here's one vote for "John Beilein's head in a Futurama jar"
In the tradition of commits coming in pairs, Lauren "Boogie" Brozoski committed to Michigan today, just a day after Nicole Munger verballed. Brozoski is a 5-5 point guard out of Long Island Lutheran H.S. who has long been a strong Michigan lean and is likely a player that head coach Kim Barnes Arico has been following for years. She's a consensus top 100 player in the class of 2015, with rankings of #82 and #84 from two major recruiting services, plus four-star status at a third (where she's likely just outside their current top 60). Brozoski is an absolute perfect fit for the Michigan program as can be seen from this April 2013 NYG Hoops Report eval:
Brozoski is the runaway top prospect on long Island in her class at this point. . . . and will be one of the top young playmakers to watch this summer. Her best fit is going to an up tempo program where she can play in the open floor and score in transition. She has all the tools and intangibles for a point guard. She is willing to play in your face defense, evidenced by her taking charges at a non view event while wearing a face mask. She was vocal in getting teammates into position and willing to take and make critical shots at the end on the game. Boogie plays with a high level motor and has a enormous competitive streak.
Last season, Brozoski led her high school to a state title and was named tournament MVP. Among the other schools recruiting her, she had offers from St. John's, Seton Hall, Boston College, and Hofstra. She had also garnered interest from Louisville, Maryland, and Virginia Tech.
Her nickname, you ask? Here's her explanation from an August pressconnects.com article (no longer available) in which she declared "I love the University of Michigan":
“My dad used to play with this guy in the streets called Boogie and he was like, ‘Know what? Your game reminds me of his, so I’m just gonna call you Boogie.’ ”
That was back when she was a fourth-grader. “It works for me, everybody calls me that. I like it.”
Top 25 here:
Sounds fine to me. Discuss.
After pulling together a stellar 2014 class that's likely complete, Kim Barnes Arico and her staff are off to a great start on 2015 with the commitment tonight of Nicole Munger (who took an unofficial visit to Michigan earlier this month). Munger is a 5-8 combo guard out of Central Bucks West H.S. in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, in suburban Philadelphia. Blue Star has her ranked #67 in the country in the 2015 class. She plays AAU for the Philly Belles, so clearly newly hired assistant to the head coach Matt Bamford played a role here, as he coached the Philly Belles team Munger played on. But it's worth noting that Michigan was already recruiting Munger before Bamford's hiring.
Munger would have been another member of the all-motor team in North Augusta. From start to finish, game after game, there did not appear to be any drop in her energy level as she consistently played hard at both ends of the court. With a medium-thin build, she is not afraid to drive the key, often going left even though right-handed. She can spot up for threes but that does not appear to be her greatest strength. At the next level, she is probably more of a point guard but at this event played more off the ball due to Taylor Murray's presence.
With Barnes Arico implementing her preferred up-tempo style of play this season, it's clear from this evaluation why she'd be interested in Munger (and vice versa).
UPDATE: A local news article has been published on Munger's commitment: CB West's Nicole Munger verbally commits to Michigan. It says that Drexel, Saint Joseph's, Boston College, and LSU had also shown interest in her. Here's an excerpt:
"It was a big decision, but it was a really great one,' Munger said. "The school is beautiful and the education (Munger is considering business as a major) is amazing. Coach Bamford is a tremendous coach, but I have been looking at Michigan since the spring. Everything seems right there.'
Bamford was also a coach on Munger's AAU team, the Philly Belles. It was on the summer circuit where Munger managed to open eyes to her newfound shooting range and her undeniable intensity on the court. Many girls have natural ability, but not many have the hard work and passion of a Munger.
"Nicole is just an incredible kid who had an incredible summer with AAU basketball,' [Central Bucks West coach Terry] Rakowsky said. "Her team won the Nike National Championships. It is the way she plays the game that makes the difference. She is a great example for the other kids in the Bucks program.'
Ok so after the gut checking / nut punching / mindnumbingly depressing / <insert your superlative description here> game we all went through as fans Saturday, I noticed a lot of people saying how happy they were that basketball season was just around the corner. Are we really that excited for the hoops season though? Or are we setting ourselves up to be disappointed again?
Last season was a magical season that none of us will forget any time soon. But we lost Tim and Trey to the NBA, are we really so sure that we are going to be able to match their level of output? Are we expecting a Final Four run again? Some people seem to be expecting us to win it all this season based on their comments, which I don't see happening (but I'll be more than happy if I'm wrong). I guess I just think that we're being way too hard on this football team by giving up on them halfway through the season, and I think some are getting way too optimistic about the basketball team's chances beyond the Sweet 16 (where I think they'll land) this year and are just setting themselves up for a rough winter.
Am I nuts? Overthinking it? Or am I right to sound a warning now?
Sam Webb has a detailed DetNews article out on one of the Wolverines' main remaining 2014 targets: Michigan emerges as major player for elite shooter James Blackmon Jr. He includes lots of quotes from Blackmon, his father, and some recruiting "experts." Given the worries of some Michigan fans that both Blackmon and Devin Booker will pick Kentucky, I thought what Scout's Brian Snow said in the second paragraph quoted below was particularly worth highlighting. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
All that’s left for Blackmon now is a return visit to Kentucky Oct. 18 and potential trip to Kansas (though no date has been mentioned). From there he plans to make his decision in time to sign a letter of intent during the early signing period (Nov.13-20). The Hoosier State star hasn’t listed any favorites among his finalists, but as is the case with Booker, many pundits believe that Kentucky is in strong position. Furthermore, some believe that a scenario in which the Wolverines and Wildcats split the two talented youngsters to be a distinct possibility.
“Blackmon and Booker and not exactly alike,” Snow explained. “They’re very similar as players, and you can make a reasonable argument that one’s better than the other, depending on what type of player you’re looking for. But they’re similar enough that as a coach I don’t think you’d want to take both of them. If you’re a player, you don’t want to go to the same spot as someone else who plays just like you and plays your position. It’s just not logical. So I think if player A goes to Kentucky, that will cross Kentucky off player B’s list. If player A goes to Michigan, that will cross it off player B’s list. The fact that they’re each considering heavily three of the same schools, and maybe only have four real options, it’s going to be very interesting to see who commits where and what kind of ripple effect that does have.”
UmHoops.com has some comprehensive player pages for all of Michigan's propects including recruiting site rankings and player Twitter feeds.
I know we're all very excited about the basketball team and we expect the 2014 class to fill up in the next month or so, but I stumbled on a few positive tweets from Austin Hatch that I thought should be shared.
Let's not forget this kid is part of this class. He has been though a lot and will make a TREMEDOUS Michigan Wolverine. We should all be rooting for him to live his dream.