Matt Charboneau breaks down Michigan State's win over Nebraska The Detroit News
Michigan State’s latest pursuit of one of the top-rated basketball prospects in the nation will conclude Sunday evening when Isaiah Stewart announces where he’ll play college basketball next season.
The 6-foot-9 five-star forward will decide between Michigan State, Duke, Washington, Kentucky and Syracuse. He’ll make his announcement on ESPN at halftime of the Oak Hill vs. IMG game that tips off at 7:30 p.m.
Stewart, a native of Rochester, N.Y., is the sixth-ranked player on the country, according to the composite rankings at 247Sports. He is playing his final prep season at La Lumiere in La Porte, Ind., the same school that produced former Spartan and NBA lottery pick Jaren Jackson Jr.
Predictions at 247Sports have flipped heavily in the last day to Washington, with Syracuse, Michigan State and Duke landing only a handful of guesses.
The pull to Washington is the connection Stewart has with head coach Mike Hopkins. A longtime assistant at Syracuse, Hopkins has been recruiting Stewart since middle school, and Stewart values that relationship.
“Isaiah is kind of a different type of kid,” Rivals national basketball analyst Corey Evans said in December. “He’s a very relationship-driven kid and very, very mature. Mike Hopkins has known the kid since seventh, eighth grade. The first thing he did once he got the job at Washington was make Isaiah Stewart the priority. And Isaiah has always been about being different, as well, and you put two and two together and kind makes sense what Washington can offer.”
Michigan State has just one player signed to the 2019 class -- 6-7 forward Malik Hall, rated the No. 53 player in the nation. They also have a commitment from 6-2 guard Rocket Watts, the 32nd-ranked player in the nation who is playing this season at Spire Academy in Geneva, Ohio. The Detroit native did not sign in the early period, leading to speculation he would flip to another school. However, he has contended his still plans to sign with the Spartans.
Michigan State is also on the list for 6-7 forward Keion Brooks, the 22nd-ranked player in the country. He’s a teammate of Stewart’s at La Lumiere, but it seems he’s trending heavily toward Indiana.