Tom Herzog: Bigger, Stronger, Ready to Play

One of the tallest players in school history, Herzog's rebounding and defensive strengths will be a great fit for Tom Izzo-coached teams that have been known for their rebounding and defense.

EAST LANSING - Herzog came to East Lansing last fall as a 7-foot, 210-pound skinny center who needed more strength. One year later and coming off a red-shirt freshman season, Herzog is now more polished and has gained 20 pounds of muscle to complement his game.

One of the tallest players in school history, Herzog's rebounding and defensive strengths will be a great fit for Tom Izzo-coached teams that have been known for their rebounding and defense.

Herzog will join Drew Naymick, Idong Ibok, Goran Suton, and Marquise Gray down low to grab everything in sight.

Suton led MSU last season grabbing 6.7 rebounds per game with Gray in second with 5.5 boards per game and forward Raymar Morgan in third with 5.2 boards.

Now Herzog enters the picture and holds the key not only to help out in rebounding, but to stand in the lane and challenge the big-men of the Big Ten.

He adds more depth to the center and power forward positions when at times last season, Tom Izzo chose to start a three-guard lineup with Travis Walton, Drew Neitzel and Isaiah Dahlman.

With guards Durrell Summers, Chris Allen, and Kalin Lucas joining the green and white this season, Izzo finds himself with a scenario that any coach would drool over: a lineup that will be nine to 10 players deep.

The team depth resembles the situation that Roy Williams dealt with last season with his North Carolina Tar Heels.

Much like Tom Izzo will face this year, Williams benefited from a remarkable freshman class in 2006 that featured Brendan Wright, Deon Thompson, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Alex Stepheson, and William Graves. They joined 2005 recruits Tyler Hansbrough and Bobby Frasor to form a team that was favored for the National Championship the past two seasons.

The way Izzo has built his upcoming 2007-2008 is exactly the reason that he has taken MSU to four Final Fours in the last ten years.

Herzog's improvement along with one of the top incoming recruiting classes in the nation will have Michigan State high in the preseason rankings and one of the major talks come March Madness.

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