MSU basketball plans to save scholarship for rainy day

Tony Paul, The Detroit News

Royal Oak — Michigan State basketball still has a scholarship to spare, but unlike the kid with a quarter at the candy store, it’s not exactly burning a hole in coach Tom Izzo’s pocket.

Izzo said Monday he has no plans to spend the scholarship this offseason.

“Which could mean a couple things,” he said. “Hold on to it, unfortunately, because you never know who’s transferring or who’s doing what anymore. But the second reason would be if next year could be a big recruiting class and an extra scholarship could be very important.”

Izzo said he has looked “at a few kids,” but hasn’t actively recruited anybody for that scholarship.

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There were reports in April that Michigan State was interested in 6-foot-10 center Kerem Kanter, a grad transfer from Green Bay who eventually landed at Xavier. Izzo, though, said he’s not overly interested in going the grad-transfer route — quite the fad these days — being comfortable with the makeup of his team’s personnel for 2017-18.

It doesn’t hurt that his star freshman class is all coming back, led by star Miles Bridges, who surprisingly passed up early entry into the NBA. Forward Ben Carter also got a sixth year of eligibility, and senior Gavin Schilling is returning after missing last season with an injury as well.

“We’ve got some experience, we’ve got some depth,” said Izzo, whose team was 20-15 last season, falling to Kansas in Round 2 of the NCAA Tournament. “So (the scholarship) will be more for the future.”