Michigan State knows all too well what it feels like to have NBA talent. However, what differs them from a program like Kentucky is that the Spartans have a program which keeps talent for at least three years.
Tom Izzo has a knack for finding elite talent that has no problem staying in school to develop their skill and get the most out of their college experience, including a degree.
Another reason players usually stay the course in East Lansing is Izzo’s track record. Every four-year player that has played under Izzo has made at least one trip to a Final Four. This statistic has helped tremendously in recruiting tremendously. Oh, and his six Final Fours and one national title don’t hurt his pitch, either.
Although he missed out on top-recruit Jabari Parker to Duke for next season, the Spartans will be fine at the wing position.
The player that Parker said was the reason he couldn’t commit to the Spartans because of too much depth at the position, Branden Dawson has announced he will be back for at least another year at Michigan State. Dawson talked with reporters after practice Tuesday and said:
“I know right now, I’m not ready for the NBA. I’m still young, still have to work on some things, still have to mature in some aspects.”
This announcement doesn’t surprise too many people because he still has yet to develop a jump shot and offensive game that would be needed at the professional level. He has earned much criticism with his turnover rate and his lack of a strong move to the basket along with a lack of touch around the basket.
Dawson is, however, a strong NBA body with extreme athleticism that could make him an elite talent even at the next level. He is a poor man’s Blake Griffin, and with the addition of a jump shot, could be one of the top picks when he is ready to make the next step.
It’s not often you see a player mature enough to admit he isn’t ready to go pro, even with people whispering in his ear about how good he is.
Whether it’s his recent slump or talking to Izzo that has kept him grounded, the sophomore is making the right choice by staying in college.