As the No. 4-ranked Michigan State Spartans attempt to move on from their opening-season 79-76 upset suffered against James Madison, head coach Tom Izzo on the MSU basketball team officially welcomed the 2024 class Wednesday on National Signing Day.
The current roster of signees in 2024 consists of point guard Jase Richardson, shooting guard Kur Teng and power forward Jesse McCulloch. Richardson's father, Jason, played at Michigan State from 1999-2001, and he was on the national championship team in 2000.
Today was the official start of the early signing period for college basketball, and all three signed Wednesday morning.
"(McCulloch) can really shoot the ball," Izzo said. "We were attracted to him because he knows how to shoot it, and he communicated really well on the floor."
Izzo noted that he watched McCulloch at an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) tournament, where the Cleveland native "talked better than any guard (he's) ever seen."
The MSU coach, now in his 28th season, said that despite Teng not being heralded as much as some shooting guards, he’s well-coached and has been a top-10 shooting guard for his entire career.
Izzo said he has never seen anyone coach as hard as Teng's Bradford Christian Academy boys' basketball coach Vinny Pastore and that Teng has a huge respect for the game of basketball.
Commenting on Richardson, Izzo said that MSU gets "a little bit of everything."
"It is an honor to get a son of a former player," Izzo said. "He can pass it, he can shoot it, he can defend it … and he's a very aggressive rebounder … I think this kid has the chance to be one of the great combo guards."
The regular period for National Signing Day for college basketball is April 17, 2024.
In Izzo's Wednesday media availability, he also discussed MSU's loss to James Madison. Izzo said the team is ready to move on.
"I'm not panicking over anything," Izzo said. "The free throw shooting itself was a joke. I don’t have a better word for it than that. It’s over, learn from it … Now we got a lot of work to do moving forward, and so after that game, it was nothing but (focusing on) Southern Indiana."
Southern Indiana is currently in its second season of a four-year transition period from Division II to Division I. Last season, the Screaming Eagles received an invite to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI), a tournament that selects teams not chosen for either the NCAA men's basketball tournament or the National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Southern Indiana lost to San José 77-52 in the first round.
The Spartans and Screaming Eagles tip off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, at the Breslin Center.
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