I'm excited about this kid, he looks to have a great shot, and I was suprised that he displayed that kind of athleticism in the highlight video. From all reports from various recruiting gurus they seem to think he's strictly a shooter, but he certainly looked pretty athletic to me. In ESPN's latest update to their top 100, he came in at #92(was previously ranked #98), and I'm sure he'll move up in both the Scout and Rivals rankings when they are updated as well.
Tim Hardaway Jr Highlights
I too am looking forward to him getting to campus. I think he's going to be a good shooter and solid overall contributor. And heck, I don't really see how it can hurt to have Joe Dumars and Tim Hardaway Sr. in the crowd and around the program.
That being said, I was mildly disappointed in this youtube reel after you talked about his athleticism. While certainly there was more in there than what we would have seen in a Stu Douglas highlight reel, I didn't see much in the way of moves besides hitting threes and getting out on the break. Don't get me wrong, I like this guy a lot but I didn't see him take anyone off the dribble or shoot anything inside the arc.
But we're going to need him - and anyone and everyone else - to contribute next season to get the program back to the dance.
Generally speaking, when most people refer to athleticism they are speaking of jumping/running ability. Example - Kalin Lucas has superior handles/moves, but he's never mentioned in the "great athlete" category with the likes of John Wall(UK) or Derrick Rose(Memphis). I think you are correct in terms of the highlight reel not showing a lot of penetrating moves to the basket, but with regard to the athleticism/jumping, it's clear to me that he's under-rated. He may not have get-ups like Manny, but he certainly seemed to be a capable finisher on the break if given the opportunity.
With the class coming in the class looks bright for 2011 and beyond. The question I would ask, is whether Manny is ready for the next level. He is having a sub par year and I think that his draft stock has fallen off considerably. He might benefit from another year under Beilein.
I don't know if he'll get that much better with another year of college, but it doesn't seem like he's a first-rounder coming out this year. If that's the basis for a decision, maybe he will stick around for his senior year.
On another note, you have to like the (supposed) talent/athleticism of the players that Beilien (?sp) has lined up for the next two classes: Smotrczxcv, Hardaway, and Brundidge (all top 100). If he fills in both classes with similarly good players, then things would seem to be looking up.
Immediately, come on Jordan Morgan and Blake Mclimas
I wouldn't blame him if he leaves, but I'm pretty sure Manny could benefit from another year in school. Right now, he's got a 2-guard's body without a 2-guard's skillset. If he can make substantial gains in his handle and particularly his mid/longrange jumpshot, I think he could be in much better draft position a year from now. And for a guy with an uncertain professional career (though I'm sure he can make money in Europe for as long as he wants), it wouldn't be a terrible idea for him to get his degree right off the bat, either.
I also think you can see his dad's shot in his. Hopefully Tim Jr. has a high basketball IQ from learning from Tim Sr.
Smotrycz, Hardaway, and the young guys on the team should make a nice foundation. I can't see them making the tournament next year if Manny leaves, though.
If this develops, there needs to be a really clever name for it.