Already the Michigan State Spartans have a stellar 2023 recruiting class on their books. Jeremy Fears and Gehrig Normand can both hoop, and Xavier Booker is the highest-rated recruit to pick Michigan State since Jaren Jackson, Jr.
But Tom Izzo was not done. On3’s No. 47 ranked player Coen Carr announced his commitment to Michigan State at 6:00 PM EST last night. This gives Izzo his third Top-75 commitment in the last eleven days and fourth in the 2023 class.
Gone are any questions about Tom Izzo’s current recruiting ability; the 67-year-old coach continues to move the needle across the college basketball landscape. With two four-stars and a five-star player already in tow, what would Coen Carr mean to this class?
Carr brings throwback toughness
Tom Izzo’s best teams have all had an enforcer from the wing/forward spot. Going down the line, looking at Aaron Henry, Denzel Valentine, Miles Bridges, Draymond Green, and even dating back to Jason Richardson. There is a lineage of players who set the tone for what was happening on the floor.
Coen Carr embodies this type of lunch pail mentality. He is someone who enjoys doing the tough guy stuff. During Peach Jam, Carr averaged 8.7-rebounds, 2.0-blocks, and 1.3-steals per game.
He was able to set the tone for his team, making the plays that gain extra possessions or make opposing teams uncomfortable.
Carr is a walking highlight
Many Michigan State fans will remember the excitement Miles Bridges brought to a game. A player who, at any moment, could leap up and slam the ball in a way many have not seen before.
With similar size, Carr has that same type of pop that Bridges had. The ability to come out of a scrum with the ball and simply take the spirits of the opposing team’s defender.
Carr’s athleticism is not only apparent in transition or as he fills the lanes, but he also provides vertical spacing in the half-court. Carr’s man has to stay glued to him at all times within 10 feet of the basket because he is a threat to catch one and turn all momentum toward his team.
His explosion is boisterous, and his explosion changes momentum. He will be a fan favorite the second he earns consistent playing time.
Carr is at his best when he can stretch his legs and get out in transition. He attacks the basket with a ferocity that few of his peers can match. This ability also helps with his offensive rebounding, where he averaged 2.5 per game at Peach Jam.
In the half-court set, he is an efficient player. Carr knows he is not a great shooter, so he doesn’t attempt to do what he cannot. The shooting, or lack thereof, is something he will need to work on, both from beyond the arc and at the free throw line. But the release is not broken, leading to some optimism of it becoming serviceable.
Carr is a better passer than given credit, finishing one EYBL game this summer with eight assists. He has court-vision from multiple areas on the floor and is a willing passer who understands concepts and reads.