Michigan State fans have long inured themselves to the inevitable pain of losing a recruiting battle at the Eleventh Hour. So much so that they've convinced themselves it doesn't matter. And there's some truth to that, as Tom Izzo has made a Hall of Fame career out of projects and misfit pieces. But even a casual glance at past NCAA champions makes it painfully obvious that a huge part of the process is assembling a war chest to take the floor six times in an 17-day stretch come spring. Denying that fact allows some sort of weird blue-collar Midwest zeal to flourish, but doesn't make it any less true.
The sound of Spartans changing their tune swiftly and forcefully on the whole issue of recruiting and its import is reverberating loudly as today the program secured its second five-star player in eight days. Max Christie, an All-Everything shooting guard from the Chicago area, committed to Izzo. Like Emoni Bates, it was a television event. Like Bates, the crown jewel rumored to be the best thing since LeBron James, the result fell in MSU's favor.
Christie even chose East Lansing over Durham. That is ... not usually the way it's worked. It's a brave new world and if college basketball exists past the next calendar year, Michigan State is going to be in prime position to bring Izzo's much-desired and long-elusive national title home.