It is another elite recruiting class for Tom Izzo, one that has the potential to become among the best in college basketball history if Emoni Bates reclassifies and Enoch Boakye joins him.
Even without them, the trio of five-star Max Christie and four-stars Jaden Akins and Pierre Brooks II gives Izzo the kind of guards he cherishes — long, skilled, athletic and tough.
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Here is a look at Michigan State basketball’s No. 6-ranked 2021 recruiting class as it stands after signing day Wednesday:
*Rankings are from 247SportsComposite.
USA Men’s Junior National Team participant Max Christie during minicamp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Oct. 6, 2018 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Measurables: 6-foot-6, 190 pounds.
Ranking: No. 15 overall, No. 1 shooting guard.
Buzz: Christie is one of the nation’s top shooters, a three-level scoring threat who can create his own shot outside and attack the rim off the bounce. He fits the Izzo mold of a Steve Smith or Denzel Valentine with his ability to distribute and rebound, and Christie could play all three guard spots.
His passing will be pivotal to maintaining the ball flow Izzo’s teams have enjoyed the past few seasons, Christie’s ability to grab a board, get out and run and hit pull-up jumpers will enhance the Spartans’ transition game.
Farmington’s Jaden Akins slices through some CC defense to put up a shot.
Measurables: 6-3, 170.
Ranking: No. 62 overall, No. 11 point guard.
Buzz: Izzo said the Spartans “might have the steal of the draft” with the type of leaping ability Akins has shown. Lean and wiry, Akins plays point guard with an attacking mindset and can finish at the rim with force — a rarity for Izzo point guards in the past.
Improved shooting from outside could allow Akins to play more of a combo guard role, but Izzo believes he already will be able to defend multiple positions and has the talent to elevate others with his passing ability.
Pierre Brooks II, SG
Measurables: 6-6, 215.
Ranking: No. 68 overall, No. 13 shooting guard.
Detroit Douglass junior Pierre Brooks II boxes out Port Huron Northern’s Cass Dobrowolski during a SC4 Showcase boys basketball game on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, at SC4 Fieldhouse in Port Huron.
Buzz: Brooks continues to put on muscle to his chiseled frame, a sign of his work ethic. That carries over to the court, where the son of a coach is one of the live-the-game guys who become Izzo favorites. Brooks possesses physical maturity to back down smaller guards and the athleticism to run the break, hit a step-back jumper in the half-court or finish with a flush in either setting.
For a bigger guard, he also possesses point-like ball-handling skills to attack off the bounce and a high basketball IQ.
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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball 2021 recruits: Max Christie leads nice haul