Essentially everyone in the Amaker era. And Jamal Crawford cause his stay was so short.
MBB (1990-Present): Recruits that left you wanting more
Amaker's player development can certainly be questioned, but outside of Lavell Blanchard, Amaker wasn't exactly bringing in the world's most sought after guys. He did get more than his fair share of "2nd tier" players like Lester Abram, Bernard Robinson, etc - and did virtually nothing with them though - so I think your criticism is fair.
Horton was a McD AA, and Harris was Top 40. Chris Hunter and Courtney Sims were each 3/4 star guys in the Top 150 range of a Donnal or Burke.
I think Jevohn Shepherd was one of the top guys in Canada too, right?
Coach B would have taken Blanchard, Abram and Robinson to the Final 4.
The idea of Bernard Robinson with the current coaching staff is scary
I would tend to agree. With all due respect to Zack Novak and Stuuuuu, who squeezed every last bit out of their talent and are among my all-time favorite Wolverines, Coach B ended the no-tourneys streak with guys that would have been sitting on the end of Amaker's bench.
A backcourt of Horton, Dion Harris, and Lester Abram with Beilein and Jordan coaching them could have been amazing.
It's funny that Lester Abram came to mind really, because when I think about the stats he could put up when he was healthy (significant portions of his junior and senior years were lost to injury, as I recall) combined with some the players that he might have around him under someone like Beilein (possibly some of the same ones, as you mention), that would have made for something special perhaps. As it is, of course, he's still on the Top 20 lists among Wolverines in a few categories, I believe, which still isn't bad at all.
Amaker didn't bring in either Blanchard or Bernard Robinson - those were Ellerbe recruits. But he did sign Daniel Horton, Dion Harris, Chris Hunter, Lester Abram, Courtney Sims, Brent Petway, DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris . . . all top 100 guys. Recruiting really wasn't his problem. Player development, much moreso.
Dude could jump and hit his head on the ceiling of Crisler, but could never reach his own ceiling.
(Horton, Les, Graham, Hunter, Courtney, Dion, Petway) but then his recruiting really dropped off. That led to a non-existent bench. If he'd just hit on another of his point guard targets I feel sure he would have broken through. Amaker wasn't great at teaching fundamentals(Watching Michigan's turnovers in the era would surely turn Beilein's hair white) and when Horton was injured or suspended or getting a breather there was just nobody to put in for him.
Because he left me wanting more Trey Burke on my home town team.
Definitely has to be Epke Udoh for me. That man could've been a great Wolverine. We all kind of knew that he had that potential, but no one truly believed how close he was to accomplishing that until he blew up in a big way at Baylor.
As a Wisconsin native:
That being said my first thought was "Defensively gifted Post"
Seeing how Beilein and staff have developed players, it seems like leaving Michigan was a big mistake for him. He's not really lived up to expectations in the NBA.
I gotta say, I remember being pretty excited about Kevin Gaines, Jamal Crawford, and Maurice Searight. They had a lot of hype. Were any left after their sophomore season? There was so much young talent on that team that all seemed to dissolve away.
It was worse then you remembered - all three were gone before the START of their sophomore seasons.
....mine would have to be LLP.
The first guy that came to my mind as well. Seemed like he could have been a great scorer, just never could put it all together.
Jerod Ward and Albert White.
Definitely Jerod "Hot Rod" Ward. He came in as arguably the #1 player in the country and never met those lofty expectations, although partially due to injury.
Ben Cronin. Moreso because we were getting obliterated on the boards with a freshman Zack Novak. Glad J-mo stepped into the center position, when injuries ended his career.
Michael Talley. Although, he did have to compete with the Fab Five. So...maybe more a casualty than disapointment.
no more than...on the bench. I still fault him for CWebb calling ill-fated timeout.
Mr. Basketball, was highly regarded. He made tons of mistakes on the court and as you mentioned, mistakes from the bench too.
Talley got lots of PT in the 90-91 season, pre Fab 5. That was the year of never-ending mediocrity. Talley, Tony Tolbert, D. Calip, Sam Mitchell, Easy E Riley, Rich McIver. A young Voskuil and Pelinka. That team had some talent, but just never put it together.
The season before Fab 5 arrival...he'd play major mins. But once they hit A2...to the bench he went. Kinda salty about it too...
Don't forget Freddy Hunter, one of my all-time favorite Wolverines.
Ha ha. Rich McIver. So many memories. Calip actually evolved into a good player by the end of hte year but he wasn't a B1G first option type.
Eric Riley had to be the skinniest motherfucker in history.
Lived on my floor in West Quad one year. He spent a lot, and I mean A LOT, of time playing video games.
I know he was our go-to guy and there were certainly things beyond his control...but he had a ton of potential.
daniel horton falls in that basket too. never became a dominating player.
I don't know, I'd say his senior year was very good (17.6 ppg, 5.3 apg, 1.9 steals, .447 FG /.391 3FG /.906 FT). Those numbers are pretty similar to Stauskas's this year.
Yeah I'm not sure about that either. I think he still holds some 3 point records at Michigan, too. That stat line is impressive for a smaller guy. I think he was only 6'3
*was* 6'3. Probably still is 6'3
I think Horton was the highlight of the Amaker era. He may not have played well every game, but he was fairly consistent and a leader on the court.
declares for the draft he will probably be my answer. The tourney run was amazing with him in the lineup but if all we get from our most heralded recruit since Chris Webber is like 3/4th of a season I will be somewhat disappointed.
Other than that, probably Courtney Sims. The guy actually seemed to regress every year he played for Michigan.
I think the run to the title game is enough of a contribution for Mitch. Obviously he flashed some dominant potential during that time, and we want to see that over the course of a season. But without him we have no chance at all against Kansas and Syracuse. Plus he's been awesome on the bench during his injury.
Agreed about Courtney Sims. He was huge and pretty skilled but just never asserted himself.
Sure but compared to expectations when recruited you wouldn't say "Oh great we got the #2 prospect in the nation, now we're set for 6 games and some sweet bench mob GIFs!"
You say six games like it could be six non-conference games at the start of the season. Those were games that many Michigan fans will remember until they succumb to senility.
Also, much of his recruiting hype was severely dampened by the time he entered college fresh off of being the sixth man on his high school/ basketball academy team. Sure, he just had to regain the form that made him the #2 overall recruit previously, but a lot of guys never do.
Finally, don't downplay the importance of the sweet benchmob GIFs.
C Webb. If he stayed one more year that's an easy NC.
was supposed to have been the easy NC. If C Webb came back our matchup against Arkansas would have probably been in the NC game instead of the Elite 8. Probably would have been a real battle.
nothing worse than being the object of "fat boy" trash talk by of all people SCOTT SKILES!
Nobody dogged it like "The Judge".
He was good when he wanted to be, but for some reason he seldom wanted to be.
He was the anti-Novak. Got the least effort out of the most talent.
His play surely didn't measure up to it. Thank gawd we had Gary *Black Oil* Grant playing in backcourt with him.
I don't remember Joubert, but up until my Dad's (a huge Michigan Basketball fan) death two years ago he would say things like "even Joubert could make that play" after easy misses and mistakes.
Sure, the Judge wasn't exactly known for his hustle and defense. But, man, he looked good doing so. Oh that hair.
Joubert. So much hype, so little effort. Had a friend who screamed "canned heat" every time he shot the ball (= every time he touched the ball).
Skiles just torched him.
Harris had so much potential, and just never developed because he was forced to go one-on-one in the last 8 seconds of the shot clock for most of his career.
Also, Courtney Sims. Big dude, pretty skilled, but soft.
sims played more scared than any other player i've seen.
Lots of people talk about players or teams in general being soft. Sims, however, was legitimately soft. Too many times I watched him get the ball under the basket with not a soul in sight to challenge him, and he would sit there and pump fake 2-3 times just out of pure fear that it would be contested. This of course would give the defense plenty of time to get over there and actually defend the shot, and well, it hardly ever ended well.
Courtney was not just soft and scared of contact, he played like was absolutely petrified by just the mere thought of contact. I always hoped someday he would realize he was bigger and stronger than anyone around him, but he never did.
Maybe it came from someone here, but my wife used to refer to the Courtney's TUD (totally useless dribble) when he'd get the ball in post, and put on the floor rather than going up aggressively.
Lester Abram immediately came to my mind
He was good at times but I always felt he could dominate if he played with a little effort.
I remember watching Mo Taylor early in his freshman year in a Hawaii tourney (Maui?). Anyway, I was convinced he was going to be an All American after only a few minutes on the court. Size, skill, rebounding, a decent mid-range shot. What happened, Mo?!
He was in the NBA for a decent stretch. The Rockets for awhile I think.
Rockets and Clips. He was a serviceable NBA starter. Dude's game definitely was better as a pro than he was as a college guy, for the most part.
Honestly Tim and Trey. I always wonder if we could have went undefeated this year with them back and the entire team healthy. Could have had a solid 10 man rotation if needed.
No chance at the undefeated season, even with those guys back. Just too little in the middle with McGary injured - Burke/THJ wouldn't have been able to slow the Kentucky follow-up dunkfest from their guard spots.
I said with the entire team healthy. We never got blown out this year. I could see it happening.
But now I'm just nitpicking. Duke, Wisconsin, and Staee losses felt like blowouts at times. Your main thesis still holds, though. We didn't get blown out of the water in most losses.
No way we would've gone undefeated. We would've tripped up somewhere in Big Ten play. But I bet we would've beaten Arizona, definitely smoked Charlotte, beaten ISU, and maybe even beaten Duke. I only say maybe about Duke because it's the hardest place in America to win as an opposing team.
You're down 10 points before you even tip off, due to the atmosphere and the obvious "Duke getting Duke calls."
I don't really know if he's doing anything now but I remember everyone saying 'what if' early on in the Beilein years as I think he was one of those ideal 'stretch 4' guys. Might've gotten everything to where we are now much sooner if we didn't have to do a ton of four guard line-ups the first few years
He is on the German national team which may mean something, or nothing a all. Either way it's a shame we never got to see him in maize and blue.
Gavin Groninger. Seriously, he was supposed to be a great shooter. Put him in this system (and have him practice with the Beilein Ball) and maybe he pans out.
looking to see if anyone mentioned Motor City Willie because he and Ward were the first names that popped into my head. Everyone remembers Ward, but let's not forget that Mitchell was a very heavily hyped member of the "New 5" - Conlan, Taylor, Mitchell, Baston and Ward.
I would more generally make the argument that this class as a whole represented the very essence of wanting more. Their time in Ann Arbor exactly coincided with mine - 1994-1998. And in their four seasons paired with various big names such as Ray Jackson and Jimmy King (1994-95) and Traylor and Bullock (1995-98), here were their collective team stats:
- Zero regular season conference titles
- 1 Big 10 Tournament title (inaugural tournament in 98)
- 3 NCAA tournament appearances
- 2 first round exits
- 1 2nd round exit
- 1 NIT championship
- 1 Timeout Redux (Maceo Baston vs. Texas late in Round 1 in '96)
This class completely turned me off to Michigan basketball after awhile because year after year they simply underachieved. And when they finally looked like they had put it all together in 1998, they promptly went out and laid an egg against 6 seeded UCLA in the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament.
There was no way of knowing it at the time, but that would turn out to be Michigan's last tournament appearance for 10 years.
If MGoBlog had existed during the age of the New 5, the threads would have been epic. Between the emotional highs that came with landing these guys and some of the early season starts (especially in 96-97), coupled with the embarassing lows that transpired (missing the tournament in '97 after being ranked in the Top 5 and beating Arizona, blowing a double digit lead in the 2nd half to Western Kentucky in the 95 tournament, Maurice Taylor's role in the Mateen Cleaves recruiting trip that helped unravel the entire program, Motor City Willie eating his way out of Ann Arbor and the inability to do anything of note in conference play), this site would have exploded several times over.
Everyone who went to Michigan in my time always thinks fondly of the 97 NC football team and the 96 and 98 NC hockey teams, but talk to any of us for a few minutes and it won't take long to recall what a frustrating group of underachievers the basketball team was during that period, led by the New 5.
Travis did some great things at PG, Ward had fleeting moments, Baston was a great complementary player and solid B1G performer. But, man. That class should've had some monster seasons bookended by the Fab 5 and Traylor/Bullock years.
Traylor and Bullock were right behind them. That was 3 years with those 7. While it culminated with the BTT title, there was a lot of disappointment....kind of like how MSU feels right now (not a flame, it really is similar)
I was a freshman in 97/98 and that was the only year I had basketball season tickets because no one else would go to games with me. The only thing I remember about basketball in my four years was us beating Duke at home and rushing the court on the same day (+/- a couple) that Woodson won the Heisman. So, good memory at least!
Mitchell was a very heavily hyped member of the "New 5" - Conlan, Taylor, Mitchell, Baston and Ward.
I think they were called the "Fresh Five."
I think he transferred, he was all we had at the time scoring. I like him as brief as it was.
Seriously? He averaged 8.1 points per game in his only season. Lavell Blanchard, Bernard Robinson, and Chris Young all averaged between 11 and 14 points per game that year. Fourth options typically aren't "all we had at the time scoring."
I watched us lose and score 40ish point to san fransisco, he was all we had that game.
Crawford, Bernard Robinson, and Petway
The guy was the #1 rated player in the country and became a nondescript college player.
Injuries hampered Tim McCormick who was a McDonald's All American center and had a steady but not spectacular college career. Along with World B Pelekoudas they won the NIT and began the climb to the 89 NC.
Very much agree on Albert White... I loved his potential as a freshman and thought his combination of size, strength, and explosiveness would translate well to the NBA. Still one of my favorite recruiting classes ever with Bullock and Traylor, a shame they never fully realized their potential.
I've hated watching Wisconsin's tournament games this year for precisely that reason. Imagine Frank Kaminsky in a maize and blue jersey. The mind reels at the possibilities. A 7-foot PF who can bounce outside and hit precision threes? Yes please.
Two more years of Trey Burke. Anyone else would be gravy.
two more years
Albert White flew into my head.
of Ward's knees fall off? My memories of him are that he was always hurt.
Albert White was only here one year before getting kicked off the team (IIRC). He went on to have a good career at Missouri.
After reading this thread I am thoroughly depressed. Thanks, guys.
Why? Did you notice that none of the kids mentioned in this thread who didn't pan out were from the Beilein era?
There was a time when we recruited kids who fell short of expectations. Now, we recruit kids who exceed expectations.
Too easy.....Webber absolutely left me wanting more......one more year...one more shot.
The human turnover.
He was ready. No doubt about it. But when he walked off the court I just wanted more.
I remember back when Fisher signed the class that included Jerod Ward, Maceo Baston, Maurice Taylor, Willie Mitchell, and Travis Conlan, the Ann Arbor News ran the headline "Fab Five II". Needless to say, that class never lived up to its lofty moniker. I think Taylor is the only member of that class who actually had a significant NBA career.
In fairness to Jerod Ward, he had some horrible luck with injuries. He had major knee surgery twice while he was at Michigan, IIRC.
Was a disappointment too ... Wasn't what I expected him to be.
Crawford is another.
By far. Not even close. He was the next GREAT michigan player prior to injury.
As he was a QB in HS and would have been deadly as a read option guy
Here is one I don't see mentioned. Tons of talent, turned into a head case, undrafted, then found a roster spot
Always was. He transferred twice and complained a lot. Kind of a jerk too.
....really hurt that 1993-94 team more than anything. Was always called for Offensive goaltending( one that burned them in elite 8 against arkansas), technicals, etc. Plus, took minutes away that should have gone to Olivier saint-jean. Losing Olivier was a shame.....fisher over-recruited at tne 3 in 1994....should've stayed away from mitchell, white.
....left me wanting more after his wild senior night game. Also, bobby crawford, rob pelinka, james voskuil.
I think he's one guy who would have flourished in belein's system. Would have have been a great "stretch 4" at 6'8". One of the reserves behind the FF who maybe should have kept his starting spot as he was a better shooter than Ray jackson.
I don't know if Legion technically qualifies since he never ended up here (and then transferred 12 times), but my recollection is that he was a 5 star and Amaker's biggest get.
As for a player that was okay in his role but who I hoped would be Nik Stauskas -- Matt Vogrich. I know he wasn't 6'6'' like Nik but his shooting resume out of high school was impressive.
Legion's mother was epic. I believe she said a dream or fortune teller gave her a premonition of where Alex should go. There was so much switching between UofM, Illinois, and others I don't even remember the whole saga. I think he wanted to come here at some point but Anaker said he already burned those bridges. I think we played him while he was at Illinois and then maybe he transferred again?
So every player since 1989 (which means this entire list)...has left me wanting more.
The largest failure ever to develop a player at Michigan was Bill Frieder's botched handling of Antoine Joubert. Frieder never let him shoot from his natural range, trying to turn him into something he wasn't. That's exactly what Frieder did, although not in the way he intended.
At the very least, "The Judge" would have been Jimmer Fredette under this staff. Joubert was finally given the "green light" on senior day against Purdue and had a game that was reminiscent of his high school days. If he had been given the green light as a freshman and developed the way JB develops players, people would still be talking about him , possibly as the greatest player in the history of the program.
Was definitely not a McD's AA, but he was a solid 4* I was excited about. Seems like he had the measurables to excel in The Beilein's system, but transferred before giving it a chance. I also think he injured his shoulder.
1994 Mr. Basketball from Detroit Pershing right at the tail end of the Fab 5 era.
I used to hang out at the pool hall in the Union back then and would alway see Makhtar up in there getting grub in the basement. Wendys, Little Caesars, Subway. Probably not the best diet plan.