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MIDWEST RECRUITING: Muskegon PG Alyza Winston chooses Michigan State

By: Matthew B. Mowery, October 4, 2018, 11:15 pm

Alyza Winston needed just half a season in 2018 to remind everyone that she was one of the best in the state of Michigan.

The 5-foot-8 point guard sat out the first semester of her junior year, after transferring from Muskegon Mona Shores to Muskegon High, then merely fired it up, and averaged 21.5 points per game the rest of the way, leading the Big Reds to the Class A quarterfinals.

Long before that, though, she’d been on the national radar as one of the top recruits, ranked in the top 70 in the nation, and in the top five in the state by ESPNW’s Hoop Gurlz top 100 rankings, racking up 34 scholarship offers.

After paring the list down to a manageable handful, Winston made her college choice at a commitment party at MCC Lakeshore Fitness Center Thursday night, choosing Michigan State University.

Her other finalists were Mississippi State, Kentucky, DePaul, West Virginia, Kansas and Rutgers.

An all-state first-teamer as a junior Winston will likely enter her senior season as a strong candidate to win Miss Basketball, potentially joining a former teammate in the honor. Mona Shores’ Jordan Walker won the award two seasons ago.

Winston will likely be competing against two future teammates to take home the award, though.

Michigan State’s recruiting class already included Saginaw Heritage point Moira Joiner — who led the Hawks to the Class A title a season ago — and Grosse Pointe North wing Julia Ayrault, who carried the Norsemen to the Class A semis.

Both Joiner (No. 57) and Ayrault (No. 75) are on the ESPNW Hoop Gurlz top 100, as are the two other incoming Spartans, Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.) post Cydni Dodd (No. 84) and North Royalton (Ohio) High forward Taiyier Parks (No. 93).

The Winston news comes less than 48 hours after the Spartans found out that Okemos rising junior Jasmine Clerkley, who had been a verbal commitment, was opening up her recruiting again.