In March, Dwaun Anderson was named Mr. Basketball in the state of Michigan, becoming the third consecutive Mr. Basketball to sign with Tom Izzo and the Michigan State Spartans. Today, he was granted his official release from the program as Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports was first to break the news regarding his upcoming visits. The 6'3 SG from Suttons Bay MI, is ranked the 95th player ('11) in the country according to Rivals and although he doesn't crack ESPN's Top-100, he is listed with a '91' rating. Following the death of his mother in the spring, MSU released a statement on Anderson's behalf that he wouldn't be enrolling in the fall. On August 26th, Anderson said:
"The last two years have been a very rough time for me as I've had to deal with some personal tragedies, including the sickness and death of my mother," Anderson said in the statement. "I've been in counseling as I attempt to cope with these issues, and I plan to undergo further counseling. I want to get all my personal issues in order before moving on to the next stage of my life."
According to Goodman, Anderson visited Rutgers on Monday, was on Drexel's campus this afternoon and will visit Wagner and Georgetown on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively. On Sunday, he will swing by South Orange to pay a visit to Kevin Willard and the Seton Hall Pirates. Originally committed to join Michigan State's '11-12 class, Anderson may still have an opportunity to join a program in January in time for the second half of a team's schedule and most importantly, conference play.
Before getting worked up regarding the Pirates' lone scholarship situation, a source close to the staff informed me that Seton Hall is not interested in bringing Anderson on board for half a season in the '11 class. Instead, it's believed that they would only take the player if he was willing to reclassify to 2012. Though Anderson may be looking to enroll at a school this season, the Pirates holding out for 2012 reclassification makes sense for the future of the program.
First, it keeps existing lines of communication open with other recruits. Assuming nobody transfers and Kevin Johnson remains on scholarship, if the Pirates gave Anderson their remaining 'ship now, there would be no free rides available through the end of the '14 season. That would give the staff very little leverage when talking to recruits as they'd be pitched with the understanding that an existing player must first transfer from the program before the staff could accept their commitment. Continuing that thought, if the staff brings a PG/PF on board from the '12 class and an existing player transfers following this fall semester, discussions could then resume with Anderson, with a scholarship available for the taking.
Though Seton Hall's most pressing need remains a point guard, a player with Anderson's ability to shoot, rebound and distribute, should not and will not be, overlooked. In his senior season at Suttons Bay, Mr. Michigan produced a ridiculous, 20PT/10REB/5AST stat line. Dwaun Anderson would be welcomed Seton Hall with open arms, if he could be. Unfortunately, the scholarship situation and Anderson's decision to enroll now or reclassify will be two of the deciding factors whether it can even become a possibility. Regarding where Anderson is leading, a source directly involved in his recruitment tells me, Dwaun is excited about [the possibility of playing in] New Jersey, but remains, "wide-open" at this point as he continues to look for the best situation for himself.