Akron Zips head coach Keith Dambrot doesn't take on transfers often - so when players transfer into the Zips program it says a lot about their potential. On Sunday morning, CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein broke the news that former Michigan State forward Javon Bess would be the newest member of the Akron program.
Michigan State transfer Javon Bess told @CBSSports that he has committed to Akron. Good get for Keith Dambrot.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 15, 2016
This is a big deal - and not just because of Keith Dambrot's track record with transfers. Bess didn't put up huge minutes at Michigan State but lost a lot of his freshman season due to lingering foot injuries. He only played 12 games that year, averaging three points and three rebounds per game.
The 6-foot-5, 205 pound small forward from Gahanna, Ohio fared better during his sophomore season, playing in nearly every game and even spending the first 13 games in the starting lineup. Bess got his career high of 16 points last season against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and followed that up with a 13-point performance against Eastern Michigan.
After featuring quite often during the non-conference point of the season, Bess lost playing time during conference play as Tom Izzo firmed up his rotation. He would fill in where needed, but never got back to the point where he was consistently putting up double-digit minutes played.
But, that certainly doesn't mean he won't be a major player in the MAC. Bess was named First-Team All-Ohio his senior year of high school after averaging 22 points per game. He was a three-star recruit per Rivals and picked Michigan State over offers from Kansas State, Richmond, Xavier and Dayton.
Because of NCAA transfer rules he'll have to sit out a year, which means he unfortunately won't get to play with Isaiah Johnson or Kwan Cheatham as both are set to graduate next year. Along with Antino Jackson and Noah Robotham, that would have formed a pretty mighty starting five. No doubt Bess will make a big difference and should be an instant All-MAC performer.