LARRY LAGE, AP Sports Writer
Michigan State signed a third player to its basketball recruiting class, adding depth with the addition of Marvin Clark Jr.
The 6-foot-7, 219-pound Clark signed a letter of intent Wednesday.
“Marvin Clark Jr. is a physical wing with a very good shooting touch,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said in a statement. “He has a Big Ten-ready body and doesn’t shy away from contact. He can guard multiple positions and is a strong rebounder from the wing.”
Michigan State previously signed one of Clark’s teammates, guard Lourawls Nairn, and forward Javon Bess in November. Clark and Nairn attend Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas. The 5-10 Nairn — whose nickname is “Tum Tum” — is from the Bahamas. The 6-foot-5 Bess went to Gahanna Lincoln High School in Ohio.
Clark is from Kansas City, Mo. He averaged 20 points and nine rebounds last season for a 29-1 team. Clark scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a game against Cloud County Junior College and had 30 points and 16 rebounds against Independence Community College.
Michigan State potentially can sign one more player to this recruiting class to help the program attempt to tie Indiana’s Big Ten record with an 18th straight appearance in the NCAA tournament.
The Spartans finished one game short of the Final Four this season after losing to eventual champion Connecticut.
The team will retool without three standout players, graduating seniors Adreian Payne and Keith Appling along with Gary Harris, who is entering the NBA draft as a sophomore. They might lose forward Alex Gauna and guard Russell Byrd because they could decide to play for another school as graduate transfers. Gauna and Byrd combined to average 2.7 points last season as redshirt juniors.
Michigan State will be led next season by Branden Dawson, who announced Tuesday he is staying for his senior season instead of going pro, and key players will include Denzel Valentine, Travis Trice and Matt Costello. After playing sparingly last season, Kenny Kaminski, Gavin Schilling and Alvin Ellis III, along with the incoming recruits, will get a chance to earn a lot of playing time.
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