Tom Izzo has a few freshmen who figure to make an impact on Michigan State’s ceiling as a team in the 2023-24 season. Included in that group is Xavier Booker, a 5-star big man out of Indiana.

During B1G Media Days, Izzo was asked about his first impressions of working with the talented Booker. The head coach noted Booker is certainly an immensely skilled player, but Izzo particularly loves that Booker has not been entitled to begin his career.

“Very, very skilled and talented player is what I like. Great family is what I like,” said Izzo. “And not entitled is what I love. Okay?

“He knows he has to get stronger. He knows he has to get better. He knows he has to play harder, but he has some things that I never had. You know, a foot and arm length and a foot and a half in height, and those things are valuable.”

Izzo went on to say Booker has done a good job of preparing for the college game and credited the player’s parents for their impact. Listed at 6-foot-11 and 220 pounds, Booker arrived with a need to improve his strength down low, but he has attacked that part of getting better.

“Very good athlete. He has adjusted pretty well to college. The banging has been something we all knew he had to get better at, but I give a lot of credit to his mom and dad because they knew that,” Izzo explained. “The day he got out of school, they wanted him up (here) lifting and getting better.

“Xavier has been a treat to coach, to be honest with you. We know with freshmen everything changes when the game starts and you don’t play enough minutes and this and that. That’s normal. I mean, everybody has gone through it.”

Izzo also revealed Jason Richardson made a recent stop to East Lansing, a former Spartan with a similar trajectory to Booker. The head coach pointed out Richardson was one of the top freshmen in the country but came off the bench early in his career.

“It kind of helped me a couple of weeks ago I had Jason Richardson in there, and as a freshman he was a top-5 player. He came off the bench, and played limited minutes early and then grew into a spot that helped us win a national championship, helped him get to a Final Four the second year and the fourth or fifth player taken in the draft,” said Izzo.

“This is a process, and that’s what we’re trying to tell Xavier. In fact, all the freshmen. But Xavier has the longest process from a standpoint of strength and that ability, but he’s got one of the highest prospects as far as skill level and he can shoot it. He can run. He’s been fun to coach. I’ve been really enjoying Xavier.”

Booker signed with the Spartans as a 5-star center and the No. 14 player in the class of 2023. The 247 Sports Composite also rated Booker the No. 2 center in the country, so we’ll see if he’s able to produce as a true freshman.