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Miles Bridges picks MSU: 'I can't wait to get started'

Jim Spadafore
Special to The Detroit News
Miles Bridges puts on a Michigan State hat during Saturday's press conference.

Flint -- Five-star forward Miles Bridges decided to go green.

The 6-foot-7 basketball star announced Saturday at Mott Community College in his hometown of Flint that he would attend Michigan State, selecting the Spartans over his other finalists, Kentucky and Indiana.

Bridges, who plays for Huntington (W.Va.) Prep, is rated the No. 4 small forward in the nation by Scout.com and the No. 11 player overall.

"I can't wait to get started," Bridges said Saturday about playing at MSU.

Coach Tom Izzo has recruited what some experts are now ranking as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. Scout.com's top three are 1. Michigan State, 2. Duke and 3. Kentucky.

Bridges adds to MSU's impressive 2016 class that also includes 6-6 guard Josh Langford of Madison, Ala., a five-star prospect and consensus top-20 player in the nation; Cassius Winston, a 6-1, four-star point guard from U-D Jesuit; and 6-9 forward Nick Ward, a four-star and consensus top-50 player from Gahanna, Ohio.

"Michigan State now has the No. 1 ranked recruiting class, just ahead of Duke," said Eric Bossi of Rivals.com. "On paper this is an incredible class. Bridges is a blue-collar player, very physical. He should make an immediate impact. He's not only physically ready for college ball but he's also mentally ready. He's a smart player."

Brian Snow of Scout.com is just as impressed.

"This class makes Michigan State an instant Final Four and national championship contender," Snow said. "Izzo is bringing in instant impact players."

Winston's decision to attend MSU weighed heavily in Bridges' mind.

"Cassius is my boy and I actually thought he was going to Michigan," Bridges said Saturday after picking the Spartans. "I wanted to play with Cassius."

Miles reached down at the table he was sitting at and put on a Michigan State hat before making his announcement.

"All I want to do is win games and win a national championship," Bridges said Saturday at his press conference. "I'll do anything it takes to win. That's all I want to do -- and to develop. Michigan State offers me all of that. The State coaches have been awesome. They've been recruiting me since eighth grade. Coach Izzo is a great person and a great family man. I can't wait to play for him."

This is likely Izzo's greatest recruiting class and he might not be finished. MSU is also in the running for 6-7 guard Josh Jackson, formerly of Detroit now playing in Napa, California. Jackson is also considering Arizona, Maryland and Kansas.

"I talk to Josh all the time," Bridges said. "I'd love to play on the same team as him but it's up to him."

Bridges, who averaged 15.7 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.8 blocks last season at Huntington Prep, joins many former Flint players who wore the green and white. Among them are Mateen Cleaves, Charlie Bell and Morris Peterson, who led the Spartans to the 2000 national championship.

The Flint connection started for Izzo in 1995 when Antonio Smith of Flint Northern became the first Flint player to sign with Izzo. That started the pipeline from Flint to East Lansing.

"This is a blessing for Miles and for Michigan State," said Smith, who attended the press conference. "This is tremendous for the Flint community. It's been 20 years since I signed. This is keeping up with the Flint tradition. "Miles is a good guy. A humble guy."

Bridges exploded this past summer playing for The Family in AAU completion. He averaged 23.4 points and 10.1 rebounds and shot 57.1 percent from the field, including 42.9 from 3-point range.