Sunday, October 18, 2015

Bolden breaks down Kansas visit
Kansas played host to several key targets this past weekend, including five-star center Marques Bolden, the No. 16 ranked player in the 2016 class.

Marques Bolden said KU's new dorms are as nice as any he's seen
Marques Bolden, the 6-foot-10, 250-pound center from DeSoto (TX) High School arrived for his official visit to Kansas on Thursday. On Monday night, Bolden, the No. 16 ranked player in the 2016 class, caught up with Jayhawk Slant to talk about his time in Lawrence.

"Actually, my official visit to Kansas was great," said Bolden. "I would say that the visit went much better than I expected going into the visit. I had a great time at Kansas and the visit couldn't have gone any better for me. I arrived on Thursday and hung out with the other players, the coaching staff and the other recruits.

"I didn't spend time with just one player on the team, but hung out with the entire team during my visit," he added. "Harry Giles and I hung out a lot and I was able to spend a lot of time with Coach Bill Self and the other coaches on the staff."

Bolden, who is considering scholarship offers from Alabama, Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Oklahoma, TCU and Wake Forest, is clearly not a stranger to the University of Kansas men's basketball program. Not many programs, if any at all, have invested as much time recruiting the five-star center as Kansas.

Furthermore, Bolden was on hand for last year's version of Late Night in the Phog and his feelings about the University of Kansas remain the same as always.

"I wouldn't have made the trip to Kansas if I wasn't serious about going to Kansas," said Bolden. "I've always had a lot of interest in Kansas and that hasn't changed. Coach Self has made it clear that he wants me at Kansas and during my visit, we talked about how Kansas would use me in and we talked about what role I would play if I decide to attend Kansas.

"I was able to attend a practice, so I got a good look at how Kansas does things on the court," he added. "Being able to attend practice was good for me. Just being able to see how Coach Self works with his players and to see how they use their big men, it was good for me."

Bolden, who also told Jayhawk Slant that the new dorms at Kansas are as nice as any he's seen, has officially visited Kentucky (9/2), Duke (9/18) and Kansas. He's scheduled to officially visit Oklahoma the weekend of October 23, and there's been some talk that a return visit to Duke and Kentucky could take place this weekend.

However, according to Bolden, no decision has been made yet regarding any future visits.

"I'm not sure if I'm going to visit Duke and Kentucky this weekend or not," said Bolden. "I really don't know what I'm going to do next. I've got some important decisions to make, so I need to sit back and think about what I'm going to do next."

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Spartans building statement class

THE RIVALS150: 2016 | 2017
Thanks to Miles Bridges, Michigan State is putting together what could be the most touted recruiting class the Big Ten has seen since Ohio State landed Greg Oden, Mike Conley and Daequan Cook in 2006.

A 6-foot-6 forward who ranks No. 11 in the 2016 Rivals150, Bridges attends Huntington (W.V.) Prep but returned to his hometown of Flint, Mich. to announce that he would come home again for college by picking Tom Izzo and the Spartans.

Miles Bridges is an impact recruit.
Let's first look at who Bridges is and what he means to the program going forward. Then we'll touch on where this class could rank nationally in 2016 and in Spartan history.

One of the most physically tough players in high school basketball, Bridges plays a style that is comparable to the way Ron Artest (aka Metta World Peace) played at the same age. He pounds the glass, powers to the rim for dunks, plays above average defense and an be a playmaker off the dribble. Bridges has continued to work on his jump shot and has room to expand his game with his shooting.

Because of his versatility, Bridges can play and fit in any kind of style. Grind it out test of manhood, track meet, or well executed halfcourt game he is comfortable and productive.

Add him to the class that the Spartans have already put together and you have a potentially special group. 6-foot-6 wing Joshua Langford is a five-star prospect who ranks No. 18 nationally. Point guard Cassius Winston is a Michigan grown point guard who ranks No. 28 nationally while power forward Nick Ward is a big with soft hands and touch who ranks No. 45 overall.

The haul will give Michigan State the country's top 2016 group to this point when team rankings get updated on Tuesday.

Also, the Spartans figure to be a major player in the race for No. 1 Josh Jackson so there's still room to get even better.

The 2016 group has to live up to a lofty reputation and produce like great Spartans teams of the past so it will be some time until we can truly evaluate it. But, it has a chance to be one of the best classes in school history and is as good a class as the Big Ten has seen in quite some time.

Izzo has always been lauded for the teams he has put on the floor and his success, but his 2016 recruiting efforts are a clear reminder that he can also recruit with the best of them.