Miles Bridges returned to Flint to announce he was coming to Michigan State.
He went to The Spartan statue in the center of campus tonight to say he was staying there.
Bridges announced he plans to return for his sophomore year and bypass a chance to enter the NBA Draft and potentially be a high first-round lottery pick.
the NBA draft and potentially be a first-round lottery pick.
The 6-foot-7 forward was named Big Ten freshman of the year and second-team All-Big Ten after leading the Spartans with 16.9 points and 8.3 rebounds a game. Bridges finished with 473 points this season to rank fourth in MSU freshman scoring over his 28 games. His 232 rebounds rank third for a program rookie, despite missing seven games with a foot injury in December.
Bridges had until 11:59 p.m. on April 23 to decide whether to enter the NBA Draft, which will be held June 22.
Instead, he will spend the summer working to join Magic Johnson and Mateen Cleaves in MSU lore and bring a third national title to East Lansing.
It’s a major coup for Tom Izzo in pursuit of his second national championship. Bridges’ decision means Izzo’s best recruiting class – which also includes Joshua Langford, Nick Ward and Cassius Winston – will remain together for a second season after going 20-15 as freshmen in 2016-17. The Spartans also are adding highly regarded big men Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman and could have two open scholarships to fill.
With Bridges back, MSU will return 78% of its scoring and 81% of its rebounding from this season’s 20-15 team that made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Bridges scored 40 points in the NCAA tourney, including 22 in a second-round loss to Kansas, and also broke Scott Skiles’ single-game freshman scoring mark with 33 points in a loss to Purdue on Jan. 24.
Izzo also continues to pursue three high-end recruits in five-star guard Brian Bowen and big man Brandon McCoy, who are both playing in this weekend’s Jordan Brand Classic in Brooklyn, New York, and four-star guard Mark Smith to round out the Spartans’ 2017 class.
But the biggest recruiting victory was keeping Bridges in town for at least one more year.
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