Alex Gauna Talks Recruitment, MSU

"I wanted to put on a nice display and show everybody what I can do." -- forward Alex Gauna of Eaton Rapids

EATON RAPIDS - 2010 prospect Alex Gauna openly discussed his recruitment and the way his season is going with GSN.

The 6-foot-9 forward, scored 17 points, 10 rebounds and three steals to lead Eaton Rapids to a 66-59 OT win over Granville but were upset by Fowlerville 59-54. The Greyhounds currently stand at 3-1 on the season.

GSN asked Gauna about his interest in Michigan State and his visit to a school that has been watching him since his junior high school days.

"It was great, I've been to Michigan State numerous times, but it was a great experience just to hang out with other recruits and the open gym was a good chance for me to see where I'm at, compared to every one else," said Gauna.

"At the same time I wanted to put on a nice display and show everybody what I can do. It was a great experience. My high school coach (Adam Trumpour) is a Michigan State nut, he went to school [at MSU], so were always talking about Michigan State and things like that."

While Gauna is being recruited by several Division I schools, he is trying to keep focused on his junior season and his grades.

"Right now the big focus for me is just staying on top of school and high school right now. I know college is going to be there, but I kind of want to be focused on high school ball and schoolwork and stuff like that, but I know that the college stuff isn't going away."

The big man talked about one of his goals when it comes to showing his skills.

"I wanted to show everybody what I can do and at the same time, kind of differentiate myself from the other players. My coach tells me all the time that (MSU commit Garrick) Sherman and (MSU commit Derrick) Nix, those guys are kind of like true centers. He likes to look at me as a face-up "four" man, which I am, because I can step out and hit the three and take the ball off the dribble.

That's (why it) was a good experience for me because I've heard a lot about all those guys and I wanted to see for myself what they were like."

"I held my own, I thought I played really well though."

Gauna says he's still hearing from Michigan State and even though its not on a consistent basis, he likes what he's hearing.

"Yeah, yeah (I still hear from them, but) sometimes during the season - especially with high school and college season going on - sometimes the recruitment seems to dip, maybe because guys don't have the free time that they do in summer.

"I still hear from them all the time. They stay in contact with my coach a lot. I talk to Coach Montgomery quite a bit. They are still very high on my list and they haven't gone anywhere."

Gauna also was frank about the competition to see who the best big man in the state really is.

It seems logical that MSU would try to get a commitment from a big man in the 2010 class, perhaps either Gauna or Grand Ledge star Jon Horford. Gauna talked about where he thought he stood.

"It's kind of up in the air (on which big man MSU will take in the 2010 class). They're only going to take the best person to fit in their program. At the same time, it could be (between) me and Jonny (Horford) it could be (between) me and another guy, it could be anybody."

"[I do think] that they need a big guy in the 2010 class. My coach is telling me he really thinks it could be me that gets that spot, it could be one of us. I know they've been looking at me a lot but I also know they've been looking at Jonny. But they're going to get the best person that fits their style. I know they could definitely use a face -up 'four' man."

Gauna isn't worried, instead he's preparing.

"I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, stay focused on the grades and hopefully the best situation comes out of this," he said.

"I hear from LSU, Indiana, Michigan, Xavier, Dayton.

When it came time to discuss his top five schools, Gauna couldn't hide his love for MSU.

"My top five are probably Michigan State.... Michigan State is in my top two or three. Just being in the Lansing area gives them a big advantage, at the same time I grew up a Michigan State fan. I've liked them since I was born, but I know there's other opportunities out there."

He visited Indiana back in September and has visited MSU several times unofficially.

Next year, Gauna believes that coach Trumpour will try to get the Greyhounds into a game that showcases their skills in the Detroit area. He looks forward to that opportunity.

ANALYSIS: GSN thinks that Gauna would be a great addition to the 2010 class. MSU has two big physical players in Garrick Sherman and Derrick Nix, but not one with the skill set they're going to lose when senior Goran Suton graduates.

Gauna brings some of the same skills that Suton brings and while he is not as developed as Suton is now, he shows the potential to be as good down the road.

Still, just as there are other schools that are looking at Gauna, there are other prospects that Michigan State is also considering. GSN will offer an in-depth profile of each of them.

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