything else a player can desire.
"Our first goal and almost our only goal is to win state this year. You win state and all the accolades and other goals will take care of themselves."
Some fans may have been surprised about Trice picking up his Spartans offer, so was the 6-foot-1 point guard.
"It kind of surprised me when it first happened because I did not play too well in that first tournament. However, he (Coach Izzo) came back for our second weekend in July and then I got the call. At first I was like, man. After that he was at all of our games, I got a couple of calls from him, and I was very excited about it. One of the main things Coach Izzo told me was he felt I could carry on the tradition and take it to another level. That really excited me when he said that."
While Trice may have been one of the lesser targeted recruits during the process, once it heated up several programs were hoping to stop him from being a Spartan.
"On my way up to Michigan State for a visit, coach Tubby Smith called me and asked that I turn around and come to Minnesota. I also got a call from Penn State the day before and they offered me. Other schools like Ohio, Toledo, MAC schools, and Missouri Valley schools were all calling."
"You just cannot pass up a situation like Michigan State. They only have two guards returning when I get up there. I'm really just happy that I am included in that group of people who will be going up there."
Once on campus, Trice found MSU to be the place for him.
"I went up there and found the people and the atmosphere to be real good. Everybody on the team took me in right away even when I was not committed. They were talking with me and making me feel part of the family. The family atmosphere and the fact Michigan State is an all around school with great academics. The feel of being part of the family and overall atmosphere of the university was great. Michigan State has great academics and a great football team and basketball program with great coaches. I just could not pass it up when I went up there for my visit."
While he admitted he is living a dream, he never dreamed he would become a part of one of the top basketball programs in college basketball.
"As a kid this is what you dream about, but I never really saw myself at Michigan State. It just kind of happened. However, people have asked me if I had a dream school. Growing up I never really had a dream school I wanted to go to."
Like many who find themselves in the midst of receiving recruiting attention, Trice felt some of the pressure.
"I would be lying to you if I did not say it had a factor in how you play. All I could do was go out there and play while I concentrated on winning and making my teammates better. You have to make sure your team is doing well and concentrate on helping the team win. All the rest will take care of itself. Once you start worrying about that stuff you are going to start to play bad."
The Spartans are no stranger to the Miami Valley when it comes to finding talent. With Jerel Worthy playing a key role on the football squad, Spartans basketball has added center Adreian Payne to this year's squad. Has Trice had a chance to get to know Payne?
"It helps a lot knowing someone is from the same area. I did not really know Adreian until I decided to go to Michigan State. But now since I have committed we have got real close."
Did distance from home play into the choice of Michigan State?
"It was a factor, but then again it was not a factor. I had to be the right fit for me and Michigan State was the right fit as it is not too far away and my parents can come see me play and visit."
Since making his pledge, Trice has been working on getting bigger. How has that been going?
"They have me living in the weight room and I am seeing a difference. My weakness is my physical strength, while my strength is my leadership abilities."
The son of a coach, Trice has learned over the years from watching and listening to his father.
"It just seems like you pick up on stuff faster because you're around it every day. Ever since I was little, he would be talking to me at the dinner table. Anytime a game is on television he would ask me if I saw this play or that play. So it has helped a lot because I'm constantly getting information."
While Trice has made a name for himself during his Wayne career, he's not the most talked about future college athlete in his school as future Ohio State football recruit and childhood friend Braxton Miller walk the same halls.
"Braxton and I grew up together and are best friends and really close. In fact, we are happy for each other as we are both going to two major high profile programs."
"We both came to Wayne our freshman year. I was not even going to end up at Wayne. I was going to go to Kenton Ridge High School that is just outside of Springfield."
While the duo ended up in Huber Heights, it was for different reasons.
The main reason for me not going to either Springfield North or South High School was academics. Over the years we had seen so many kids go to college only to be back after a year because of the college workload. Therefore, my family was looking to send me to another school so I would be ready. It just so happened, that Braxton ended up at Wayne because a coach told him he would not play as a freshman. My father then got the job at Wayne and so it worked out for both of us."
SpartanDigest.com will continue to follow Travis during his senior season as he works to take his team to a state championship.