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GIRLS BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Top player in state stays loyal to the Mitten, heading to MSU

   | Scott Burnstein

GIRLS BASKETBALL RECRUITING: Top player in state stays loyal to the Mitten, heading to MSU

Shunning the heavyweights, Lexi Gussert will be playing her college basketball in her home state.

This week, Gussert, the state’s No. 1-ranked prep girls hoopster in the Class of 2014, committed to the Spartans of Michigan State University, turning her back on scholarship offers from traditional NCAA superpowers Connecticut and Tennessee.

Entering her senior year this fall at Crystal Falls Forest Park, Gussert, a 6-foot-1 forward, has already been named all-state twice.

She averaged a robust 32 points, 12 rebounds and almost six assists per game last season as a junior.

In addition to UConn and Tennessee, Gussert’s other finalists in her selection process were Illinois, Purdue and Marquette.

No player in state history has ever gone and played for the legendary Geno Auriemma at UConn, a perennial contender for the National Championship (8 titles in all).

Gussert is also an MVP in the classroom, sporting a 4.0 GPA, first in her class at tiny Forest Park, located in the Upper Peninsula.

Michigan State has done an excellent job of recruiting the state in recent years. And the UP for that matter.

2011 Miss Basketball winner Jasmine Hines of Central Lake is going to be a junior in the frontcourt in East Lansing this winter.

The Spartans have landed three of the past four Miss Basketball awardees, most recently Tori Jankoska, who just hit campus this summer following a prolific career as a prepster at Freeland.

Head coach Suzy Merchant and the Michigan State program finished 25-9 in 2013, qualifying for the NCAA Tournament, where the Spartans beat Marist in the first round prior to losing in the second round to Maryland.