This Week's Obsession: 2019 All-Big Ten

This Week's Obsession: 2019 All-Big Ten Comment Count

Seth March 12th, 2019 at 12:07 PM

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Nick Hopwood, our MGoFinancial Planner from Peak Wealth Management. If you haven't started planning for retirement, uh, do your taxes, and then get on that.

Legal disclosure in wee itty bitty font: Calling Nick our official financial planner is not intended as financial advice; Nick is an advertiser who financially supports MGoBlog. MGoBlog is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any financial advisor, and makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular financial advisor and/or investment for a specific investor.

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THE QUESTION:

IT IS TIME TO ALL BIG TEN VARIOUS THINGS

Seth: Are we making a lineup or just five guys and shoehorning them into positions? And does our lineup have to match what the guy's primary role is?

Brian: Lineups should be realistic but not dogmatic.

Seth: So Happ at point guard is...

Brian: Incorrect.

All right, basics first. All Big Ten. Let's just take it as read that everyone has Cassius Winston.

Seth: He's pretty good. It is infuriating that he's not on draft boards.

My pet stat this year is "%PAst" ie percent of a guy's points from the field that came off assists. It's a way to spot the Just a Shooters wracking up points off open looks someone else created for them. Here's a list of the top 15 Big Ten players this year with at least 100 FGAs by %PAst:

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Every Michigan State starter except Winston made this list.

Alex: I really like this stat, Seth. Good idea. Who’s at the bottom?

Seth: Geo Baker, Shot Taker.

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Seth: X is second to last. All hail Zareem Xabdul-Sabbar.

Brian: Of course Geo is last. The most interesting name on the get your own list is Andres Feliz.

Seth: That is deeply unfair to Isaiah Washington, founder and CEO of Assists & Bricks Dot Com, but I concede your point.

One of the quiet things about this Big Ten season that we haven't said out loud is that Michigan caught several teams at their worst versions of themselves. Not Michigan State--Langford was replaceable and the Ward injury merely prevented Izzo from playing the wrong center in his two biggest games. But we played After Copeland Nebraska, Early December Purdue, got Illinois when they were still playing Kipper Nichols and were just starting to discover Dosunmu, got IU twice during their midseason 1-12 swoon, and faced Brad Davison the game after his douchebaggery made national news. We even got Northwestern without Law, though we also got Northwestern on the road before the collapse.

Ace: I was gonna say Nojel Eastern, who maybe should look for it less.

Alex: Anyways, I feel like the Carsen Edwards discourse has moved too far in the "he's actually not that good" direction. To me, a guy who leads his team to a Big Ten title while leading the conference in scoring average by a comfortable margin is a no-brainer first-team selection. He takes bad shots and wastes possessions, and it can look pretty rough at times, but he's as much of a lock as Ethan Happ.

He's also slightly more efficient than Happ on slightly lower usage.

[After THE JUMP: An all-fives all-conference list?]

Comments

Hoops Hello: Xavier Simpson

Hoops Hello: Xavier Simpson Comment Count

Ace September 9th, 2015 at 2:40 PM

So the Cassius Winston situation cleared up in a hurry.

As it turns out, Michigan had a top-100 prospect ready to commit, and 2016 Lima (OH) point guard Xavier Simpson did just that this afternoon after a late push by the Wolverines. Simpson originally planned to choose today between finalists Illinois, Iowa State, Miami, and Wisconsin. Increased attention from Michigan's staff in the wake of Winston's shifting visit plans changed the outlook entirely.

Simpson is the fourth commit in the 2016 class, joining wing Ibi Watson and big men Jon Teske and Austin Davis.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #12 PG,
#55 Ovr
4*, #87 Ovr 4*, 84, #12 PG,
#66 Ovr
3*, 92, #13 PG,
#80 Ovr
4*, #13 PG,
#69 Ovr

The four services are in general agreement on Simpson, all listing him in the bottom half of the top 100 overall prospects. He's the #12 or #13 point guard prospect in the country on the sites that bother with positional rankings; Rivals, for some reason, not only fails to do those but lists players only at G, F, or C unless you click on all their profiles.

Simpson is diminutive. He's listed at 5'11 and 165-170 pounds on three of the four sites; Scout has him at 5'10, 155.

SCOUTING

Here's Scout's free evaluation:

Evaluation

Simpson isn't the most physically gifted player in the class, but he is one of the most effective. Standing only 5-foot-11 he shows absolutely no fear on the basketball court and has set his team up for a lot of wins during his high school and AAU careers. He needs to continue to refine his jumper, but his leadership and ability to run a team make him an in demand prospect.

Strengths

  • Basketball IQ
  • Big-Game Player
  • Toughness

Areas to Improve

  • 3-Point Range
  • Athleticism

I'll have much more on Simpson tomorrow in an updated post. Football duties beckon for now.

Comments

Hoops Recruitin' Sets Officials

Hoops Recruitin' Sets Officials Comment Count

Ace August 18th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Winston Narrows List, Stops By A2

John Beilein's top recruiting priority is to land a quality point guard in the 2016 class and U-D Jesuit four-star Cassius Winston has been the number one target on the board for a while. Michigan got a couple encouraging developments on that front this week when Winston cut down his list and then dropped by Ann Arbor for an unofficial, per The Wolverine's Chris Balas ($):

Winston trimmed his list to four recently, striking Harvard from his list and leaving Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford and Pitt. Most believe it's a U-M vs. MSU battle, and Winston added some intrigue when he visited Ann Arbor again Aug. 16. 

...

"He loves everything Michigan has to offer, loves the basketball," his dad said. "He really likes the academics, too."

Winston is slated to take an official visit on September 19th; he's already taken one to Stanford and is supposed to see MSU the week prior, giving M the last crack unless he adds other visits to the schedule. His father told MLive he's getting a little tired of the recruiting process and would like to make a final decision before his senior season begins. This looks like an in-state battle and the Wolverines may have a slight edge right now.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Comments

Hoops Recruitin' Lives And Learns

Hoops Recruitin' Lives And Learns Comment Count

Ace August 5th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Lesson Learned

After Tyus Battle took the last available scholarship in the 2016 class only to decommit and cause Michigan to lose out on fellow five-star wing Josh Langford, it looked like John Beilein's strict adherence to not oversigning—even in the attrition-heavy environment of major conference college hoops—cost Michigan their shot at an elite wing, especially after they accepted the commitment of three-star Ibi Watson last week.

Sam Webb hinted in the wake of Watson commitment that was not, in fact, the case. When Webb broke the news that five-star wing Miles Bridges, a Flint native who plays for Huntington (WV) Prep, would visit on Monday, the picture became clear: Michigan is changing their recruiting tack and they're not done recruiting wings.

Michigan had been the only school in Bridges' top five not to offer him, since he hadn't taken a visit to Ann Arbor yet. That changed following Monday's visit, according to Webb. While Kentucky and Michigan State are the favorites to land Bridges, there's reason for optimism. Bridges is AAU teammates with top point guard target Cassius Winston, and they've mentioned a desire to play together in college. [Insert caveat about package deals here.]

This is a significant shift for Michigan, as it'd mark a change in Beilein's willingness to project attrition when recruiting. The Wolverines need a point guard in this class; it's expected commit Austin Davis will take a prep year and reclassify to 2017 to make room for one. There isn't an obvious way to make room for one more, but Beilein isn't exactly at risk of going Full Crean (never go Full Crean); with the logjam at the three and the four, plus the potential for a Zak Irvin breakout year, it'd be a surprise if every eligible member of this year's team was back in 2016-17.

It's a lesson learned the hard way, but it looks like Beilein took note of what happened with Battle and is making the requisite adjustments to his recruiting strategy.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup.]

Comments

Friday Recruitin' Is Quick

Friday Recruitin' Is Quick Comment Count

Brian July 3rd, 2015 at 12:21 PM

Ace is still on vacation.

Hawkins at two

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NJ WR Brad Hawkins announces in a minute here. Recruitin' heuristics and the Crystal Ball suggest Michigan fans will be happy. South Carolina seems like the other option, but even their experts at 247 are saying all signs point to M($).

More detail on Xavier Kelly

KS DE Xavier Kelly just announced a top eight with Michigan in it. That could mean anything, but the way the Kellys are talking Michigan seems like one of the strongest contenders. Via Sam Webb, the paterfamilias($):

“It was great,” the elder Kelly said of the visit.  “They had a lot of great things about it, but I was expecting big things from Michigan.  I went in there kind of biased already, but it was real good. We had a good time.  We kicked it with the coaches, had lunch with them, and toured the facilities.”

"Kind of biased already" is a good thing to hear. Kelly also gave a lengthy interview to Rivals—availability is good for your prospects to land a kid. Brandon Brown($):

"It's a pretty big deal that my dad is from Detroit because I have a lot of family there," Kelly said. "They support me and Detroit's not very far from Ann Arbor so they could come support me and I could go visit them so that's always good."

Kelly wants to get down to a top five before the season. Michigan is a near lock to make that list. Long way to go, otherwise: he plans on taking his officials and committing at the Army game.

Moar 2017 rankings

Scout jumps in with rankings for rising juniors. Thanks to Magnus, a list of the instate kids who made it:

#25 Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR, Cass Tech
#116 Ambry Thomas, CB, King
#126 Josh Ross, LB, Orchard Lake St. Mary's
#194 Ja'Raymond Hall, OT, Oak Park
#216 K.J. Hamler, WR, Orchard Lake St. Mary's
#239 Allen Stritzinger, RB, Warren De La Salle
#266 Corey Malone-Hatcher, DE, St. Joseph
#269 Hunter Rison, WR, Skyline

Looks like a pretty good year in Michigan. Yes, Hunter Rison is that Rison's kid, so I wouldn't get too excited about the fact he's at Skyline. Aside from that, Michigan is in good shape with Ross, Hall, and Stritzinger already. They have been pursuing Peoples-Jones with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind and he seems to be responding, but he's going to be a major national recruit and it's hard to get a read on him this early.

Other 2017 receivers to keep an eye on

Early offer Joshua Palmer is moving from Brampton, Ontario to Florida powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas this fall and tells Scout that he is "feeling Michigan the most". FL WR Daquon Green tells Scout that OSU and Michigan are at the top of his list, with OSU slightly ahead. Green is planning a visit to OSU in July that may turn into a swing through Michigan if he gets it set up with the coaches… and then he plans to decide before his junior season.

Basketball re-set

Tyus Battle has changed his relationship status on Facebook to "it's complicated" and removed mention of Michigan from his social media stuff. The previous sentence caused a brand of old and crotchety Michigan fan to shake his fist at the screen.

In any case, the is-he-or-isn't-he gone seems to be resolved. Michigan could get him back. I wouldn't count on that. The parents seem to be pushing him to reconsider, and when that happens it's a long, long way back. Unless Battle is absolutely dead set on Michigan I don't see this resolving pleasantly.

So. Moving on, OH SG Jarron Cumberland visited and seemed like a very good bet to be plan B. Then he suddenly committed to Cincinnati. Premium scuttlebutt said that the lack of an offer had something to do with a transcript hiccup; for whatever reason Cumberland decided not to wait around to see if he would get one.

On to the next. Michigan was looking at NY combo guard Kevin Huerter as a 2017 when Battle was in the fold; without him he is a very viable option as a 2016 recruit. Huerter announced he would take a set of five unofficial visits to Michigan, Syracuse, Villanova, Notre Dame, and Maryland. That is an impressive top five; Huerter has a rep as a kid who seems like a Beilein recruit. They will almost certainly go hard after him now.

Michigan is also back in with KY PG Quentin Goodin, who has replaced Louisville with Michigan in his final five. The other schools: Xavier, Florida, Miami, and Western Kentucky. That's a much more tractable list than Kentucky, Duke, and Duketucky if Michigan can overcome whatever reasons they were left off the list in the first place. Goodin, at 6'2", is probably mutually exclusive with in-state PG Cassius Winston. Good to have multiple options in any case.

Battle remains an option. Rivals says it's on the table and there should be a resolution pretty soon here($)—like within a week. I'm just guessing but I think the Syracuse visit and optimism was a product of recruiting gentlemen talking to his dad—and the lack of a commitment from that visit was the death knell for the Orange. At that point he's looking at UConn and Duke, but Duke apparently has moved on. UConn is a good program in a terrible league. So it's that or start all over or try to get back.

Etc.: CA WR Dezmon Patmon says Michigan would be at the top of his list($) with an offer. He is the nephew of DeWayne, FWIW. Sam talks with Rashan Gary's mom in two parts. OSU's head recruiter "is not Chris Partridge" so they don't have that going for them.

Comments

Thursday Recruitin' Plays Explosive Deathmatch Football

Thursday Recruitin' Plays Explosive Deathmatch Football Comment Count

Ace May 14th, 2015 at 1:58 PM

Winston On Campus

2016 U of D Jesuit point guard Cassius Winston, the #23 overall prospect on the 247 Composite, is expected to be on campus today for an unofficial visit, per The Michigan Insider's* Kyle Bogenschutz ($). With two bigs already in the fold—albeit with rumblings that Austin Davis could reclassify to 2017—and Tyus Battle adding a dynamic wing to the class, getting a point guard will be the main focus going forward, and there's little question Winston is at the top of Michigan's wish list.

Winston's father told Bogenschutz that this is still a battle between the Wolverines and Michigan State. Winston will have a little more time to focus on recruiting in the near future, as a broken wrist suffered last weekend will sideline him the next 6-8 weeks. 

Step Into The Octagon. For Football. I Think.

Jim Harbaugh announced a quarterback camp to coincide with Michigan's Exposure U Presented By Troll God camp. The available details are limited to the above for now. Colin Kaepernick! Jay Cutler! Denard Robinson! Jameis Winston! Uh... Zac Robinson! A F****** FIGHTER JET! CAAAAAAAAAAAGE MAAAAAAAATCH!

You know what? The fewer details we add to the above, the better. Stay tuned for an indeterminate time until QB ARMAGEDDON.

[Hit THE JUMP for the rest of the roundup]

Comments

Hoops Recruitin' Sets Official

Hoops Recruitin' Sets Official Comment Count

Ace March 17th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

With the regular signing period for the 2015 class less than a month away, it's time for one of our every-so-often basketball recruiting roundups. Headlining this edition is a visit from one of the best players in the country.

Jaylen Brown Sets Official

2015 GA SF Jaylen Brown, the #2 overall prospect in the country, has twice had to cancel planned official visits to Michigan due to scheduling conflicts. The third time should be the charm, as Sam Webb reports he's set to visit later this week:

A potential commitment from Brown would have a significant impact on the outlook for next season, but Michigan faces daunting competition: Brown has also visited Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, and UCLA, in addition to the in-state pairing of Georgia and Georgia Tech. Everyone's favorite one-and-done factory currently leads his 247 Crystal Ball picks.

Brown is one of two 2015 prospects left on Michigan's radar with one scholarship available, making the not-so-safe assumption that Caris LeVert stays and Max Bielfeldt doesn't return. The other, far more likely option is German forward Moritz Wagner, who added a scholarship offer during his official visit for the Rutgers game.

[Several class of 2016 updates after THE JUMP.]

Comments

Monday Recruitin' Splits Hairs

Monday Recruitin' Splits Hairs Comment Count

Ace August 18th, 2014 at 1:57 PM

Rivals100 Update: Clark, Cole Move Up

Rivals updated their 2015 top 100 today, and one of the biggest risers on the entire list is a Michigan commit. After excelling at the Rivals elite invite-only camp, TE Chris Clark vaulted up 90 spots to #56 overall, where he's in a dead heat with UCLA commit Alize Jones for the honor of top-ranked tight end:

Clark had a fantastic showing at the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge Presented by Under Armour in Baltimore. He is a complete tight end, not just a glorified receiver. His film shows that he is an excellent blocker. In Baltimore, Clark showed that he can run and catch like a hybrid tight end. There was a heated debate about whether he should be the top tight end in the country, over Alize Jones. The two are ranked No. 55 and No. 56 in the country and the smallest of differences were part of an extensive discussion. -- Friedman

Also mentioned among the top risers on the list is NC SDE Darian Roseboro, who many feel will be a Wolverine—myself included—when he announces his college choice on August 29th. He rose 37 spots to #42 overall, just 12 spots away from five-star status:

Roseboro is a defensive end in a defensive tackle's body and that's a good thing. He has the explosiveness and nose for the ball one hopes for in a defensive end and the size of a defensive tackle. Roseboro has the natural ability to play with good leverage as well. This helps him anchor down against the run. -- Friedman

Aside from Clark, Michigan has two other commits in the top 100: CB Garrett Taylor, who stayed put at #48 overall, and WR Brian Cole, who moved up from #106 to #89. (Cole's nearly caught up to former commit George Campbell; the one-time five-star slid to #78, as concerns about his hands continue to hurt his stock.)

Also of note: Michigan's top-ranked remaining target, CA WDE Keisean Lucier-South, climbed five spots to #30 overall, earning him the final five-star designation on the list.

While RB commit Mike Weber didn't crack the list despite being ranked at #103 the last time around, it's doubtful he drops much, if at all—after strong showings at multiple camps, he's impressing Rivals Midwest analyst Josh Helmholdt in fall camp:

The full Rivals250 and further rankings updates will be out this week.

[Hit THE JUMP for updates on a couple Cass Tech prospects, Asmar Bilal, Michigan's pursuit of a top-five 2016 prospect, basketball recruiting, and more.]

Comments

Offer Day Aftermath

Offer Day Aftermath Comment Count

Brian June 16th, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Michigan basketball holds off on offering juniors until June 15th, whereupon they send out a wave. June 15th was yesterday; the wave:

NV PG Derryck Thornton Jr.

Of course. Thornton's profile has been building for years, as he adds a little bit of hype to the pile every time he breaks someone's ankles. By now you probably know the details here: assistant Jeff Meyer coached the elder Thornton, they've been on campus multiple times, they convinced Battle to come along for a four-day visit that coincided with Michigan's elite camp.

Thornton's made some noises about an early decision, first telling UM Hoops that that it was a possibility and then Scout's Kyle Bogenschutz that he was thinking of pulling the trigger($) during the very conversation in which he found out he got his offer. With his dad describing the visit as a "15 out of 10," Michigan is the favorite. It seems like he wants to confirm things with an official visit in the fall… on which he would be on a commit watch unprecedented in the recent history of Michigan basketball.

Thornton does plan a Kentucky visit in the next week or two that should result in a UK offer. Memories of Devin Booker make that fairly ominous, but if Michigan's still in the lead after that it doesn't seem likely anything will displace them. I have added "Derryck" to my spell check, FWIW.

PROJECTION: Thornton commits to Michigan on his official visit, which I bet a dollar will be for the PSU football game.

MI PG Cassius Winston

Winston has received much less attention from the Michigan internets than Thornton largely because he seems less likely to end up in Ann Arbor. He is just about as talented as Thornton, and his rankings reflect that—he's top 50 everywhere and pushing for five-star status some places. Observers at the elite camp thought he outplayed Thornton slightly, even.

Winston is not likely to make an early decision:

In his two remaining years of high school, Winston has plenty to refine in his game and several goals that he’d like to accomplish before thinking ahead to Michigan. He insisted that even if he gets an offer, he’d like to take in the whole process and then gauge what the next move will be.

At the point Winston does get serious about a commitment Thornton will either be in the bag, off the board, or in that state where the supposed leader has led to long for it to be a good thing.

PROJECTION: If nothing changes with Thornton, drifts elsewhere. If Thornton's head gets turned, Michigan turns the jets on.

KY PG Quentin Goodin

In a bit of a surprise, Goodin did get his offer. He checked the visit box with his own appearance at the elite camp, and he is just a notch below Winston/Thornton to the guys doing the rankings. Michigan may have felt secure enough to offer because Goodin's made no bones about where he wants to go if the opportunity arrives

"I would definitely take the opportunity to play at Kentucky if I got it.”

…and by the time that gets resolved Michigan will have a good idea about whether or not they're going to close out the Thornton sweepstakes. Goodin says he won't commit until next August, so offering now is relatively risk-free.

Kentucky and Louisville don't seem too enthused at the moment so Goodin is looking heavily at Indiana, which has offered. Tennessee and Ohio State are other possibilities.

PROJECTION: Commits to Indiana.

NJ SG Tyus Battle

Battle is a relatively new name, and a high-profile one with interest from Syracuse, Kentucky, Duke, etc. He visited with Thornton fro the duration of the elite camp, and that has put Michigan in excellent position, especially if they get a commitment from Thornton. Battle's dad:

“Michigan was awesome, we had a great time,” Gary said. “Tyus really enjoyed the visit. The coaching staff is very thorough. We really enjoyed their presentation and the campus and the way they would use Tyus. Obviously, academically Michigan is something we like a lot.”

This is not a slam dunk like Thornton seems, though: Battle went from Michigan to Villanova and will swing through Louisville and Kentucky in the near future. Thornton's top group appears to be Michigan and I guess some other guys; Battle is going to be a… battle. He gave Bogenschutz some positive quotes($), but nothing on the level of those Thornton is issuing.

PROJECTION: I don't know, man.

OH SF Seth Towns

hsboys-d1-3-14-art-gulm2k34-1hsboys-d1-3-14-jq-04-jpg[1]

yes that's Trey Burke's high school

Towns didn't have the best elite camp but Michigan still pulled the trigger anyway. Like Thornton, Michigan seems to be way out in front for Towns (Webb paraphrasing Towns($): Michigan "DEFINITELY number one"); like Thornton, Towns is not pulling the trigger immediately.

With the June 15 offer Towns's recruitment is a formality; as long as Michigan keeps their interest level high he'll be in the class. So expect a 6'7" or 6'8" shooter($)…

"As a player, his ability to shoot it is his strength, for sure," Always100 Ohio Warriors AAU coach Fred Moyer said in May. "He can get it off the dribble and go. His best attribute right now is getting it off the catch and a one-dribble pull-up jumper. That's money when it's on.

…Zak Irvin 2.0?

PROJECTION: Commits to Michigan by end of summer.

CA PF TJ Leaf

Leaf is a five star inside/outside big who could play the 4 or 5 at M. He's been on campus multiple times, with his most recent visit a brief trip up from Bloomington, where his AAU team was playing. Leaf's interest is sincere; he seems to have a relatively solid top four of Michigan, Indiana, UCLA, and Arizona. He told Scout recently that those were the teams recruiting him hardest, and dropped this quote on M:

"I just went to Michigan. I loved the coaches and liked the campus. It's a really good program."

That top four was the same in May, FWIW.

Leaf has previously said that one of the things that makes Michigan attractive is the certainty that Beilein be there for the duration of his career, something that is probably true at UCLA and Arizona as well. Indiana… maybe not.

Leaf plans a January decision after some official visits. The major question is "are Towns and Leaf mutually exclusive?" If so, Leaf will get pushed out of the class by Towns unless he changes his timetable. I don't think that's necessarily the case, as a 3/4 like Towns can coexist with a 4/5 like Leaf.

PROJECTION: No good feel for this one, but UCLA has a coach who isn't on the hot seat and Michigan is likely to have competition for his scholarship slot. So: UCLA.

OH C Jon Teske

image

Unless that's a small child I estimate Teske's height at 11 feet

Teske is the least-hyped of all the offerees. A consensus three-star, Teske fits the mold of Beilein big men: he's a developmental project with a soft shooting touch. Coach quote:

"The thing that he's got is that he can score and shoot the basketball," said Medina coach Chris Hassinger. "His skill development is maybe higher than the guys they have at the Division I level right now."

Teske may not be a three star for that much longer, as he picked up an Ohio State offer recently and is now being listed at 6'11"… and growing. Injuries have limited his exposure to date.

PROJECTION: If OSU goes after him hard they will probably get him, otherwise money is on M.

Comments

Basketball Recruitin': No Harris, Offer Day Imminent

Basketball Recruitin': No Harris, Offer Day Imminent Comment Count

Brian June 9th, 2014 at 2:29 PM

So That Was Odd And Didn't Happen

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PROTIP: DON'T GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH "ABORT" WITHOUT "MISSION"

WVU transfer Eron Harris is headed to MSU, and without ever visiting Ann Arbor. This was seemingly a mutual decision after a conversation before the visit, as Harris had a vision of the way he wanted it to go that Beilein did not share. So, okay. Whatever.

2015 Class: Still Trying To Exist

Moving on, the 2015 roster now looks approximately like this, give or take a Caris NBA departure or miraculous Hatch recovery:

  • PG: Walton (Jr), Albrecht (Sr)
  • SG: MAAR(So)
  • SF: Irvin (Jr), Dawkins (So)
  • PF: Chatman (So), Wilson (So), Bielfeldt(Sr)
  • C: Doyle (So), Donnal (So)

You could probably slide Irvin and Chatman down a spot, but the upshot is that Michigan would like a guy approximately shaped like a shooting guard. Given the age and NBA departure threat levels of the folks on the roster, a PG/SG combo would be a nice fit. Prime candidates include offerees like MI combo Eric Davis, IL PG Jalen Brunson, and IN SG Jalen Coleman. All of these gentlemen have Michigan in a leading group, and MSU adding two 2015 SG types in a couple days should help Michigan out—MSU is also in the lead group for all those gentlemen.

Status for those three:

Davis wants to narrow by July, take officials in August and September, and decide by October. He wants to shoot a lot of threes, so we've got that going for us.

Brunson has a top eight including Michigan that he wants to narrow in August, and then he'll take officials and decide before the November signing period. Playing time has always been a major priority for him, so Michigan might actually want him to wait until spring. If he decides before it's clear whether Caris enters the draft (or Walton—longshot I know, but I'd like to introduce you to 10% of this year's first round).

Coleman, as per usual, has not provided any indication of when or where he might commit. He did tell a 247 gentleman that he was planning on "cutting his list soon" and that fit (check), opportunity (likely check) and proximity to home (eh… close enough?) are his main priorities.

Coleman has been too busy making rims explode on the AAU circuit to get too much into recruiting, where he's shooting 50% from three on almost 100 attempts. 247's Crystal Ball still says Michigan almost all the way, but with Coleman telling folks that "to this point, Coleman's dad has been in charge of the recruitment—with Jalen having little involvement" means that you should take any and all thoughts/hopes Michigan leads with a graint of salt.

2015 Big Options

If Chatman does end up sliding down to the 3, which is very possible with his skill set, Michigan would have a reasonably-sized opening for either a 4 or a 5, depending on where they want to play Mark Donnal long term. There are a couple options in this recruiting class still.

One is OH PF Esa Ahmad, who's a little undersized at 6'7" but has been playing well and is planning visits to both MSU and Michigan. Another is 6'10" Henry Ellenson, a power forward out of Wisconsin with three point range and a lot of high-major interest. Michigan is currently on the periphery pending the all-important visit:

"Michigan was at my house, and so was Michigan State," Ellenson said. "Michigan has been talking to me lately. I like Coach [John] Beilein down there. He is a great guy and easy to talk to.

"I know I will take my five officials next fall, but I'm not sure where I am going yet. I know they are big on coming to campus. We'll just see if the timing works out."

Get 'em on campus, etc. Ahmad and Ellenson are both ranked around 50 or 60 most places… except ESPN, which has Ellenson 5th(!) overall.

2016: Comin'

Michigan's elite camp has come and gone with three headliners: NJ SG Tyus Battle, NV PG Derryck Thornton Jr, and MI PG Cassius Winston, all 2016 five-stars. Those three were the class of the camp, according to Scout. Sam Webb on Thornton($):

This kid has all of the tools. Elite quickness, explosion, three-point range, and he is unselfish. He crossed too many players over to really keep track of and was generally capable of getting to wherever he wanted on the floor.  Thornton excels in space, which is why it wasn’t a surprise to see him wave off ball screens.  He just doesn’t need them to leverage on a defender.

[Much, much more at the link, FWIW.]

Despite that, the Scout guys generally thought Winston was better right now, though Thornton had more upside because of the whole nobody-can-stay-in-front thing. Battle is a lights-out 6'5" shooter.

Other notables($) included IN SG Kyle Guy ("a much smaller Nik Stauskas"), OH C Jon Teske ("6-10 and skilled … the physical part will come"), and OH SF Seth Towns ("6-7 shooter" whose shot wasn't falling). I don't think Guy or Teske will get offers until M lets Battle and TJ Leaf think about theirs; Towns is still a possibility since Michigan doesn't seem to have a guy obviously in front of him on their board, but it sounds like that offer may take a little bit longer to come.

Teske seems like he's almost recruiting M at this point, and a 6'10" guy with skill inside and out is someone Michigan will be keeping an eye on.

Thorton's vague top five

Thornton told Scout that five teams were coming for him hardest: Kentucky, Michigan, UConn, Cal, and USC. Those kind of statements are generally soft top X lists, and it seems unlikely Cal or USC can hang with the two teams that just met in the NC game and Derryck's dad's coach. Thornton on M($):

“Their offense is so spread out. They’re about development but the offense is really spread out, the bigs are mobile and there’s a lot of pick and roll stuff. They key on development and I love that.”

Thornton has no timetable but it sounds like he might get things over quickly.

Battle, meanwhile, is headed to Villanova next. He told a national scout reporter that Michigan was coming after him hard in a way that may be meaningful:

“It’s early but I already have 20 offers,” noted Battle. “Michigan has been recruiting me hard, Villanova, Syracuse, Ohio State, Duke, and several other schools.”

Michigan may be recruiting him harder than everyone else because Thornton is recruiting for them? Yeah! That's the ticket. That is the ticket.

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