1. Enoch Boakye’s commitment reinforces MSU’s remarkable recruiting career
Pierre Brooks II, Emoni Bates, Max Christie and now Enoch Boakye, a 6-10, 240-pound five-star center outside Ontario, who got engaged Tuesday, is a dazzling recruiting career for Michigan state basketball.
Brooks, the first to commit and least advertised, is as intriguing a prospect to me as any of them except Bates. Boakye, I think pronounced “bow-ah-chay,” gives the next two MSU recruiting classes some inside thrust and complete roundness to go with the three perimeter players. Boakye, who chose MSU over the offers from Arizona, UCLA, and others, is slated to arrive in 2022 and that’s when MSU is planning on it, though he may be able to reclassify. More on that in a moment.
Boakye makes comparisons to recent Indiana center Thomas Bryant. I’ve heard that from a couple of places. If it’s similar to Bryant, who spent two productive years in Indiana, it would be a good opportunity for the Spartans. Another person who has seen Boakye a lot described him in the Chris Webber cast, though not at that level. I think that comparison is largely due to his ability to handle the ball. He’s more than comfortable pushing him across the floor and on the road. He is also an aggressive player, which I think will be a good rebounder and edge runner. His postgame is a work in progress, but he is an expert athlete, so he has a chance to develop.
2. Four recruits, two classes, scholarship questions: how it all fits together
As recruits increase, along with vertigo from MSU fans, so do the questions about when players will arrive and if there will be room for them on the roster.
Brooks and Christie are set to arrive for the 2021-22 season. Bates and Boakye for 2022-23. The presumption, however, is that Bates will seriously consider reclassifying and coming a year earlier, joining Brooks and Christie. Boakye could too. He is now 17 years old entering his third year at George Harris Prep in Mississauga, Ontario, outside Toronto. Boakye will be 19 if he starts at MSU on time. Then I would be reclassifying in grade but not in age.
That said, it’s unclear if there would be room for him in 2021. Here’s who might be on that MSU list, if they meet their eligibility: Seniors Marcus Bingham Jr., Gabe Brown, Aaron Henry, Thomas Kithier, and Foster Loyer, juniors. Malik Hall, Joey Hauser, Julius Marble and Rocket Watts, sophomores AJ Hoggard and Mady Sissoko, and sophomores Brooks and Christie. That’s a complete list: 13 scholarships. And, if the pandemic ends this season, perhaps Joshua Langford would also be present.
Some variables are at stake. One: If MSU has a basketball season this year, I don’t think they will see all three Henry, Hauser, and Watts back for 2021-22. Henry might even be gone now. He has until August 3 to decide if it will continue to be the NBA draft. If this season doesn’t happen at all, you’re likely to see the NCAA do something similar to what it did with spring sports, which lost its most recent season due to COVID-19, allowing schools to exceed the limit of scholarships for this coming year. year (see the MSU baseball roster, which expects 43 to 45 players next season). Therefore, the scholarship limits for 2021-22 may not be an issue.
If Bates wants to arrive early, he will be welcome. You don’t say to a transcendent talent from home state like Bates, “Wait a year, we don’t have room.” I think that will work itself out. If someone else leaves the show early, especially a big man, the conversation about Boakye could change. As it stands, MSU could have Bingham, Kithier, Marble, and Sissoko on the 2021-22 list. At this time, MSU intends for Boakye to arrive in 2022. However, Boaykye also made clear in his announcement Tuesday that he is eager to play with Bates, though he said Bates’ commitment was not a factor in his decision. .
RELATED: Sofa: At Emoni Bates, Tom Izzo finally lands his transcendent talent
3. Boakye commits another reminder of the changed times for Izzo
The last great Canadian man in this class, I remember that Izzo came close to landing was Jamaal Magloire in 1996. Back then, Izzo was selling a dream. The dream came true: Magloire would have been a senior on the 2000 championship team. Magloire, from Toronto, went to Kentucky, where she won a title in ’98 and then played a decade in the NBA. MSU pulled David Thomas out of recruiting Magloire. Thomas is from Brampton, Ontario, which is also Boakye’s hometown.
As with the other engaged recruit in MSU’s class of 2022, Bates, Boakye’s engagement is a reminder of just how different things are in the MSU world more than two decades later. Almost 30 years ago, Izzo pursued another perspective of Bates’ magnitude on Chris Webber and thought he had it. The program I was selling back then simply didn’t have the teeth it has today. Same thing for a few years later chasing another great Canadian man in Magloire. Now, in the mid-’60s, he’s getting these guys. I am sure it is worth the headache and headaches.
RELATED: Couch: 3 quick shots of top guard Max Christie choosing Michigan State
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Contact Graham Couch at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Graham_Couch.