nice pits, 40
The low rumble that OHIO(!!!) decommit Caris Levert was favoring Michigan increased its intensity recently. Levert visited, was offered, and now Michigan seems far ahead of the pack. Football commit and Pickerington Central teammate Taco Charlton offered this less than cryptic tweet up in response to a question about whether he was recruiting Levert to M:
@MGoRecruiting haha @kid_caris22 he asked if I was recruiting to UM let's just say he'll be ready to commit before the visit.hahah
Also there is this:
Michigan is goina love Pickerington Central athletes!!!haha that's all I gota say.
Do high school kids turn autocorrect off? They must. Otherwise their tweets would read "Michigan is tomato love Thanksgiving Central athletes."
Sam Webb says that Ohio sources at Spiece were saying the usual things about blowing people away, and then brought out the old "gut feeling." Dollars to donuts Levert is in the fold in the next couple weeks.
How are we feeling about this? A longer re-recruiting here would have helped clarify things. If Levert grabbed a Purdue offer to go with Michigan, Dayton, and (presumably) Illinois that would be an excellent signal that Levert is a high-major guy who slipped under the radar. Illinois's recruiting class is now Nobody, but Purdue is doing pretty well for themselves. But we don't have that data.
Without it we'll have to fall back on Beilein's talent evaluation, which okay yeah has not been nearly as great when we're talking about late additions. What separates Levert from the Colton Christians is his production. Guy drove his team to a state title. Also, John Groce did pretty well for himself picking up under-the-radar Ohio dudes. I'm also just like…
JJHuddle Players of the Year
2012: Caris Levert, Pickerington Central (Ohio)
2011: Trey Burke, Northland (Michigan)
2010: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2009: Jared Sullinger, Northland (Ohio State)
2008: William Buford, Toledo Libbey (Ohio State) & B.J. Mullens, Canal Winchester (Ohio State/Charlotte Bobcats)
2007: Jon Diebler, Upper Sandusky (Ohio State)
…I will take a guy on that list all day.
From a roster standpoint it makes sense. Levert is a 2/3 who Michigan probably doesn't need right away but could step in for major minutes as early as next year if Tim Hardaway Jr or Glenn Robinson III bolts for the NBA. Beilein's finding out that backup plans are nice to have.
Grad Year Name
Assuming Levert commits, Michigan can still issue another 2012 scholarship. Usual spiel about 2013 commits creating a bit of a crunch and statement that a grad-year guy would be ideal. Michigan's deployment of both their long-term scholarship options makes that spot a lot less attractive, though, and at this point it would be a longshot. Wright State grad-year transfer Julius Mays did throw Michigan on the end of a high-end five team list a few days ago:
Mays told CBSSports.com that his initial list consists of Purdue, Michigan State, Kentucky, Cincinnati and possibly Michigan.
Those are some heavy hitters, and Michigan is fifth of five. If interest picks up between the two parties, it looks like Mays can really play. He was high-usage starter for Raiders last year who hit 42% from three, got to the line quite a bit, and had a good assist rate. A 43% shooting percentage from inside the arc is the only drawback. Even with the recent additions, it's not hard to envision Mays sucking up some of the minutes earmarked for Albrecht, Stauskas, and Vogrich to get to 20-25 per game. That could be attractive, but probably not as attractive as being a go-to-guy at Purdue.
2014 Caring Meter: Incremented
I may be adding IL SF Keita Bates-Diop to the list of people from the year 3000 I am interested in hearing about. Bates-Diop just made the new Rivals 2014(!) top 50 and is stopping in at the place all people who want an early Michigan offer they may hop on immediately do:
A silky smooth forward who can play some in the high post, Bates-Diop's future is on the wing and he wields one of the smoothest, most accurate jump shots in the sophomore class. More than just a shooter, the 6-foot-7 forward has length, ball skills and is a graceful athlete who is light on his feet and plays with a high level of intelligence.
Bates-Diop went for 26 in an afternoon game and did so without needing a bunch of shots.
"My shot felt good out there today," Bates-Diop told Rivals.com. 'I feel like I've had a good spring. I'm just trying to play hard and show what I can do."
Major college basketball programs have already taken notice of what Bates-Diop is doing and the Normal (Ill.) University product has already drawn offers from Purdue, DePaul and Northwestern while he's getting interest from Michigan - where he will take an unofficial visit in June for its elite camp - Illinois, Wisconsin, Louisville, Oklahoma State and others.
You may remember last June's elite camp from such events as "entire 2013 class commits." You know Beilein is going to slap on some cologne and bring flowers for a 6'7" shooter with ball skills and athleticism.