In ESPN’s updated basketball rankings following the July evaluation period, Zak Irvin moved up slightly, from #74 to #70, while Mark Donnal made a similar-sized move in the opposite direction, going from #81 to #84. Derrick Walton Jr. remains outside the ESPN top 100, ranked 25th among point guards. As a point of comparison, Monte Morris has the same “scouts grade” of 91 as Walton but is ranked 99th overall and 21st among point guards. So Walton is just outside ESPN’s top 100.
One other basketball recruiting note: Stefan Jankovic narrowed his list down to five, eliminating Michigan from consideration. His final five are Wake Forest, Georgetown, Missouri, Florida State, and Purdue.
Rivals has a premium article that says in the free header that Michigan has offered 2012 big man Marshall Wood, a quickly rising prospect described in the header as "another young for his grade, highly skilled and high IQ player." His ESPN profile has him at 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds, with a three-star ranking.
It appears that Michigan is his highest-profile offer right now, but a West Virginia Illustrated article from a couple weeks ago said that "Wood ranks West Virginia in his top five schools right now, though he only lists WVU and Maryland as teams that really stand out right now." The text accompanying his highlight video that was posted in April had this as his official offer list: St. Joe's, Duquesne, Appalachian State, Akron, Wofford, UNC Charlotte, William and Mary, JMU, Liberty. Among other schools listed with "modest interest" are Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, and Xavier.
Offering Wood seems to run counter to the conventional wisdom in the wake of the commitments of Irvin and Walton. For example, Sam Webb said last week that he believed that only top prospects such as Mitch McGary would be candidates for another 2012 commitment. EDIT: Some people are speculating on other boards that Wood may reclassify to the class of 2013, and if he did so he could be a top 100 player.
In the meantime, yesterday NBE Basketball Report posted an interview with Stefan Jankovic, in which Jankovic (another 2012 prospect) continues to indicate that Michigan is among the schools interested in him, although he says Wake Forest is his leading school:
NBE: At this time, what schools are you considering that are actively recruiting you?
SJ: I’d probably have to say Wake Forest, Syracuse, Michigan, Georgetown, Florida State, Missouri, Boston College, Seton Hall, Purdue.
NBE: Any favorites or leaders?
SJ: As of right now Wake Forest would have to be leading. They were there since the beginning and have been showing me the most love.
There isn't anything particularly earth-shattering in the interview, but he does claim to be 6-foot-6 and 200 pounds, as opposed to the 6-foot-5 and 185 that was reported at the time of his commit.
I also found the following Q&A interesting not only for the confidence that Stauskas reveals but also for his mention that "politics" keeps him from being ranked higher:
WCS: Although rankings are just numbers, many outlets have you classified right inside the top 100 in the country. You've talked about your shooting and ability to get to the hoop. What parts of your game do you feel you need to improve on over the next year to move up that list, or in other words, what's keeping you from going from a top 100 player to a top 25 player?NS: To be honest with you, the biggest thing that is keeping me out of the top 25 at this point is politics. My game still needs a lot of work, especially physically with my speed and strength, but at this point I believe I have proven to a lot of people that I am more than capable of going at and competing with other top 25 players.
Also of note are his plans for this summer and beyond:
NS: My knee injury has limited my plans for the summer. I wasn't able to play this spring, and that lead to me not being able to go to certain camps such as Pangos All American and NBA Top 100. In July, I still plan to be in Minnesota for the Best Buy Classic, Vegas for the Fab 48, and Phoenix for the Dual in the Desert. I might have a few other tournaments that I will be attending, but I'll have to talk to my coach first. One of my goals since I was young was to play in the McDonald’s All American game at the end of my senior year. I know I have a very long way to go to be able to play in that, but it's still something I dream about. Other than that my goals have basically been to come to Michigan my freshman year as prepared as I can be to play college basketball. I'm working hard so that I leave the coaches at Michigan with no excuses to not play me. And obviously, I'm still working at achieving my biggest goal of one day playing in the NBA. It's a long way away, but at this point I just have to keep working hard and taking it one step at a time.
Stauskas doesn't mention this event (perhaps he's sitting it out because of his injury), but he was selected to play in the 2011 All Canada Classic, which is being held on June 21 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Among the others selected for the rosters is Stefan Jankovic, the 6-foot-10 big man being recruited by Michigan for the 2012 class. (Other invitees include a couple of former U-M recruits: Kevin Pangos and Sim Bhullar).
Evidently, Jankovic will be attending, but some of the other invitees will not, according to this preview:
Myck Kabongo, Khem Birch and Kyle Wiltjer will not be competing, as they have been invited to both the Jordan Classic and the McDonald's All-American Game, so they are likely to compete in those two as their designated two all-star games.
Anyone know if the two designated all-star games is just a Canadian thing? I haven't heard of this before.