"The University of Illinois is also in turmoil. The university sports an Interim Chancellor, an Interim Athletic Director, and an Interim Football Coach; the game will be played at Soldier Field, making this an Illini Interim Home Game."
With 2015 recruiting sort of slow for MBB and some high profile guys like Kennard, Grandstaff, McQuaid choosing elsewhere while the Jalen(s) show set to be a long slog, maybe we get a 2016 Hello! before a 2015?
Seth Towns, he of the 6'7 willow thin 180 lbs SF type, was in town this week for a full academic tour - and per his twittergram:
Visited The University of Michigan today. Hands down the best visit I've been on thus far #blessed
Now that this is a basketball school, I will admit I have been focusing on the 2015s and not aware of the 2016s other than perhaps the top player in the country is in Michigan and not even bothering to give us a sniff (boo). So doing some due diligence on Mr. Towns (who happens to go to the same school as Trey Burke did....deep in Buckeye territory) some tidbits via UMhoops.com
This mutual admiration society started early when Towns was a freshman- from last June:
- Seth was up here with his team for UM's summer camp
- Shooting is his specialty, needs to work on handle/rebounding
UMHoops story last September - headline said it all aka UM prioritizing Towns. Takeaways - smart, wants to be an engineer... thinks UM fans are pretty darn good... probably saw a mirror image in body type with Caris. Due to age Beilein was not apparently yet even allowed to talk to Towns directly...
- Towns already holds Xavier and Dayton offers while West Virginia, Ohio State and Michigan are tracking him closely. But according to Towns, there is one school that is paying closer attention than any other at the moment. “The school that’s been going after me the hardest is Michigan,” Towns said during a brief interview on Monday.
- Of the Michigan fans, Towns said they had to be “the best fans in the country.”
- He was also able to hang out with the team during the pre-game tailgate, specifically talking with Caris LeVert and Jordan Morgan. Towns said talking with Morgan was especially helpful because Morgan is graduating from the Engineering school, an area of interest academically for Towns.
- “I loved it,” Towns said. “I felt comfortable as soon as I got in there. I loved the players, how they acted. They were some goofballs. I liked how they could have fun but be serious at the same time.”
Per article this week - essentially Towns has been up here at least half a dozen times on unofficials, and had the full academic experience yesterday, which obviously he enjoyed.
As expected most of his limited highights are an outside shooting display but over time one would expect him to gain strength, and improve his handle and become "not just a shooter". Sounds like a typical Beilein recruit who excels at the shooting early, not super high ranked at this time but as he develops other tools and offers come in, will work his way up the rankings.
June 15th is the first day UM extends offers to the 2016s.... sounds like quite a few will be going out and Towns sure sounds interested in getting one.
Sam Webb offered a good overview of where Michigan basketball recruiting currently stands on today's recruiting roundup (podcast), which I'll try to summarize here. I think one of the big takeaways is that Sam believes Michigan is in great shape with several big-time 2016 prospects, which the coaching staff needs to take into account when working on the 2015 class. This means that they might limit themselves to just one 2015 combo guard/wing, with Sam including Eron Harris in that category, along with:
- Brevin Pritzl, 6-3 shooting guard from De Pere, Wisconsin — visiting Michigan this Sunday
- Eric Davis, 6-3 combo guard from Saginaw Arthur Hill — visiting Michigan on May 15
- Jalen Coleman, 6-3 combo guard from Indianapolis — slated to bring his recruitment into greater focus in the next couple of weeks
Limiting the 2015 class to one combo guard/wing would enable Michigan to take a big plus perhaps a point guard (e.g., Jalen Brunson), although Sam said yesterday he believes a point guard is more of a luxury in 2015, especially because of Michigan's position with some top 2016 point guard prospects.
Speculating on which 2016 prospects would get offers come June 15, Sam mentioned the five below. He believes Michigan is in terrific shape with the first four of these.
Seth Towns: 6-7 forward, Columbus Northland HS (Trey Burke's HS). Visiting Michigan today, which will be his fifth or sixth visit to Ann Arbor. Towns believes this latest visit is a precursor to a June 15 offer.
T.J. Leaf: 6-9 forward, Foothills Christian (El Cajon, CA). Visiting Michigan on May 19—his second U-M visit (blown away on his first visit, which was for the Notre Dame football game). 247 composite ranking: #21. EDIT: Found this regarding Leaf from Sam on a thread on the free Scout board:
He and his dad love the offense and this will be his second visit to Ann Arbor in less than a year. Plus mom and dad are originally from Indiana and the majority of both sides of the family still reside in the Midwest.
Derryck Thornton Jr.: 6-2 point guard, Findlay Prep (Henderson, NV). 247 composite ranking: #19.
Tyus Battle: 6-5 shooting guard, Gill St. Bernard's (Gladstone, NJ). 247 composite ranking: #8. Thornton and Battle may be a package deal.
Cassius Winston: 6-0 point guard, Detroit Jesuit (Jordan Morgan's HS). 247 composite ranking: #29.
Although Michigan is in great shape with several of these prospects, Sam doesn't anticipate any will quickly jump to accept a Michigan offer once extended. He thinks they all will take some time before making their college choice.
EDIT: In that Scout thread I noted above, Sam also mentions a new 2016 prospect that Michigan has "jumped in on": Dennis “Junior” Smith, a 6-2 point guard out of Fayetteville (N.C.) Trinity Christian—"an explosive athlete that also recently began garnering attention from Louisville, Duke, and North Carolina thanks in large part to his stellar showing in Dallas a few weeks back (Michigan was also in attendance)." He's ranked #15 in the 2016 class per the 247 composite rankings.
Also hearing a possible Michigan-SMU basketball home-in-home series could start this year. Good idea to strengthen OOC— SMU News (@PonyUpSports) May 7, 2014
With SMU's recent success in recruiting, I believe that this would be a nice pair of games for us.