SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- With his official visit to Michigan State wrapping up, class of 2016 big man Taurean Thompson will finally make a decision on his college future. The three finalists are Syracuse, Michigan State and Seton Hall.
Dating back to last September when Thompson took his official visit to Syracuse, the 6-foot-10 prospect made it known he was interested in playing early and often at his future school. He wanted to wait until after the NBA Draft decisions were finalized before he signed with an institution. He also wanted to take all five official visits, which he has now done.
Which school would be the best fit for Thompson from a playing time point of view?
If Taurean were to choose Syracuse, he would be joining a loaded frontcourt for the 2016-17 season. Dajuan Coleman, Paschal Chukwu, Tyler Roberson and Tyler Lydon will play a majority of the minutes this season. Incoming freshman Matthew Moyer will come off the bench for the Orange. If Thompson were to choose Syracuse, he would compete with Moyer for minutes off the bench. Coleman and Roberson will likely start at center and power forward, respectively, with Paschal Chukwu being the first big off the bench. Lydon will likely start at small forward.
Thompson would likely be the backup power forward for the Orange. If, and when, Jim Boeheim gets sick of Tyler Roberson's inconsistency - which we saw a lot of last season - Thompson would be a viable option.
SU will lose Coleman and Roberson after the 2016-17 season. Tyler Lydon could also leave early for the NBA Draft, meaning Thompson would play big minutes for the Orange in the 2017-18 season.
The Spartans entered Thompson's recruitment late, but it didn't seem to matter. Tom Izzo offered the four-star a scholarship roughly a month ago. Taurean began is official visit to East Lansing on Sunday.
Gavin Schilling, a 6-foot-9, 240-pound center returns next season for the Spartans. They also have incoming freshman Nick Ward, who is considered a four-star talent, according to Scout's rankings. Coach Izzo also received a commitment from UNLV transfer Ben Carter. He will be eligible immediately.
Michigan State has picked up some momentum heading into the official visit with Thompson. One thing to keep in mind is you can never count Tom Izzo out of a recruiting battle. The last visit stays with a recruit longer than his first, unfortunately for SU.
Seton Hall may have an advantage in Thompson's recruitment for one reason: family. SHU is close to home and a place his mother would like him to be, multiple sources have told CuseNation.com. With that said, the decision will ultimately be Taurean's, but his close relationship with his mother could influence that decision.
The Pirates return its starting frontcourt from last season - Angel Delgado and Desi Rodriguez - both forwards. SHU also returns bench players Braeden Anderson, Myles Carter and Rashed Anthony, according to the school's athletic website.
Seton Hall is close to home and provides an opportunity to play right away for Thompson, something that has influenced his recruitment since day one.
Despite currently being at the NCAA limit of 13 scholarships, Thompson told SNY.tv that Seton Hall has promised him a scholarship for next season. Michigan State and Syracuse also have an available scholarship.
After Taurean's official visit to Michigan State ends, he will make his college decision.