Spartans still searching for Gary Harris' replacement

Matt Charboneau
The Detroit News

East Lansing — When Michigan State lost Gary Harris two years early to the NBA, Tom Izzo knew it would be a challenge to replace him.

It's been an ongoing process throughout the offseason and into two exhibitions. Now, as Michigan State prepares to open the season at Navy at Friday, getting any closer to who might be the starting shooting guard is proving difficult.

Two players that should be vying for the spot are far from 100 percent. True freshman Javon Bess is out until at least mid-December with a broken right foot, and Izzo said Tuesday junior transfer Bryn Forbes could be limited with a broken bone in his left (non-shooting) hand.

"I thought by this time Bryn was to the point where he might have been a starter," Izzo said. "Right now (we're) just trying to bring him off the bench and get what we can get. We're going to have to see as the competition steps up how he reacts to that. I don't know how that will be yet. So I'm trying not to plan for too much in case the reality sets in of he can't do as much as he'll be able to do a couple weeks from now."

Forbes hurt the wrist in practice but when the pain didn't subside, X-rays were taken and revealed the break.

In the exhibition opener last week against the Master's College, Forbes was 4-for-7 from 3-point range and scored 14. He put a brace on the hand for the exhibition against St. Cloud State, and was 2-for-7, including 0-for-4 on 3-pointers.

"I don't know how much he can get done with that (brace)," Izzo said. "But he has practiced pretty well with it, and I guess only game time will tell.

"I think he's doing a lot better now, and I don't think this is going to be a two-, three-week deal, but I don't think (the brace) is going to be off this week, either. Is he going to play with that against Navy, against Duke, and then maybe the next week? Probably."

Early signing period

Michigan State is expected to sign at least three players Wednesday during the early signing period in what is being rated by most services as a top 15 class in the country.

Deyonta Davis, a 6-foot-9 forward from Muskegon, is a five-star prospect. He is rated 23rd overall in the nation according to Rivals.com, 29th by Scout.com and 34th by 247sports.com.

Joining Davis is four-star shooting guard Matt McQuaid (6-5, 175) of Duncanville, Texas, and three-star shooting guard Kyle Ahrens (6-4, 175) of Versailles, Ohio.

Five-star big man Caleb Swanigan of Fort Wayne, Indiana, said he will wait until spring to sign to make a decision. The 6-8, 265-pounder has Michigan State high on his list, and also is considering Kansas, Kentucky and Arizona.

Izzo on football

Izzo, on the Michigan State football team, which lost last weekend to Ohio State: "This is a very good team, but it's even developed into a better program, and that's what I think we've got to keep our sights on. Where's the program at? The program is a national program now that has a bull's-eye on its back and has adjusted just fine and will be just fine."

Michigan State at Navy

Tip-off: 9 p.m. Friday, Alumni Hall, Annapolis, Md.

TV/radio: CBSSN/WJR

Outlook: Michigan State opens coach Tom Izzo's 20th season in the inaugural Veteran's Classic. ... It's a busy weekend in the Maryland for Michigan State — the men's soccer team plays Maryland in the Big Ten semifinals on Friday, while the football team faces Maryland at 8 p.m. Saturday.

mcharboneau@detroitnews.com

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