Thursday, February 27, 2020

Spartans sign second commit for upcoming season

April 17, 2019
Sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (23) converses with Senior forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four game against Texas Tech at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on April 6, 2019. (Nic Antaya/The State News)
Sophomore forward Xavier Tillman (23) converses with Senior forward Kenny Goins (25) during the first half of the NCAA Final Four game against Texas Tech at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on April 6, 2019. (Nic Antaya/The State News) —
Photo by Nic Antaya | The State News

Mark "Rocket" Watts Jr. has officially signed to play Michigan State basketball after receiving offers from multiple other universities. Watts is the second recruit to sign for the Spartans, following Malik Hall.

The Detroit native is currently ranked No. 29 on ESPN's 100 basketball recruiting database. He transferred to a basketball academy at SPIRE Institute from Old Redford Academy. Watts scored 64 points during his senior year, including 15 three-pointers. He has also been chosen three times for the Associated Press all-state first team selection.

During his junior year he averaged 26.8 points, 6 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 2.4 steals per game. This helped lead his team to the regional championship game. He was a Detroit News first team all-area selection and USA Today 2018 All-Michigan second team selection.

"He's had an incredible year playing at his prep school this year, but he's a guy who gives us a 6-3, solid, strong, very athletic body that can play multiple positions, some one, some two, some three and we think he's got a chance defensively to be very good," Izzo said. "He has had great coaching with Craig Covington at Old Redford and Jermaine Jackson, who played at this level and has played in the NBA."

At 6-foot-2 and 175 pounds, the guard is ready to join MSU after graduation.

"We think he serves us because his strength, his athleticism, his size and his shooting ability are a rare combination that few people have," Izzo said. "He's a very competitive kid, a tough kid, an athletic kid who can shoot it from long, long range. He's a very exciting sign for us this year."

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