Top State '09 Big Man Holds MSU's Interest

DaShonte Riley of Detroit Country Day is among the top players in the 2009 class who have caught the eye of the Michigan State University coaching staff. GSN's Pavel Kofman caught up with Riley and talked to him about his summer season, his interest in Michigan State and talked about improving his game prior to his junior season

BIRMINGHAM, MI -- He has been on the MSU radar since he was a freshman in high school, and now DaShonte Riley will enter his junior season of high school with many teams, including the Spartans, watching him closely.

The 6-foot-10.5, 220-pound center from Detroit Country Day plays at a school that has produced NBA stars Chris Webber and Shane Battier and is always a hot school for college basketball talent.

"I believe I represent my school well," said Riley. "I am not the most aggressive guy on the court but I like to attack the boards."

Using his size in attacking the boards is what has the Spartans as well as Georgetown, Michigan, Ohio State, Kansas State, Kansas and Minnesota all eyeing this rebounding and shot-blocking machine.

Where does Michigan State rank on your list of top schools?

"They are in my top three," said Riley. "There is a lot of history behind the basketball program."

Riley has exactly the attributes that Tom Izzo loves in players: great defensive play along with rebounding and shot-blocking ability.

Riley has become a force in the paint at Country Day and still has more time to improve before making the jump to college.

How do you feel about Coach Tom Izzo?

"He is a great coach, one of the best in college basketball," said Riley. "His teams have a good work ethic and he really cares about the kids."

Aside from liking the coach, the familiarity that Riley may have at MSU would be something that he likes.

"Being from around Detroit, I know Kalin (Lucas), Durrell Summers, and new commit Draymond Green too," said Riley. "I would definitely be comfortable playing with them."

MSU head coach Tom Izzo and his staff led by top assistant Mark Montgomery have done a masterful job in keeping some of the top high school prospects from Michigan in-state, which naturally leads to players knowing each other from around the state.

With Michigan State being in-state and close, does the location have any impact on your decision?

"My mother would like me to stay close but I dont think I will go too far," said Riley.

"I plan on visiting MSU in early August this year and I should have a commitment on a schoolboy next summer, after my junior season," added Riley.

Analysis: Riley is a beast in the paint and could do big things down low in a green and white uniform. He needs to get stronger but is an amazing player already even though he is only a junior in high school, which is why his stock is rising.

Having a player that can create space for him inside and score is a real advantage, especially with his size. Although he has not received any offers yet, he has all the makings of being a special player for whichever school he chooses.

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