Niko Porikos grew up in an NTDP billet home. Cool story.
Time to Move On - 2014-2015 Will be a Fun "Transition" Year and 2015-2016 We're Big 10 Title Contenders Again
Hello everyone. Let's move on from this week of EMO (Lindsay! Mitch!) to look ahead
First we have one of the best staffs in college bball. Our players individually and as a team progress year over year and through the year. What a luxury. Second, we just sent our entire NC starting lineup early entry to the NBA - recruits not in the haze of UK, Duke, Kansas will notice. Our resume walking into any recruits house now is among the best:
- Great coaching staff
- 2 conference titles in 3 years
- 2 Elite 8s or better back to back
- NBA development of "non top 20" recruits best in the nation... so anyone ranked 30-100 listen up...
- Play in a top 2-3 conference for bball
- Did I mention our academics - aside from UNC and Duke, the best among the "country's basketball powers".
The 2014-2015 squad will struggle with size, and interior defense. We will have to rip off a redshirt off a player or two we'd prefer to "Donnal". That's the price of success. But let's fast forward 1 year after Caris is our 6th early entry in 3 years.
I am going to put on my maize and blue shade goggles and tell you about a young, athletic, and LONG team that is a nightmare to play against... of course with my glasses Irvin does very well next year but not quite well enough to be a top 20 NBA pick and comes back ;) Even if he doesn't its still very bright. I also assume Huff, who according to freep.com story yesterday, sounds very high on UM is headed our way.
“As far as Cole goes, it’s Michigan,” Parks said. “And when a school like Michigan calls…”
[EDIT - Looks like Huff is a "lean" per our MGoInsider]
So up front I bring you a front line of 6'9 RS SO Donnal, 6'10 SO Doyle, 6'8 JR Huff*, 6'8 SO DJ Wilson.
6'8 SO Chatman you ask? Well he might be a 2 by then (his dad mentioned Bielen could see him as a 1)....unless our 6'6 JR Irvin returns. Lack of length, size, rebounding you say - nah that was a 2014-2015 issue...this 2015-2016 squad has size everywhere. Oh did I mention we have a JR PG (been a while since we could say that) with a backup SR PG. Experienced PGs usually are a cool thing for long tourney runs. We've been making do with babies at that position for a few years.
That is our 8 deep folks. Oh and then you throw in "role" players such as 21 year old SO 6'4 MAAR at 2 and SO 6'6 Dawkins* at 3. Folks that is a 10 player rotation. I didnt even mention RS SR 6'7 Max Bielfeldt as the 11th man.
Did I mention our yet to be known 2015 freshman of which we can be sure one will be a top 30 type talent? Maybe even 2 in the top 50? Where are they going to even find playing time? Any elite talent will be pushing MAAR Dawkins type guys down to 11th or 12th men.
So yeah... 2014-2015, will have some nightmares versus the Kaminsky's of the world and our interior defense will be LOL but Beilein will find offense one way or another to make it an entertaining if "OMG why did you do that...oh yeah freshman" team. But that experience along with reinforcments coming in is going to lead to a 2015-2016 team which is going to be like...wow.
Onward. (edit - my title assumes Wiscy wins the Big 10 title in 2014-2015, and pretty handily)
According to Yahoo Sport's Dan Wetzel Mitch to the NBA after testing positive for marijuana which netted him a YEAR LONG BAN from the NCAA
EDIT: Because some people aren't reading the article:
- Mitch failed an NCAA administered test during the tournament - schools test during the year
- The NCAA has harsher policies than schools do. Had Mitch failed a Michigan adminstered test it would have been 1-2 week suspension
- Mitch dressing did not affect his test. Had Mitch been in street clothes or in AA he could have been tested by the NCAA during the tournament
- Mitch passed 8 tests during his 2 years at Michigan, this was his only failure
Mitch McGary took a deep breath. He wanted to tell the story of why he smoked marijuana one night in March, why the NCAA suspended him for a year because of it and why the confluence of those events is helping lead him to declare for June's NBA draft. It wasn't easy, so he started at the beginning. For months, McGary had struggled to come to terms with the back injury that limited him to just eight games for the University of Michigan this season, none after mid-December.
EDIT 2: Quotes from Mitch and Beilien from mgoblue.com:
"My family and I want to thank everyone for giving us privacy and the time to make this decision," said McGary. "As you know, it was important for us to weigh all the factors that go into something like this. With that being said, I am ready to move on to the next stage in my life and enter the NBA Draft. "Being a part of a program that values integrity, it is important to let everyone know of a poor decision I recently made. I tested positive for marijuana during the NCAA Tournament. We were notified of that result after the Final Four. I regret thoroughly disappointing my family, coaches and administration. Despite all of this they have been understanding and helpful over the last couple of weeks. "I take full responsibility for this poor choice and want to apologize to everyone, especially those I have grown close to during my fabulous two years at the University of Michigan. "I love the University of Michigan and all it has allowed me to do. I have had my ups and downs, especially with my injury this season. I want to thank all the fans for embracing me. This has been the best two years of my life and I have some unbelievable memories. I know that I will be a Wolverine forever. Go Blue."
Chatman up to 25, Wilson up to 86. Both 4 stars with Chatman one spot short of the 5 stars. Doyle not in the top 150. This could end up being a sneaky-good class.
The Detroit News has a brief interview with JMo after he threw out the first pitch at the Tigers game last night. He says there is some interest from NBA teams and he hopes to get some workouts. He feels confident he can play in the NBA because people told him he'd never play at Michigan.
He said he didn't want to get flashy and he played the Denard video a lot prior to the game. He didn't want a repeat.
Wish him the best with his NBA prusuit. I'm sure he will do well in Europe if that doesn't work out.
I will embed the video below.
Courtesy of an article from Brendan Quinn, there's further clarity on where Michigan stands with Cole Huff, the 6-8 sophomore forward transferring from Nevada (who would have to sit out 2014-15 and have two years of eligibility after that). There's clear mutual interest, but Michigan has only one scholarship left, and it has been offered to Aubrey Dawkins, currently on an official visit to Dayton after visiting Michigan last weekend. If Dawkins commits to Michigan, there will be a scholarship to offer to Huff only if Mitch McGary leaves for the NBA.
If McGary enters the draft, Michigan would again hold an open scholarship to potentially offer Huff.
"I guess I'll know more after this week," Huff said.
Should there be a scholarship available, Huff said he'd like to have a visit scheduled with Michigan by early next week. U-M typically does not make formal scholarship offers until a recruit visits campus.
As of now Huff is visiting Creighton on Sunday, Iowa on May 2, and Dayton on May 9. On Wednesday, a day after meeting with Jordan, he welcomed Iowa assistant Andrew Francis and Creighton head coach Greg McDermott to Reno.
One thing that's clear: Michigan's interest in Huff does not indicate that the Michigan staff
thinks already knows that McGary is leaving. Also, note that the article clearly states that Michigan currently has one open scholarship. There's absolutely no mention of any contingency involving Austin Hatch's scholarship.
One other thing to note is Huff's reason for leaving Nevada:
"It was more about how I was being used (in the system)," Huff said of his decision to transfer. "Nevada did a great job using me as a pick-and-pop player and putting me down low with my back to the basket, but that's not all of who I am. I think I can be used for more than that.”
At Michigan, he wouldn't be expected to play with his back to the basket even if he played the 4, so it seems like the coaches should be able to make a good argument to him about why he would fit in quite well at Michigan.
EDIT: As I posted below, Huff's former AAU coach has tweeted that Huff has a final four of Creighton, Dayton, Iowa, and Michigan, so UCLA and USC are apparently out of it. Decision "will be made shortly after his visits." No Michigan visit has been announced yet, presumably because they're waiting to see if a scholarship will be available.
Nice story on Mlive as someone mentioned yesterday about how Muhammed Ali made it to Michigan. As has been mentioned, a former coach from Buffalo called Beilein. Coach Rooney, who is now in real estate, but still watched a lot of area basketball asked MAAR's coach why he hadn't signed and he was told he was waiting. Rooney told MAAR's coach he would make some calls. The coach throught it was a joke when he heard he had a message from Beilein who was the first person Rooney called. His next call, if Beilein wasn't interested, was going to be Sean Miller at Arizona, who he also had connections with. It wasn't necessary.
Very good read and you have to feel happy for this kid.