Your First Beilein Recruit
2008 Syracuse-area center Ben Cronin is deciding tomorrow between Michigan, Syracuse, and... Buffalo(!):
I just spoke with Henninger High School coach Erik Saroney, who told me that 7-foot junior Ben Cronin will announce his college choice on Wednesday. ... Last year, he averaged 12 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocks per game for the Black Knights.
Eight blocks? These are the things that are possible when you are seven feet tall and playing in upstate New York. OrangeFan iterates...
Seven-foot Henniger center Ben Cronin, off a visit to Michigan, reports holding an offer from Syracuse. Cronin is Class of 2008, and there is not a space available unless and until Southerland reclassifies to the class of 2009. I don't think it will matter in the end, though, as I suspect Cronin is going to Michigan. John Bielein has been on him hard at both West Virginia and now Michigan, and I think he is in the lead.
Mike Waters posts on his blog that Ben Cronin will make his announcement tomorrow. I'm betting it will be Michigan.
So that's good if it comes off and, given the alternatives are a Syracuse program that was hesitant to offer and Buffalo, it seems likely.
Update: Syracuse.com reports:
A source with knowledge of the decision told the Post-Standard today that Cronin will pick Michigan, choosing the Wolverines over Syracuse and Buffalo. Cronin visited the Michigan campus last week.
What can we expect from Cronin? The circumstantial evidence -- Beilein's been recruiting him for over a year -- conjures up the image of Jamie Smalligan for anyone who took in a WVU game this year. This is not the hypothetical new generation of recruits that Beilein has access to at Michigan that he didn't at West Virginia; he's not in the Rivals 150. The bad bit of Beilein having recruited this kid for a long time.
The good bit: Cronin should be a fit for the system. He's tll, a skilled passer, an improving shooter working on his three point range, a hard worker, unselfish, and... uh... plodding. Given that Beilein's working from behind the eight ball with much of the class of 2008, many of whom are already committed, it's a good pickup for a team that needs some post depth. Some may be concerned about Cronin's low profile, but I don't think Beilein's recruiting is going to pick up until the conference and the state get to see Michigan in action. Cronin should find himself somewhere in the range between contributor and starter after a couple years.