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.
A few notes on basketball recruiting, based in part on today's recruiting roundup on WTKA:
Aubrey Dawkins: Had a great (and extended) visit to Dayton, according to Sam Webb, who also reported that Dawkins is not taking any more visits and will choose between Michigan and Dayton. The announcement could come any day and will happen within the week. In Sam's opinion, Michigan has the upper hand based on the criteria that Dawkins related to Sam. If Dawkins adheres to his stated criteria, Sam thinks Michigan will be the choice. I don't have a Scout subscription, so I don't know what's in the premium article on this posted there, but from what was said on the free Scout board, it appears that one criterion is academics.
Cole Huff: There's been no announcement of a visit date to Michigan for Huff. But his former AAU coach, Clint Parks, tweeted yesterday that Huff was off to Creighton for "his 1st of 4 visits." Visits to Iowa (May 2) and Dayton (May 9) are already known, and presumably Michigan will be the fourth. As a pure FYI that I mention only because of previous discussions about Huff: UCLA just lost Jordan Adams to a late NBA entry decision.
Igor Ibaka: Sam thinks this is another case—similar to Byron Wesley—of a player expressing interest in Michigan, not the other way around. With Ibaka, it "certainly hasn't been Michigan pursuing him." Sam noted the rarity of juco transfers to Michigan in basketball. In the end, in his opinion, this is likely "much ado about nothing."
Also, for anyone looking for a good overview of where Michigan basketball recruiting stands, Sam has just updated his recruiting primer.
EDIT2: Updated title so people know there's good info in the thread from Don on football recruiting.
The Spartans have signed a 2014 point guard from Kansas, and his name is Lourawls "Tum-Tum" Nairn. I am sure he is a good hoops player, but that name--I be like dang.
It looks like ESPN updated their 2013 basketball recruiting rankings. All 3 Michigan guys make the list:
Zak Irvin-21 (3 away from 5 star status)
Both Irvin and Walton moved up, while Donnal took a fairly significant tumble. Michigan also has the top 2 commits in the big 10 at the moment (although people think MSU has a pretty good shot at #1 overall Jabari Parker). Another great year for Beilein in terms of talent evaluation.
Per Chris Balas of The Wolverine, 2012 five-star big man Mitch McGary will decide next month. Sam Webb said on in radio show in the last couple days that the sooner McGary decided, the better Michigan's chances, so I'd take this as a good sign. To me, it looks like this one will come down to the Wolverines and Duke. Either way, it's clear John Beilein and his staff have made a huge impression on McGary and his family (the whole staff visited them this week), and just to see the basketball team as a major factor down to the wire on such a big-time recruit is a great sign for the program.
Tar Heel Illustrated has posted a transcript of a video interview they did with Mitch McGary at an open gym at Brewster Academy last week. Given the source, the interview slants toward UNC-related questions, but there was one specific to Michigan:
We know Michigan is another school you're interested in. What have the Wolverines brought to the table for you?
They (Michigan's coaches) told me I would come in and be a big part of their offense. They haven't had such a high (ranked) recruit like me in a while they told. So I think it would be a good opportunity for me to go in there and put some work in.
It's also clear McGary is nowhere near a decision:
I don't even know which school I'm favoring right now. I don't have a top three or anything like that, or a top two.
The last two questions address his time frame for making a decision and the additional official visits he plans to make:
You've still got plenty of time to make your decision, but do you have any idea when you might want to get recruiting out of the way and commit?
I don't know. I have no clue.
And do you know of any other official visits at this point in time?
(I'll officially visit) Maryland, Kentucky, and Florida sometime soon.
To me, that last answer was the most interesting bit as it was unclear from McGary's last blog post whether he was going to make more official visits or not. On a related note, Clint Jackson, the basketball recruiting director for Tar Heel Illustrated, tweeted this a couple of days ago:
Hearing Florida might be more of a player with 6-11 Mitch McGary than we all originally thought. Not the leader but in the conversation.