Georgia Big Man Likes Future With MSU

"I really like how the team is set up. I think I could make a big impact." --Lawrenceville, GA power forward Richard Howell, Jr.

ATLANTA, GA - It was not long into GSN's conversation with Richard Howell, Jr. - one of the top combo forward recruits in the class of 2009 - for him to mention that Michigan State was one of his top schools.

In fact, sometimes, Howell, Jr. sounds like he's already a member of the Spartans. That is definitely a good thing.

"I really like how the team is set up", said the 6-foot-7, 215-pound Howell. "I think I could make a big impact."

Howell is from Lawrenceville, GA and played AAU basketball on the Georgia-based World Wide Renegades, which happens to be the same team that incoming Michigan State freshman Chris Allen plays with.

Does having a hometown friend like Chris Allen at MSU have any impact on his decision?

"Not at the moment, although I would be comfortable playing with Chris again," said Howell, Jr.

At 6-foot-7 and 215-pounds, he is very athletic, has a nice frame, and a basketball build.

These attributes are very similar in current MSU sophomore Raymar Morgan, as well as incoming freshman Durrell Summers. Looking further down the road there appears to be a trend as recent Spartan commit from the 2008 class Delvon Roe, sports a similar frame and athleticism.

"The current and future players are great athletes and we can do big things," said Howell, noting the similarities in their styles.

Besides the Spartans, three other schools are high on Howell's list, according to Florida, Georgia, and Alabama, although MSU is #1 on that list according to and GSN's TJ Kelley.

"I like (Head Coach) Tom Izzo a lot," said Howell. "He came to Georgia and talked to me and my father."

What about strengths and weaknesses? What areas have coaches told him he needs to improve?

"My strengths are passing, driving to the basket, and finishing and I need to get better at shooting off the dribble and on-the-ball defense," said Howell.

What about the distance from Georgia, will that be a factor in his decision?

"Location is not a big factor, I just need to sit down and talk with my father about it," said Howell. "We have talked about visiting MSU this year."

Howell said that he expects to decide on a school at the end of his upcoming junior season of high school.

Analysis: Howell's stock is climbing fast and his athleticism is amazing. Just thinking about him possibly playing next to Delvon Roe at MSU would be a scary thought. Not only would it make the MSU defense a beast, but it would give Tom Izzo several options on offense.

Coach Izzo would like nothing more than a player who plays with hunger and tenacity and leaves everything out on the court. Izzo's 2009 targets appear to be big guys who can defend and block shots.

GSN will keep tabs on Howell's junior season and keep you updated on a possible commitment.

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