Michigan State lands point guard of future
by Joe Rexrode , USA TODAY Sports
EAST LANSING, Mich. — As Lourawls “Tum Tum” Nairn told it Thursday, his morning call to Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo went like this:
Nairn: “Coach, you ready to go win a national championship?”
Izzo: “Are you serious?”
And then there was laughing and yelling, and eventually, Nairn had to get off the line to tell everyone else at a news conference at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita. The 5-11 senior point guard and Bahamas native, ranked No. 61 overall in his class by Rivals.com, will play at MSU, picking the Spartans over Indiana, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
The other three were Nairn’s finalists for the past six weeks, having recruited him steadily for months or years — Oklahoma offered him as a sophomore. That Izzo was able to swoop in and steal him away in, essentially, two weeks of intensive recruiting serves as a counter to concerns about his clout on the recruiting trail.
Those concerns might have peaked Sept. 13, the day Nairn arrived in East Lansing for a hastily arranged official visit, and the day former MSU point guard target Tyler Ulis picked Kentucky over the Spartans.
“It’s kind of funny because there was a mini-meltdown about Ulis, but how do you think Oklahoma feels today?” said Rivals.com national analyst Eric Bossi, who considers Nairn the fastest player in his class. “They recruited this kid before anyone heard about him, and his best friend, who is also from the Bahamas (guard Buddy Hield), plays there and has had a great experience. … Then MSU comes in late and gets him. Of course this is an indicator of MSU’s brand. We should not worry about Izzo.”
This is MSU’s first commitment for the Class of 2014, with battles still ongoing for players such as big man Cliff Alexander (Chicago), shooting guards Devin Booker (Moss Point, Miss.) and James Blackmon (Marion, Ind.), and forwards Kevon Looney (Milwaukee) and Reid Travis (Minneapolis).
Coaches can’t comment on recruits until they sign letters of intent, which Nairn can do starting Nov. 13. He ended the process shortly after visiting MSU, he said, because that visit “just blew me away.”