6-6 2016 wing Harold Baruti taking OV to Michigan

6-6 2016 wing Harold Baruti taking OV to Michigan

Submitted by Raoul on May 4th, 2016 at 11:10 AM

Per his high school team, 6-6 wing Harold Baruti, an unsigned senior out of Mountain Mission HS (Grundy, VA), is headed to Michigan today for an official visit. Rivals has him as a three star with offers from SMU and UNC-Wilmington. Highlight reel below.

EDIT: Also picked up offers from Tennessee Tech and Utah State in late April. And Texas Tech and Utah are also now in the mix.

Beilein's Late Spring Recruiting Record

Beilein's Late Spring Recruiting Record

Submitted by Lanknows on May 3rd, 2016 at 8:13 PM

All the high profile prospects for '16 are already signed (with a few exceptions UM has no contact with). It stands to reason that anyone Michigan adds to the '16 class will be a multi-year project or a low-upside role player.

Or does it? Let's look at Beilein's late spring recruits* to see what we might expect (assuming the two available scholarships aren't used by grad transfers or walk-ons). 

  • Max Bielfeldt (committed 3/6/11) - Stolen from various mid-majors (and eventually, after Michigan offered, Illinois), Max was a 6'7 C who took 2-3 years of development before becoming a useful bench player. Ended up the primary option at C (due to attrition) by his senior year on a bad team before excelling as a bench player (at Indiana). Still a great success on the part of Beilein to turn an undersized mid-major talent into a valuable rotation player in the Big Ten.
  • Spike Albrecht (committed 4/6/12) - prep schooler stolen from App State (revenge is ours!) was added during the panic to replace Trey Burke (before Burke decided to come back) thanks in part to his AAU connections (McGary, Robinson, Bielfeldt) in Indiana. Turned into a charismatic and unflappable fan favorite. Like Bielfeldt, he ended up starting on a bad team but was better suited to be a backup. Highly effective in that role and, assuming health, seems destined for success in a grad year situation that better fits what he offers. 
  • Caris Levert (committed 5/11/12) - young 6'4 late bloomer stolen from Ohio blossomed into a 1st round NBA pick. Developed faster and further than anyone could have hoped. Early intentions for a red-shirt were scrapped once Caris proved to be better than more veteran bench players. Beilein's ultimate "diamond in the rough".
  • Muhammed Ali Abdur-Rahkman (committed 4/17/14) - prep schooler stolen from mid majors.  Scouting report praised his driving skills but noted limited perimeter skills. Despite the uptick in 3% and reduced turnovers that view has largely held true. Yet MAAR's already an excellent role player and improvement from freshman to sophomore year is encouring for his future. Clearly a success for Beilein as MAAR's proven to be a valuable starter on an NCAA tournament team.
  • Aubrey Dawkins (committed 4/28/14) - prep schooler stolen from Dayton after he couldn't get into Stanford. Considered a 3&D wing player who lacked guard skills beyond shooting and dunking. Surpassed expectations in some ways (occasional starter as a freshman turned into a 6th man who had the best 3-point shooting on the team in Big Ten play over the last 2 years) and disappointed in others (D was awful even for an underclassmen). Didn't reach his substantial potential at Michigan, but will still be playing college ball in 2019(!).

Beilein has had fantastic success and production from his late additions. That's reason for optimism. None came with any accolodes. All were overlooked by major programs. All became valuable contributors in one way or another. From the scrap heap Beilein's gotten an excellent backup PG, a scoring SG, an impact 2-way wing, and 3-point shooting specialist. All in their freshman year. Beilein's used older prep school kids capable of contributing immediately and he's grabbed young (for their class) projects with upside.

Whoever Beilein gets, they'll probably be a solid contributor, at worst, and they may very well help right away. I'd rather get a grad transfer for '16-17 if given the choice, but have to respect to the track record.

*Novak, Horford**, Wilson and Wagner were added pretty late in the cycle too (recruiting began in Fall or Winter) but there's a significant difference between committing late and beginning your recruitment in Spring, only weeks before graduation. Robin Benzig was another Spring signing but he was supposed to sit a year. All of them also panned out in one way or another (pending whatever Wilson will do), though not always for Michigan.

**The examples of Horford and Bielfeldt (not to mention Donnal) should be all you need to be patient with Wagner, Wilson, Teske, and Davis. Beilein's bigs tend to be a lot better as upperclassmen, if they make it that far.


EDIT:  I forgot Colton ChristianAdjust Beilein's Spring "batting average" to 5/6.

MBB: Getting to know possible asst. coach candidate Billy Donlon

MBB: Getting to know possible asst. coach candidate Billy Donlon

Submitted by Erik_in_Dayton on May 3rd, 2016 at 2:54 PM

Sam Webb mentioned this morning that he's heard that Billy Donlon, former HC at Wright State, is in consideration for one of the open assistant coach positions on the basketball team.  Sam added that he hasn't been able to confirm this.  FWIW, we've had a poster state that he knows Donlon will get one of the positions (with Saddi Washington getting the other). 

The purpose of this post is to introduce Donlon and to give a bit of context to his record at Wright State.  I figure that even if Donlon is not one of the new assistants, well hey, you're getting free Wright State info!

A bit on Wright State:

They've only made the NCAA Tournament twice, with the last time being in 2007.  They've only won their conference regular season title once (also in 2007).  They are very much the second bananna to the Univ. of Dayton's program as far as the Dayton area goes.  The most games they've ever won in a season as a D1 program is 23.

The Raiders play in the Ervin J. Nutter Center, which seats about 10k people for basketball.  I went to elementary school with Ervin J. Nutter's granddaughter.  Can you believe it?!


Donlon is 39.  He was Wright State's HC from 2010-2016.  He was their associate HC from 2006-2010.  He won the Horizon League Coach of the Year award in 2013.

Wright State fired him after the 2016 season despite the fact that his team won 22 games total and 13 Horizon League games, the most Horizon League games the Raiders had ever won.  His career winning percentage at Wright State was 53.7%, which is almost exactly equal to the program's all-time D1 winning percentage. 

Several coaches and former coaches were upset by Donlon's firing.  Dan Dakich said the National Association of Basketball Coaches ought to boycott the open HC position at Wright State (they did not). (*1).  Chris Mack of Xavier called the firing "ridiculous." (*2).

My own two cents is that Wright State has often punched above its weight during its time as a D1 program and that it's done well to achieve what is has.  It would be a truly outstanding coaching job to make the Raiders a yearly visitor to the NCAA Tournament.  Wright State should remember that it's big brother, Dayton, has only recently been a regular visitor to the Tournament.

Donlon and defense:

If Donlon is hired, his youth and apparent defensive acumen will probably have a lot to do with it.  As far as defensive efficiency, his Wright State teams finished 50th in the country (2015-2016), 250th (2014-2015), 29th (2013-2014), 26th (2012-2013), 93rd (2011-2012), and 132nd (2010-2011) while he was HC.  While was assistant HC, they finished 60th (2009-2010), 10th (2008-2009), 99th (2007-2008), and 87th (2006-2007).

The 250th ranking in 2014-2015 likely jumps out at you, but he deserves a break when it comes to that year.  The Raiders suffered a string of injuries so bad that season that at one point they suited up for four conference games without their top six players. (*3).


Donlon seems like great candidate to me.  Winning 22 games overall and 13 conference games at Wright State is pretty darn good in my opinion.  As I mentioned - and I cannot emphasize this enough - we're talking about a program in the Dayton, Ohio area that is not the region's preeminent basketball team.  So there are, like, limits, man, on what you can expect.  And while his teams haven't been great at defense each year, he's had some significant success on that front. 




(*1)   http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/sports/college-basketball/tom-arc…

(*2) http://www.cincinnati.com/story/sports/college/xavier/2016/03/17/mack-w…

(*3) http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/article/2016-01-23/college-bask…


Baumgardner: Beilein Provides insight on assistant search

Baumgardner: Beilein Provides insight on assistant search

Submitted by jimmyshi03 on May 2nd, 2016 at 7:16 PM
Beilein says he's open to announcing both hires at same time. Likely will have at least one with defensive focus and it probably won't be Patrick. 
Snyder's take seemed to eliminate P. Beilein from consideration.

Making the case for Cornell Mann

Making the case for Cornell Mann

Submitted by ThadMattasagoblin on May 1st, 2016 at 9:23 PM

There's an obvious choice when it comes to replacing Lavall Jordan on the Michigan staff and he resides in Ames, Iowa. Cornell Mann is an excellent recruiter and is responsible for attracting Monte Morris among others from Michigan to play at Iowa State. He also coached at Oak Park high school and with the Michigan Mustangs AAU team. ISU led the big 12 in scoring for three straight years under his watch and they also made a school record four straight ncaa tourneys. Going with an unproven guy like Chris Hunter or someone else on staff would be a mistake imo when we are at such a critical stage in our basketball program with a clear need in recruiting.

OT: Andre Drummond Open to Shooting FTs Underhanded

OT: Andre Drummond Open to Shooting FTs Underhanded

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on April 29th, 2016 at 10:48 AM

As a Pistons fan, I'm happy about this. He just had the worst FT season in NBA history, so it's not like he could get any worse if he started shooting underhanded.


OT: Jungle Ball

OT: Jungle Ball

Submitted by ST3 on April 28th, 2016 at 6:10 PM

     Brian's recent Unverified Voracity described a basketball game of 1-on-1 between Jim Harbaugh and D. J. Durkin. It was like regular basketball, except no fouls were called. It sounds a little like tackle football mixed with basketball. When I was a kid, we called that game, "Jungle Ball."

     Quite coincidentally,  last night I was thinking about making an OT post about Jungle Ball. Reading about Harbaugh's game of 1-on-1 convinced me to write this post. The version of Jungle Ball I played developed from another basketball game called 21. Perhaps you played this as a kid. There were no teams. It was every man for himself. The first to 21 points was the winner. The way that game worked was someone started the game by shooting a free throw. They scored a point for a made FT. If you made 3 in a row, you had to take a big step back. If you missed, whoever got the rebound was on offense. Whoever was closest to that person was on defense. Everyone else gathered around the basket and waited for a rebound. If you made a basket, you'd start shooting free throws, and it continued like that until someone scored 21 points (hence, the name of the game.)

    The interesting bit of strategy I enjoyed was the fact that if you didn't hit 21 exactly, you'd go back to 15 or 10 points. That varied from game to game. If you were a poor FT shooter like myself, you'd want to get to 19 so a made basket made you the winner. I never liked having to make that FT for the win when sitting at 20 points.

     This game evolved into Jungle Ball in a similar manner as described by Brian. "That's a foul?!?" After spending so many hours getting upset about cheap calls and arguing back and forth, we just decided anything goes. Now, there was no punching or kicking, but you could grab a guy by the shoulders or wrap him up until he let go of the ball. We didn't play that game every day, it was just too brutal, but every now and then, someone would get that look in their eye and say, "how about some Jungle Ball."

    Are there any other non-standard games (not football/basketball/baseball) that you played as a kid? Another one I can think of is the politically incorrectly named, "smear the queer," but we didn't worry about being PC in the 1970's. This was like Jungle Ball, only you played with a football, and there was no way to score points. It was basically another name for "keepaway." I think it was good for developing running back skills. Once a guy was tackled, he would throw the ball up in the air, whoever caught it would run around until he got tackled in a pile and you'd start over. I also spent many an afternoon playing kick the can.