Michigan State adds Valpo’s Brandon Wood to their Backcourt

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Combo guard Brandon Wood will join the Michigan State Spartans for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Wood played college basketball for Valparaiso the last two seasons, and will receive his bachelor’s degree this month. He’ll have one season of collegiate eligibility remaining for the Spartans.

NCAA rules allow an institution to apply for a waiver to allow a student-athlete to transfer without sitting out a season, provided the student-athlete has earned a bachelor’s degree, has eligibility remaining and is enrolling in a graduate-level program.

Wood is a NBA level talent who we have projected as the last overall pick in our 2012 mock draft.

In his two years as a Crusader, Wood scored 1,117 points in just two seasons, averaging 17.2 points and 2.7 assists, while starting 64 of 65 games. The 1,117 points were a Valparaiso record for a player in his first two seasons.

“Brandon Wood gives us a combo guard that’s proven himself as a scorer against strong competition; scoring 30 against North Carolina, 24 against Michigan State and 20 or more against Purdue twice in the last two years,” said Coach Tom Izzo.

“He’s proven himself on the court, but also in the classroom as he’ll receive his degree this month. I’ve been impressed getting to know Brandon as a person, and I believe he’ll be a great teammate as he, along with our incoming freshman class, blends in with our returning players.”

Brandon could likely enter starting lineup next year along, with a man named Branden, Dawson, a McDonald’s All-American.

Draymond Green and Delvon Roe will start up front with Keith Appling running the point. Brandon and Branden should fill on the wings, backed up by a very guard/wing heavy recruiting class. If Adrian Payne and Derrick Nix can keep their weight down, they’ll see major reserve minutes in the post. But Wood will likely be one of the top newcomers to hold the line-up together as the Spartans will play a very weakened Big Ten

“We were in a little bit of a unique situation in that when we signed our incoming freshman class, we expected Korie Lucious to be a part of this year’s team, playing significant minutes. After Korie’s dismissal, we were in a position where we could take a talented, experienced guard for one season and not have it affect either the incoming freshmen or future recruiting classes. We’ve lost some pretty good guards in the last year and a half, but Brandon adds some versatility and depth – along with the nucleus of the freshmen that we have coming in – to help strengthen our backcourt.

Wood is extremely traveled during his college career. Perhaps only former Illini, Wolverines (twice), Kentucky Wildcats severe head case Alex Legion has transferred more.

Wood started playing college ball at Southern Illinois in 2007-08. He appeared in just six games before suffering a season-ending leg injury, averaging 11.3 minutes and 3.7 points in those contests. He was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA.

After the season, Wood transferred to Highland Community College. He played one season for the Cougars, leading Highland to a seventh-place finish at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament, averaging 16.1 points and 3.0 assists. So State will be his fourth and final stop on the college hardwood.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook

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