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August 11, 2010

Note to Izzo's staff: Take a vacation, guys

An unprecedented 12-day stretch for Michigan State basketball concluded today with a 2012 verbal commitment from Bay City Western big man Matt Costello -- the fifth MSU verbal in that span. And with that, MSU's spots are all taken for 2011 AND 2012. It would have been earlier if Costello went on impulse. He just said he's been wanting to commit since the offer came on July 16, but he heeded the advice of his parents and did more investigating before choosing the Spartans over offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana and Butler.

    U-M, Costello said, was his second choice. The 6-8, 220-pound Costello and his family came up to East Lansing today and got a tour of the academic facilities and weight room, then sat down with Izzo. As Izzo launched into a list of MSU's virtues, Costello cut him off.

    "I said, 'Coach, you don't need to say anything anymore,'" Costello said. "'I want to play basketball for Michigan State.'"

    Costello's father, Mike, finally gave his son the green light to give a verbal Tuesday night. Mike wanted to get a better feel for MSU and the other suitors, particularly from an academic perspective, before cutting his son loose.

    Costello joins Sexton 6-5 guard Denzel Valentine and Medina, Ohio 6-7 forward Kenny Kaminski in the 2012 class. It's still possible MSU could add another player for 2012 (Indiana wing Gary Harris is the top possibility and indications are that MSU continues to recruit him at full force), but a transfer or NBA early departure would be required.

    Costello is close friends with Kaminski, having played AAU ball with him, and their chemistry on the court was a lure to East Lansing for both. Costello said he patterns his game after Tyler Hansbrough. Some have thrown the Robbie Hummel comparison out there on Kaminski, although he's still more of a big and less of a wing than Hummel.

    Costello called Kaminski "a shooter like I've never seen before."

    "As a player, he's outside in, and I go inside out, if that makes any sense," said Costello, who also has a developing pick-and-pop game.

    All three members of the '12 class are described as terrific passers. And now they have two years of high school left to work on their games -- and get used to playing with each other at open gym sessions in East Lansing.

    "It gives us an opportunity to get to know each other and the system better," Costello said. "I think it gives us an advantage, however slight."

    So here's the rundown: Kaminski on July 31; Branden Dawson and Travis Trice (both 2011) on Aug. 4; Valentine on Monday and Costello two days later. Izzo's program has been recruiting at a high level for 15 years, but I've never seen this kind of momentum -- or urgency from Plan A prospects to grab open spots while they still exist.

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Joe Rexrode
MSU Sports Reporter
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