Fans who attended the MHSAA Class A and Class B championship semifinals at the Breslin Center Friday got a glimpse of the future of Spartan basketball.
MSU signees Foster Loyer and Marcus Bingham Jr. both lifted their respective teams to their state title games, and gave Spartan fans a taste of what's to come next season.
Loyer, a four-star point guard out of Clarkston High School, carried the Wolves on his back in the team's 25-point blowout of Warren DeLasalle. Loyer, who scored 42 points in the win, was praised by his senior backcourt mate CJ Robinson for his performance.
"When he get's it going, there's not a lot of people who can stop him," Robinson said after the game. "When he gets going like that we try to key on getting him the ball. He knocks shots down for us and it opens things up for others, and he does a good job of finding everybody."
Loyer's shooting ability was on full display on Friday, as seven out of his 12 made field goals were from 3-point range and pushed Clarkston to a Class A finals matchup against Holland West Ottawa. The 6-foot guard even drew praise from Warren De La Salle head coach Greg Esler, who compared Loyer to his future teammate, sophomore point guard Cassius Winston.
Winston, along with several other members of the men's basketball team, had a front row seat to watch another highly-touted four-star signee, Bingham of Grand Rapids Catholic Central.
"I actually didn't see the whole team until after the game," Bingham said. "I knew (head coach Tom) Izzo and coach Stephens was there, but I really don't pay attention to the crowd, I just focus on the game."
Bingham didn't impress with his scoring in his team's 16-point win over New Haven, as so much his defensive prowess. The 6-foot-11 lanky forward blocked six shots and grabbed 13 total rebounds in the win to advance Grand Rapids Catholic to a Class B finals matchup against Benton Harber.
Despite not putting forth his best scoring performance — just 3-of-11 overall — Bingham said he believes his ability to shoot the ball from long range while standing at almost seven feet tall is an aspect of his game that will translate well come the fall.
"I'm 6-foot-10, I've got a good touch on the ball. I think me coming in — if I just keep working, it's going to get better and better," Bingham said.
Bingham said he models his offensive game after Kevin Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo, two near-seven footers who can terrorize NBA defenses with their guard-like skills. Bingham, who has grown nine inches since he was a freshman, played in the backcourt growing up.
"The coach let me dribble the ball because he knew I could. With the growth spurt, it all just tied into it," Bingham said.
Bingham might have been the tallest player on the court on Friday, but the big man showed his guard-like abilities in the form of a tight handle and a silky smooth release on his jumper. While his jump shot didn't connect as often as he would have hoped, Bingham said he still felt comfortable on what is soon going to be his home court.
"The rims are soft," Bingham said. "I worked out here a couple times, and we had team camp here, so I was kind of used to them."
The Catholic Central star has one more game left in his high school career to worry about, but Bingham knows his debut at MSU is right around the corner, and he said he doesn't expect the transition to be easy.
"I've just got to come in and work, that's really it," Bingham said.