ANALYSIS: How Would Sykes Fit in '10 Class?

Michigan State is already on its way to a solid recruiting class for 2010. The Spartans have landed arguably the best guard in the state of any class in Keith Appling of Detroit Pershing and Russell Byrd of Ft. Wayne Blackhawk Christian, do they have room of Isaiah Sykes in the class?

DETROIT - Michigan State is already on its way to a solid recruiting class for 2010. The Spartans have landed arguably the best guard in the state of any class in Keith Appling of Detroit Pershing (5-0).

The then added a player who has major league range in shooting guard Russell Byrd of Ft. Wayne (IN) Blackhawk Christian Academy.

It's believed that MSU will only take one more player in the 2010 class so the question begs: How serious is MSU about Isaiah Sykes, a player his coach Ray Reeves once compared to Spartans all-time great Ervin "Magic" Johnson?

Taking a look back at MSU's recruiting classes seem to give some indication as to whether the Spartans would be willing to use their final scholarship on a player who most likely to top out at 6-foot-6 or 7.

Dating back to 2002, MSU seems to take alternate stocking up on frontcourt and backcourt players. For instance, MSU took Paul Davis, Delco Rowley and Erazem Lorbek, but made their fourth scholarship player a guard Maurice Ager.

Lorbek shocked MSU by turning pro after his freshman season, giving State another scholarship to offer. In 2003, they nabbed Shannon Brown, Drew Naymick and Brandon Cotton. Only Naymick stayed the full five seasons, Brown left after his junior season and Cotton transferred out to Detroit after an injury filled season in East Lansing.

The Spartans loaded up in 2004, following their 2002 pattern, they took three big men, Marquise Gray, Goran Suton and Idong Ibok. The finished up the class by grabbing Drew Neitzel, Neitzel graduated and Suton, Gray and Ibok will all finish their eligibility this season.

MSU took only two players in 2005, backcourt players Travis Walton and Maurice Joseph. Joseph couldn't stay with Big Ten competetion and transferred out to Vermont where he's averaging 7.9 ppg for the 8-4 Catamounts including a career high 18 vs. George Washington.

2006 brought two backcourt players to replinish the lost of Neitzel, Cotton and Brown. MSU landed Isaiah Dahlman, swingman Raymar Morgan and one forward, Tom Herzog of Flint Powers Catholic.

Three more guards were added with the 2007 class of Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen and Durrell Summers, all key contributors in their sophomore seasons. MSU took Austin Thornton as a perferred walk-on.

2008 brought super recruit Delvon Roe, point guard Korie Luciousand power forward Draymond Green. With 2009 class of only Garrick Sherman and Derrick Nix, MSU has a scholarship remainin in 2009 to give, likely to Jamil Wilson of Racine (WI) Horlick.

MSU has four seniors that graduate and so, they could take four players in 2010 to fill those opening. They lose Walton, along with Suton, Gray and Ibok.

While they definitely will take a big man - likely either Eaton Rapids Alex Gauna or Grand Ledge's Jon Horford, with Mohamed Conde a longshot for the position. It also wouldn't be surprising to see MSU get in on Adreian Payne, a 6-foot-9, five star forward from Dayton, OH.

But Sykes is an interesting player. Seldom do you find a player who plays in the front court who can handle the ball as well nearly as well as a point guard.

A lot depends on whether or not "Zeek" (Sykes nickname) continues to grow.

If he tops out at 6-foot-6 or 7, MSU would likely make a run at that kind of versatility.

If Dion Sims joins MSU on a football scholarship with permission to play basketball, that too might allow Izzo to take a chance on a player who could be really good at the collegiate level.

One factor to consider is that the 2011 class is loaded and the Spartans may want to pocket a scholarship or two.

MSU has already shown a lot of love to Brandan Kearney of Detroit Southeastern, LaDontae Henton of Lansing Eastern and Amire Williams of Detroit Country Day.

That doesn't take into account the presence of 6-foot-9 Tommy McCune, 6-foot-7 Paul Honigford of Sugarcreek (OH) Garaway, 6-foot-1 Carlton Brundage of Southfield and 6-foot-2, point guard A.J. Matthew of Ann Arbor Huron.

So while currently, it would appear the odds are longer that MSU would take a chance on Sykes, the status of Dion Sims could be a strong influence on how the Spartans proceed.

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