Well a very enjoyable season of Bobcat basketball is over and looking ahead next year hold just if not more promise for our two teams. With the end of the basketball season usually comes the big rush for schools to gear up and get those final pieces as the Spring signing period comes barreling down a mere few weeks away (April 11th this season). What I find refreshing and very positive is that niether Fish's or Binford's have a great need to to sign someone to fill some holes. While I think they could make their teams stronger either in the short term or long term I am very optimistic about both teams next year with the current roster plus the additions made this fall. Here is a look at what I know, rumors and my opinions for the spring signing period.
WE only have a single roster spot open, but that was for Sarp Gobeloglu scholarship and he was a senior anyway. Add to that senior Quinton Everette's scholarship and they account for the two players we signed in the fall, Isaac Bonton and Luke Schutz. With those two coming on board this fall on paper that pretty much fills up all our roster spots. Having done the math on scholarships but considering that it seems every year we lose at least one under class-man to transfer it is always possible that another scholarship. I talked to a very connected source this week end and as of Saturday "no one is transferring as of now". If so that would mean we would be standing pat, as I said earlier I fine with that. That said though I know the coaches have been recruiting this winter and in this thread I gave a list of who some of those recruits were.
Most of the recruits it seems that Bobcats were recruiting this winter were Point guard and surprisingly point Guards with size(6-5 or better). Additionally two players we had in for visits this fall PG Jaizec Lottie of CO and PF Clashon Gaffney of TX, who both visited with Issac Bonton, recruitment seems to be pretty cool right now. I hear both Lottie and Gaffney were hoping to attract bigger schools attention with their play this winter and while both had great seasons I am not sure they are getting those bigger school offers (unless you consider Denver "a Bigger School"). Possibly the most interesting recruiting development this spring could be that Bobcat sophomore to be Devin Kirby's BIG brother 6-9 240lb Maurice Kirby who started 26 of 31 games for D-1 Loyola Of Chicago announced this week end he intents to transfer from Loyola as a graduate transfer (meaning he could play right away). There was speculation all season on L of C message boards, that he would do this and transfer to MSU to play with his brother. The first half of the rumor has happened, so it will be interesting to see if there is anything to the second part. Keep in mind though, while Maurice started the majority of the games for L of C he only averaged 10 minutes 2 point and 2 rebounds a game, so I wonder whether he is the type of player Fish would make room for (cut someone to get his scholarship) to add to the team. Everything points towards for the 1st time in Fishes career @ MSU not a lot of player coming and going this spring, and that is a VERY GOOD THING!
The women have 2 open scholarships right now plus the three scholarships of their just graduated seniors for a total of 5 scholarships to fill. The Bobcats signed four this fall, Coral Gillette, Tori Martell, Laura Pranger and Ashley Van Sickle, so they should have at least one scholarship to fill this fall. Again, they could possibly add 1 more or so if someone decided not to return. I think Binford accomplished what she needed to this fall with her early class. While only 4 players all of these players can play 2-3 spots for Binford so she pretty much filled every spot on the floor. Something else to think about is that Binford already has two commitments from fellow Minnesotans 5-8 SGSidney Zieske and 6-1 PF Gabby Mocchi for next years class (2018) where she only has 3 scholarships to offer, so she is sitting in a real strong position. I think Binford has an excellent class as it is and it fills all the immediate needs of the program. I would expect her and her staff to be looking hard at this 2017 class for players that could make an immediate impact on the program. If they are not extremely happy with what is available this spring I would expect Binford to hold on to the scholarship to get and even better player in the 2018 class to go with what she already has. Binford has held/not filled scholarships many times and has said she, will not fill a scholarship for the sake of filling one. This is the advantage you have when you have 15 scholarships (compared to the men's 13) and 2 dynamite commitments for 2018 already in the bag. I love recruiting from a position of power!