Photos: Isaiah Hole/247 (L) and David Long (R)
Jim Harbaugh and company climbed to the top of Los Angeles (CA) Loyola CB David Long's list over the last couple months, and this evening the top-100 prospect announced his commitment to Michigan on ESPNU. Long, a one-time Stanford commit, chose the Wolverines over Washington; Notre Dame also made a strong push for him after his Stanford decommitment.
Long is the 21st commit in Michigan's 2016 class; with today's decommitment from Antwaine Richardson, Long is currently the only cornerback in that group.
4*, #5 CB,
4*, #9 CB,
4*, 83, #5 ATH,
4*, 95, #8 CB,
4*, #8 CB,
Long's rankings are in a relatively tight grouping; that consistency helps push his composite ranking to the upper bounds of that spread. For what it's worth, if ESPN had ranked him as a corner instead of an athlete, he'd be the #11 CB in their position rankings.
Scout, Rivals, and 247 all list Long at 6'0" and either 170 or 175 pounds. ESPN pegs him at 5'10", 176—they even go so far as to say he "lacks ideal height" in their evaluation. I'm not going to attempt to guess a player's height based on film and still photos; he's not Jeremy Clark, but he looks tall enough—he's definitely bigger than Jourdan Lewis—and he plays the ball well in the air.
[Hit THE JUMP for the informative portion.]
Uncommitted recruit other than Gary you most want in the class?
Seth: Here, have some Khaleke Hudson highlights and a jump, then I'm making you all pick someone else.
[After the jump: OTHER than Gary, or Hudson. Or Long for that matter.]
Antwaine Richardson has decommitted from Michigan's class.
While most of the decommits Michigan has suffered over the past couple weeks were a long time coming, Richardson's comes out of left field. I had not heard a peep about his status being in question; in fact I heard the coaches really liked him as late as a few weeks ago. We were not accounting for a potential departure from him in our best guess list.
So… Michigan has 20 commits in this class and we are still expecting a couple more decommits. In addition, Nate Johnson and Jordan Elliott are shaky. Buckle up, it's a wild ride to Signing Day.
Harbaugh antics of the week
— Tom VanHaaren (@TomVH) January 19, 2016
He proceeded to spend the night at AZ DE Connor Murphy's house, whereupon Murphy either displayed an ignorance of memes or—more likely—deliberately tried to set twitter's server farm on fire:
— Connor Murphy (@CMurph_90) January 20, 2016
Twitter survived. Murphy reports that he played chess against Harbaugh when he was 12 and lost. No word on whether Harbaugh then took him to laser tag.
Business is boomin'
— David Long Jr. (@dee_knowz) January 19, 2016
Tim Sullivan understands what this is about even if we don't
CA CB David Long commits during Recruiting Nation on ESPNU this evening. Show starts at 6 PM. Even Washington mods who will fight you if you suggest players are not going to Washington have resigned themselves to their fate. They are probably fighting themselves now.
Other recruitments with a likely positive outcome in the near future
1. NJ DT Michael Dwumfour told Sam Webb that the "main reason he didn't flip" is that his high school coach wants him to handle things "in a respectful way." That sounds like he's about to let PSU down easy this weekend. It's not you, Penn State. It's me. We have put in a ballz for Dwumfour to Michigan; Sam issued a gut feeling.
One note: Dwumfour is not qualified yet. He says he's "very close" but just "has to finish up a few things." He also gave Webb some enticing intel on Rashan Gary.
2. PA S and MGoBlog fave-rave Khaleke Hudson left his official visit to Michigan with the Wolverines as a clear leader; Tim Sullivan reports that Michigan goes in-home today in the hope of getting Hudson to pull the trigger. Even if Hudson follows through on planned trips to PSU and Pitt he seems likely to end up in a winged helmet by Signing Day. Webb reports "overwhelming confidence" from Ann Arbor.
"They really want me, and they think they can use me in many ways. They say safety - like a nickel - and maybe running back.”
3. It's status quo for MO TE Chase Allen; he has no visits scheduled and Michigan is a heavy leader. Sam issued a gut feeling on him as well.
4. FL WR Eddie McDoom decommitted from Oregon, who subsequently pulled his scholarship, and currently has a list of "Michigan and… uh". He told Scout that he's planning on pulling the trigger this weekend if he "loves it."
I would be surprised if any of these gentlemen did not end up in Ann Arbor.
Gary panic of the week is downright relaxing
Our brief regional era of was kicked off by a couple of Ole Miss crystal ballz from guys who work for the Rebel 247 site. At the time I noted that they were speculative predictions from guys who had no record of ever talking to NJ DE Rashan Gary or his mother and that actions spoke louder than words, so like chill man.
Days later, lo, the ball has unflipped:
…the news that he is returning to Michigan this weekend on his own dime, factored in with his former high school coach on the Michigan staff, the numerous recruiting ties the Wolverines have with players at Gary's high school, and the reports that his mother did not see or was unable to see the Ole Miss coaches Monday when they were there, seems to be bright writing on the wall.
All of these things save the last were true when the ball flipped in the first place.
Gary's official on the 29th may or may not happen; I'm leaning towards "will" after this Scout article:
According to his mom, Jennifer Coney, his last official visit will be to either Alabama or Clemson, and he could visit one officially and the other unofficially. She said a decision on which school will get the official has not been made.
"The final visit will be between Alabama and Clemson," she said. "We may do both. ...We're not sure which one officially."
That notes Gary is going to be in Atlanta next weekend to pick up some award for being awesome, so he's going to be near those two schools anyway. Even if said visit occurs the kind of things that might push either of those two schools past Michigan have already been attempted by Ole Miss, and rejected.
Finally, USC did hire their DL coach. He's a former Trojan DE who spent the last couple years as an assistant strength coach. Not likely to move the needle.
[After THE JUMP: less good news on Jonathan Jones, a massive massive visit weekend, another class projection, and some 2017 news of note.]
Nine for thirty-one.
Michigan was bound to have a bad shooting night eventually, even in a game where they got a steady stream of open looks. That's exactly what happened tonight; the Wolverines were fortunate to be facing a hapless Minnesota team when the ball refused to behave.
Zak Irvin had himself a night, posting a 19-11-3 line. He did his best work off the dribble, utiziling the high screen to get layups and make 3/5 three-pointers. The rest of the team, however, combined to go 6/26 from beyond the arc. That included a 3/10 mark for Duncan Robinson, who uncharacteristically missed several wide-open looks from his favorite spot just above the break.
The result was a near-unwatchable slog. Minnesota is not a good team, and despite the final score they didn't play particularly well outside of Nate Mason, who scored 25 points—Michigan's perimeter defenders couldn't stay between him and the basket. The Gophers repeatedly gave up great outside looks; Michigan simply couldn't get them to fall.
The Wolverines pushed their lead as high as 15 points in the first half. Robinson, left all alone, had a chance to bump that up to 18, but couldn't find twine. Minnesota finished the half on an 8-0 run and twice as close as three points in the second half, but never kept it there for more than a minute at a time.
Each time they got that close, it was Derrick Walton who responsed, first with a driving layup, then by finding Aubrey Dawkins for a triple that actually fell. Walton scored 22 and got to the rim at will, making 4/7 two-pointers and 11/12 free throws. (He went 1/6 from three, because it was that kind of night.)
While the final result never truly felt in doubt, Michigan survived a scare in a game they'd have no business winning against a quality opponent. They were unlucky with their shots; they were lucky with their foe. It's probably best never to speak of this game again.
Michigan (13-5, 3-2 B1G) vs
Minnesota (6-12, 0-6)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|WHEN||8:30 pm ET, Wednesday|
|LINE||Michigan -17 (KenPom)|
PBP: Kevin Kugler
Analyst: Stephen Bardo
Right: This could probably suffice as the game preview. [Eric Upchurch/MGoBlog]
We're going to have to wait at least one more game for Caris LeVert's return:
But with just one practice between Michigan’s games against Iowa and Minnesota and Beilein’s stated desire to see LeVert practice at least two days in a row before playing him, the coach does not expect the Wolverines’ leading scorer to play Wednesday.
“We continue to get encouraging news about Caris,” Beilein said. “He’s doing more and more right now, on and off the court. We expect on and off the court, going forward, (but) have no (return) date yet.”
“I would assume (he will not play Wednesday). We’ve only got one day to measure (the injury).”
LeVert hasn't done more than "light shooting" in practice at this point; it might be a week or two before he's ready to suit up again. The good news is Michigan has hit a four-game stretch of their schedule in which they should be able to weather his absence.
THE LINEUP CARD
Projected starters are in bold. Hover over headers for stat explanations. The "Should I Be Mad If He Hits A Three" methodology: we're mad if a guy who's not good at shooting somehow hits one. Yes, you're still allowed to be unhappy if a proven shooter is left open. It's a free country.
|G||2||Nate Mason||So.||6'2, 185||78||23||Kinda|
|Good assist:turnover, 82% FT shooter, inefficient from the field.|
|G||1||Dupree McBrayer||Fr.||6'4, 195||46||19||Yes|
|Started last two games. Shooting 32% on twos and 14% on threes.|
|F||3||Jordan Murphy||Fr.||6'6, 230||60||25||Kinda|
|Top-100 rebounder on both ends, decent shot-blocker, 53% on twos.|
|F||24||Joey King||Sr.||6'9, 240||77||17||No|
|Deadeye outside shooter also getting to the line. Not great inside arc.|
|C||21||Bakary Konate||So.||6'11, 235||51||14||Very|
|Good finisher/rebounder/shot-blocker, somewhat foul- and TO-prone.|
|G||11||Carlos Morris||Sr.||6'5, 185||69||23||No|
|40% three-point shooter, otherwise quite inefficient.|
|F||23||Charles Buggs||Jr.||6'9, 230||49||14||No|
|Stretch four who can shoot, but doesn't have much impact otherwise.|
|G||4||Kevin Dorsey||Fr.||6'0, 185||42||25||Yes|
|Draws a lot of fouls and hits FTs, but has been atrocious from the field.|
[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the preview.]