Dear Diary Has the Old Answer

Dear Diary Has the Old Answer

Submitted by Seth on May 1st, 2015 at 12:23 PM

nightphotoheadline

Our resident young obsessive WD found a list of all of Michigan's night games, dating back to—wait, 1944? That's right—in 2010 Greg Dooley of MVictors and Greg Kinney, one of the unsung heroes of HTTV (he finds us all those amazing old photos), pulled out details on one of the most unremarked remarkable events in American history.

It's remarkable for the context. This is World War II, remember. The invasion of Europe was stalled while waiting to see if Market Garden could get them into Germany via Holland, and otherwise the lines were about where they'd been entrenched in WWI. On September 6, with decreasing threat of invasion, the United States lifted the blackout rules, to a dim-out. Certainly any meaning of "dim" did not include shining stadium lights on a facility in a coastal city (Milwaukee) with 20,000 live targets in it. Regardless, Marquette apparently played several night games that year and throughout the war—I'd be interested if any historians know why this was cool when so much else in college football was subsided for the war (e.g. 1944 Michigan had to give up its spinning fullback—the QB of the unbalanced single wing—before the Ohio State game because he was called to duty).

The Michigan game being one of them was even weirder, and had to do with Michigan participating in a navy officer cadet program called V-12, and siphoning off V-12s, who couldn't leave the base for more than 48 hours, as football recruits. The time crunch meant an afternoon or night game, so they went night. They also used a highlighter yellow football (you can see it in the photos) that didn't work out so well: one ensuing newspaper article is the first known use of the term "fumbilitis."

BACK TO THE CORNER

Vincent Smith got so sick of MGoBloggers at the last event at Corner Brewery he decided to do it again at the end of the month:

yBJ0EiZ

WE WENT TO THE FINALS; WHERE'S THE RECRUITS?

This could be moot in a week (signs are good but when Kentucky's involved I halve all hope) but it does seem Michigan ought to be feeling the effects now of the championship run in the 2014-2016 classes. Walton, Irvin and Chatman were all pretty heralded recruits but their recruitments happened primarily when Zak and Stu were playing, and Michigan was making decisions on whom to pursue for 2015 before the having subs was crazy.

Screen-Shot-2013-11-02-at-5.54.03-PM
Things were going great until Kentucky whiffed on their top guys and Calipari started fishing in our waters with bait we won't touch because of rules based in 19th century class ideals.

Michigan appeared to be in pole position for Devin Booker, Luke Kennard, James Blackmon, and Keita Bates-Diop at various points in those recruitments. In most of those cases, we lost out to a program that could promise as much in the tournament run department and not living like a pauper in the interim.

It sucks that none of those guys were Mitch McGary but McGary is a rare bird. Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, etc. can offer the same or better shot at a national championship, and don't have Michigan's squeamishness about paying them. Remember when Beilein was initially targeting those guys they were 100-250 dudes he saw more than that in.

Once you've blown up into a one-and-done, or at least the one-and-done schools are offering you the one-and-done package, the prestige of your degree matters way less than the degree to which your school is willing to accept the fact that you're there to try out for an NBA contract, and act accordingly. Blame the NBA's rule—created to prevent their teams from investing in busts before they've played against higher competition—for turning an age-old hypocrisy into a blatant thing.

It's not a sure thing—did you think we'd be here with Brown?—and once you're past the NBA locks Michigan can play ball. The difference between a top ten pick and, say, Caleb Swanigan, is an important one for the relatively clean programs. MSU got a top-20 post player because Tom Izzo has a long record of developing post players, and if you're starting at #20 your coaching is the difference between 1st or 2nd round grade in one or two (or four) years. If you watched that saga, you saw Purdue start in good shape and get strung along as the cute local school by the end. Beilein looks pretty good for any NBA wing or point guard—we'll never be Kentucky but we're probably not losing guys to Purdue, and that's something.

Etc. Update on 2015 non-conf opponents' springs. VT's secret to beating Ohio State' with 46 Bear concepts is cool, but outdated; Alabama tried that and got Vince Lombardi'd in the face. Worst damn band in the land. If you wanna meet the MGoDog he'll be at softball this weekend.

Your Moment of Zen:

How you like me now?

It's Booker And Blackmon Decision Eve

It's Booker And Blackmon Decision Eve

Submitted by Brian on October 30th, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Michigan's 2014 basketball recruiting will either just about wrap up or flail about like a demon-god with two of its favorite psuedopods hacked off tomorrow when Devin Booker and James Blackmon, Jr., both announce decisions.

Devin Booker

Devin-Booker-at-Michigan-OSU-Game_thumb[1]

Michigan was long thought the favorite for Booker, a 6'5" shooting guard out of Mississippi, despite his dad's status as a Missouri program legend. That had a lot to do with his mom, who lives in Grand Rapids and supposedly has been enthused about Michigan for a while. His final five:

Booker, rated the No. 18 player in the Class of 2014 by ESPN, has publicly narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri and Florida. However, Kentucky, Missouri and Michigan are believed to be the favorites for his signature.

Michigan led, then everyone piled on Kentucky once they offered, and everyone's still on Kentucky despite a late move by Missouri, which hosted him for an official on the 19th immediately followed by an unofficial.

Kentucky folk remain confident; a random internet poll on the local paper's website favors Missouri, with Michigan running at 11%. Booker announces at 4PM.

James Blackmon Jr.

james-blackmon-jr[1]

Blackmon's also dropping Thursday, publicly down to a similar list of IU, Michigan, MSU, Kansas, and UK. Blackmon's done a full tour of those schools after his decommitment from Indiana, and after some Michigan chatter things seem to have swung back to UK, heavily. His dad played there.

I guess the hope on both of these recruitments is that people don't really know what's going on with either kid, like they didn't have much of a read on Kam Chatman. That does not seem to be the case, unfortunately. These opinions about both picking Kentucky are of the Strong Take variety.

Blackmon announces at halftime of the Troy-ULM game on ESPNU.

What Next

Michigan's likely okay at the 2 even if they strike out tomorrow, which it seems the world expects. Stupid UK's stupid inability to get their plan A targets. Caris LeVert will be back, and Nik Stauskas should be. Even if Stauskas does leave for the NBA, Michigan can back up LeVert with a few minutes a game running two points or going big with Kam Chatman or Zak Irvin.

Michigan does project to have two open slots entering the spring signing period, and would probably like to use one and bank one, which would make the 2014 class two (open plus the graduation of Jon Horford) plus whatever attrition there is in the next two years, NBA or otherwise.

Obviously, the guy on everyone's radar is NV by way of Australia PF Jonah Bolden, who debuted with a splash at the Adidas Nations tournament, likes Michigan (his dad's from Flint) and is an excellent stretch four fit for Beilein's system. He's spending his final year of high school at Findlay Prep in Las Vegas, where Michigan has recruited before, nearly reeling in OSU redshirt freshman-to-be Amadeo Della Valle. It'll take a while for Bolden to get all his academics ironed out what with the transfer, but Michigan would almost certainly go after Bolden in earnest once that's settled.

Fellow Australian Dante Exum, a 6'6" fellow skyrocketing towards the top of NBA draft boards, was 50-50 between entering the draft and college as of late August and had Michigan in a top five with Indiana, UNC, Kentucky, and Oregon. That's a longshot for a lot of reasons.

If the big guns don't come through, Michigan will scour locally for another LeVert type: tall, young for his grade, late-rising.

Unverified Voracity Requests Drum-Off

Unverified Voracity Requests Drum-Off

Submitted by Brian on October 22nd, 2013 at 12:17 PM

Drumline, go.

I would watch a halftime show that was a you-got-served style drumoff between bands. Yes sir.

It's almost like this was not well thought out. Michigan's three million dollar billboard is an eyesore the city would like to turn off.

Ann Arbor officials are planning to ask the University of Michigan to decommission its new digital billboard outside the Big House.

City Council Member Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, and other council members argue the large marquee on East Stadium Boulevard is too big, too bright and too distracting to drivers with its continually changing messages.

You may be wondering why the city is bringing this up after the thing was installed, they were obviously not consulted and don't have to be. Whateva, the U does what it wants:

The university does not have to follow the city's local ordinances or obey council requests. Nonetheless, the council members behind the resolution are hoping the university will hear the community's concerns and respond.

"It just doesn't seem very appropriate," Higgins said of the billboard. "We talked about the size (as part of the city's sign ordinance), and that just so far exceeded any size that we thought was really feasible within the city limits."

Does anyone ask anyone else about anything before just doing it anymore? If I show up at Michigan Stadium next year and it's upside down, will anyone have a rationale, or at least a document indicating that there was a 15 minute discussion about the pros and cons of such an undertaking? (PRO: rain can't get in so easily. CON: have to invent anti-gravity to play football.)

Foh1SME[1]

SCORCHED EARTH

Well, that was inevitable. Miami gets three scholarships docked for the next three years. No bowl ban, various other minor penalties. After the NCAA screwed up that investigation harder than Nevin Shapiro screwed his ponzi investors, this was always going to be a wrist-slap compromise that wouldn't send Miami to the appeal/sue route, and lo, it is so. QED: the NCAA put together a record-shattering 102-page document to mildly annoy a program they savage as being basically without compliance in the report.

It's worth noting that Miami self-imposed two years of bowl ban, which cost them a berth in last year's ACC Championship game, and a bunch of players were suspended. It did cost them something.

Obligatory: the NCAA is stupid and their rules are unenforceable and pointless and most of those rules should be put in a blender for the benefit of players, society, common sense, and most importantly Michigan, which has an alumni base with gobs of dough and a department that actually has, you know, compliance activities going on.

Ann Arbor Skyline. Finally, the mysterious name of Ann Arbor's newest high school is explained:

Stauskas and Caris LeVert sharing the backcourt is not "out of the realm of possibility," per Jordan.

That is from WTKA's eight-o-clock hour this morning, on which Michigan's basketball assistants appeared and sent every Michigan basketball beat guy scurrying to their twitter to live-tweet it.

If this actually comes to fruition, holy pants that is a huge lineup: LeVert, Stauskas, Robinson, McGary, Morgan/Horford, or stick Irvin somewhere in there. No one under 6'6". It'll be a sideshow with Walton and Spike around, but what a sideshow.

In general, the coaches sounded excited about LeVert in particular, who's up to 185 and apparently showing enough point guard skill to warrant some run at that spot. He is the kind of guy—young, skinny, still growing—who can be a totally different player in year two.

Same as it ever was. Hockey got some pretty horrible officiating in New Hampshire over the weekend, no call worse than a Derek DeBlois stick-lift that was somehow judged a penalty shot. Berenson on that:

A man may dress like a cowboy and smell like a cowboy but he can't ride a horse.

The Big Ten ain't fixing the gibbering pack of maroons that's available to ref games.

Exit. Farewell to Burgeoning Wolverine Star, which hangs up its spurs. Chris of BWS acquired a reputation as something of a downer, but… uh… on many counts he turned out to be right. (See: offensive line.) His play breakdowns were consistently worth arguing about. He'll be missed.

Entrance. If the previous news leaves you feeling sad, here is Fergodsakes, which is ramping up their coverage entertainingly:

Young (Michigan Alum) David Alan Grier?

Pictured: Michigan Offense, rediscovered

First off, this reference to Spielberg's "Hook" (1991), a landmark achievement in Giant Crocodile cinema technology, was not at all random, and will be of use later in this piece.

A possible future. A leaked PDF that was accurate enough to forecast a Michigan/UCLA series in 2022 and 2023 also indicates Michigan may be playing a neutral-site game against Florida in 2017. Neutral probably means Atlanta, which wouldn't be neutral but would at least be easy to get to. If Will Muschamp doesn't kill Orson by then that would be fun.

Other games it may reveal: UCF in 2016, pushing back a Ball State game, Air Force in 2017—ack option football—and SMU in 2018, all home games.

I subscribe to your newspaper. I subscribe it up. Jeff Goodman toured six of the top programs in America a few days back, hitting Kansas, MSU, Indiana, Oklahoma State, Louisville, and another school I can't figure out from the italicized preview bit. The most impressive guy Goodman saw?

Michigan's Glenn Robinson III was the most impressive player of anyone I saw on the trip. GR3 will see more time at his natural position, small forward, this season. The 6-7 Robinson has added weight and become more athletic.

The questions regarding the son of the "Big Dog" were about his perimeter shot and ability to put the ball on the floor. Robinson buried deep jumper after deep jumper and appears far more comfortable at the 3-spot in John Beilein's offense. It's still yet to be determined whether this aspect of his skill set will translate in games, but it's a good sign with Robinson more assertive on the offensive end. If he can gain a consistent jumper to go with his athleticism, he'll almost certainly be a lottery pick.

That would be excellent. Robinson attended the same camps McGary did over the summer; the buzz from them was that McGary was a beast and Robinson tended to fade into the background, as he is wont to do. I've been expecting an incremental leap in GRIII's game with Stauskas and McGary picking up more of the usage slack left by Burke as a result. Any indicator that Little Big Dog is going to eat is an encouraging sign.

On pace. Jeremy Gallon was the fourth-leading receiver in the Big Ten last year with 829 yards. Through seven games this year he's already exceeded that total with 831. To break Braylon Edwards's single-season receiving record of 1330 yards Gallon needs to average 84 yards a game—well within reach, especially if Michigan retains the pass-orientation they showed against Indiana.

Booker not looking too good. Devin Booker took a visit to Missouri over the weekend, and this is maybe not so good:

Booker visited both Kentucky and Michigan State on the weekend of Sept. 6-9 and went to Michigan on Oct. 5. He arrived back in Mississippi Sunday after the first of consecutive trips to Columbia, Mo., with plans to return to this weekend when his father, Melvin, is honored along with the rest of Missouri's 1994 Big 8 championship team.

A couple of Kentucky folk have flipped their predictions to Mizzou on 247, FWIW.

Etc.: Pahokee eating update. Also an update from Maize and Go Blue. Ups and downs of Brady Hoke. This happened forever ago, but my gawd James Murphy. The Ducks are the reason John Gibson never showed up at Michigan. OH SF Javon Bess, a plan B for Michigan as they wait on Booker and Blackmon, commits to MSU. Here is the weird halftime show.

Basketball Recruiting: Domino Time

Basketball Recruiting: Domino Time

Submitted by Brian on September 25th, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Sounds like Donte Grantham is your next Hello post.

After months of poling down the Mississippi, taking in the sites while chewing on a piece of wheat comes a frenetic burst of machine-gun commitments. Michigan's already seen Trevon Bluiett go off the board to UCLA; Michigan State lost Tyler Ulis to Kentucky. Ypsi's Jaylen Johnson picked Louisville before Michigan could offer.

Those are the first dominoes in a string that should fall over the next couple months. As a reminder, it seems logical that Michigan will take a class of four guys. C Ricky Doyle is committed; Michigan will take one guy they think can play the four, one guy who can play SG, and a wing or combo 3/4.

Combo Forward

Via UMHoops

WV SF/PF Donte Grantham is down to Michigan, Cincinnati, Clemson, and West Virginia. He's taken official visits to Cincinnati and Michigan recently, and Cincinnati responded to their shot a couple weeks ago by taking another combo forward and ceasing their recruitment of him. The tea leaves there combine with insiders on Scout and Rivals predicting good things, and soon. If he drops soon he'll be a Wolverine; the only thing that would give you pause is if he decides to take some additional visits.

Grantham's 6'8" with shooting range and would likely be a stretch four, but has shown some ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He's a postgrad, so he'll come in a little more polished than other kids.

CA SF/PF Kameron Chatman may drop this weekend on his official visit to Arizona, where Damon Stoudamire is a close friend of the family. Michigan seems to be running second at the moment; if Chatman escapes the desert uncommitted they will have a real shot. Chatman will have to act fast if he's going to join the Michigan class, though, since…

CA SF/PF DJ Wilson appears next on the pecking order. A fringe top 150 kid to the sites, Wilson is a high academic kid who took an official to Columbia—yes, that one—and is scheduled to go to Gonzaga this weekend. Michigan will host him the week after, and if an offer is forthcoming may drop on the spot. He says flat-out that Michigan leads. Wilson's even bigger than Grantham, pushing 6'9", and he sounds like a Beilein guy all the way. ESPN:

Strengths:
He is still growing at almost 6-foot-9 and his ball skills (in the open court) as well as his 3-point shot are impressive. He can face-up defenders and maneuver his way to the rim as well.

Weaknesses:
Wilson is a great prospect but his assertiveness at both ends needs attention. He plays in spurts and doesn't exert much energy consistently, especially in the areas of rebounding and defending.

Sounds like Evan Smotrycz 2.0. Hopefully he can get those deficiencies ironed out.

NV SF/PF Jonah Bolden is settling in at Findlay but cannot take official visits until he has an SAT score. That happens in October for him. He's planning on a spring decision, and while he just put Michigan in his top ten and rumblings have M in a strong position for him, timelines might not work out.

On the other hand: if Bolden shows that he's an elite recruit this fall, Michigan should have a spot for him. The projection above assumes Michigan banks a scholarship. If he's just that good they could say "screw it" and take him.

Shooting Guard

MS SG Devin Booker seems to be trending towards Kentucky. Depending on who you talk to his friendship with Ulis is either important or not, but it certainly doesn't hurt the Wildcats that he's on board. That Booker is still on recruiting boards after seven unofficials to Michigan and a recruitment that started in eighth grade implies that he's been looking for something he hasn't found in Ann Arbor; the vibe here is that this has gone on too long for this to end well. See Wesphal, Parrker.

old-timey haircut FTW

IN SG James Blackmon, Jr. is the other A-list option. An Indiana decommit who is a Kentucky legacy, he was thought to be a heavy UK lean. Now folks are split on his eventual destination. He visits Michigan this weekend and has an official to UK set up in mid-October; a recommitment to Indiana is also another possibility.

You'd think that one of Booker/Blackmon committing would put off or maybe even cause Kentucky to stop recruiting the other guy, at which point Michigan would seem to be in good shape, but at Roster Turnover U they may need a whole new damn team next year; tough to predict what UK will do. FWIW, some trawling of UK message boards indicates that fans don't think UK will take both. Here is your grain of salt.

OH SG/SF Javon Bess looks to be the primary backup plan. Bess is drawing a lot of Big Ten interest at the moment, and Michigan is amongst them:

"He said that he’d let us know (about a possible visit), because they’re still recruiting Devin Booker and James Blackmon Jr. They’re going to see about them,” Bess said. “He said in a week or so they’re going to call me and we’re going to set up a visit. If it comes to that, where I set up a visit, then I’ll have a scholarship when I get to Michigan. He said he waits for recruits to get to Michigan to offer them.”

So, that's clearly a plan B thing there.

Likely Outcome

Grantham drops for Michigan soon. Chatman heads to Arizona; Michigan offers Wilson on his visit and he commits. Kentucky picks up one of the shooting guards, and then it's up to them if they want the other. If not, that guy extends his recruitment a bit. I actually feel a bit better about Blackmon than Booker in the event that Kentucky is out of the picture for either. It's 50/50 whether a Plan A picks M; if not, they get Bess.

Michigan then enters the late signing period with an open slot they may or may not use.

Unverified Voracity Likes Pimpkins

Unverified Voracity Likes Pimpkins

Submitted by Brian on August 14th, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Videos du jour. CTK hits up Cam Gordon:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 17 - Cam Gordon by mgovideo

And the BTN talks M:

Gardner is lauded as "awfully impressive," the OL and WR "deep and talented," and "Fitz looked pretty good"; Howard Griffith entertainingly (and accidentally) refers to "Pimpkins" when talking about the defensive line. DiNardo is just nuts about Mattison.

If you'd like to compare tones, here's the MSU talk. They "lean" Maxwell at QB, but DiNardo says he couldn't pick a guy based on 147 snaps in that practice.

The BTN also has interviews with Frank Clark, Blake Countess, and Taylor Lewan.

That poor EA midlevel exec who has to call up every team individually. Following the lead of the NCAA, the Big Ten and SEC are getting out of the licensing business with EA sports:

"Each school makes its own individual decision regarding whether or not to license their trademarks for use in the EA Sports game(s)," the SEC said in a statement. "The Southeastern Conference has chosen not to do so moving forward.

"Neither the SEC, its member universities, nor the NCAA have ever licensed the right to use the name or likeness of any student to EA Sports."

Ed O'Bannon has 'em on the run.

Good lord man. The Schofield family would do just fine in the Amazon river:

“Schogiving” is a giant Thanksgiving party in either late July or early August, depending when the Schofield boys report to football camp. The party ballooned to 50 people this year with at least 15 pounds of pork tenderloin, a 35-pound turkey and a 20-pound ham. The food is prepared by Kathy in the Schofield kitchen.

“She kind of made up a holiday,” Schofield said. “She wanted to do it. Our whole family is there. She wanted to make a giant dinner and it became our entire family and friends.”

MEAT FOR THE MEAT GOD.

CATCH FOR THE CATCH GOD. Drew Dileo was good and underused last year and it would be beneficial for the team if he was good and properly used this year. I'm generally not a fan of KC Joyner's very basic statistical whatnot articles($), but YPA is YPA:

There are a lot of reasons to think that Michigan's offense will be better in 2013 and Dileo is one of them. In the eight-game sample detailed in the aforementioned article, Dileo racked up a 12.2 overall YPA and an 11.9 YPA on passes that were thrown to him when he started the play lined up as a slot receiver. That latter trait should come in very handy as the Maize and Blue make the full transition to Al Borges' pro-style passing offense.

Joyner names Dileo a potential breakout guy if he gets more opportunities, and I'm with him. More on this in the season preview, but Dileo was very, very good a year ago and I would like him to get five opportunities a game instead of 2.5.

A tribute to McMurty. From Wolverine Historian, as per usual:

Booker on finalists. A little more detail from the local paper:

"Michigan's been recruiting me since the eighth grade, Michigan State's been recruiting me since the ninth grade," Booker said. "They've been around for a while and I have great relationships with both coaching staffs. I've been to both campuses multiple times on unofficial visits, but I haven't visited (either) of them with both my parents at the same time and I want to do that."

Meanwhile, Kentucky: 

"With Kentucky and coach Calipari, you can do everything in basketball you want to do," Booker said. "He puts players in the (NBA) and wins national championships, and builds dynasties. That's what you want to be a part of it, winning national championships and living out your dreams. That's what coach Calipari's been doing the last few years."

But Kentucky might take itself off the board here soon.

Dez Bryant doesn't like it. Dez Bryant opens up about his suspension from the NCAA:

"I did lie. I came back. I told the truth and they suspended me indefinitely," Bryant said. "The way the guy was talking to me was like I did something wrong. I didn’t know it was OK for me to go to someone’s house."

Bryant said he lied because he was scared.

"Right, so I got scared and I lied," Bryant said. "I feel like if anybody else was in my position they probably would have done the same."

He's all like yeah he should be able to sign things:

"Yes. He should be able to," Bryant said. "He should be able to sign as many autographs and make as much money as he wants, because it’s his name. I feel like he’s the one who created it. He should be able to do whatever he feels as long as it’s legal and I don’t think there’s anything illegal about signing a picture of yourself and making money off himself. Shoot, the NCAA is making money off of it when they’re selling those No. 2 shirts. Why can’t he make a little bit of money off of it?"

Is there an answer to that question?

Happy trails en route? It sounds like Michigan is going to lose 2015 SF Luke Kennard to Kentucky:

"It was really cool getting to sit and talk with coach Cal about my game," Kennard said. "Cal's main message to me was just that he wants me in a Kentucky uniform. He told me let's get it done."

While Kennard still denies having a favorite at this time, the class of 2015 product said that he likely will make a decision sometime after his junior season of high school basketball.

Asked about the chances that Calipari get his wish to get him in a Wildcats uniform, Kennard responded, "There's a good possibility."

Unfortunate after Michigan put so much time into the kid, but they'll be fine.

Herbstreit likes us. ESPN man on Michigan:

"But how can you not like Devin Gardner? He's 6-4, he's 215 pounds. He fits perfectly into what Al Borges wants to do. I think Al Borges, to his credit, did the best that he could in a very, very difficult set of circumstances with (former Michigan quarterback) Denard Robinson. Denard will be always hailed and remembered by Michigan fans as being a hero, and yet when you're Al Borges and you're trying to run more of a West Coast, pro-style offense, it's hard to try to make that spread, running-style quarterback work in your system. But they made good strides and did the best they could."

Herbstreit doesn't like back-to-back games for Michigan and Ohio State, which means he is not having a stroke.

Etc.: If you need some faith healing, just leave Tuscaloosa. Michigan will take its time replacing Frank Beckmann. Keith Jackson, anyone?

Unverified Voracity Goes One On One

Unverified Voracity Goes One On One

Submitted by Brian on August 13th, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Yes. Fun. Annual best CTK is just four minutes of the Michigan drill:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 21 - The... by mgovideo

Notables:

  • Lewan buries Keith Heitzman on the first rep; Heitzman comes back and does much better against Schofield on the next one. Not entirely unexpected.
  • Rawls absolutely runs over Ross Douglas on a rep, causing both guys to pop up and jut chests at each other threateningly.
  • Washington looks good on both his reps, though he gave some ground on #1.
  • Ross sheds very well on his single rep, as does Jarrod Wilson. Wormley does not and immediately gets a coach in his face repeating "escape, escape, escape" to him.
  • A rather large-looking Mike McCray has interesting reps separated by 30 seconds or so. On the first one, Kyle Bosch drives him way out of the frame. On the second, he dumps Blake Bars to the ground and makes a tackle.
  • Taco stands up Jake Butt, RB darts by, Mattison exclaims "HE WENT OUTSIDE THE CONE" in an effort to claim that one for the D.
  • Strobel does a good job against walk-on Erik Gunderson.
  • Jeremy Jackson locks up Richardson and waltzes him downfeld. Not a huge surprise, but an indicator as to why it's going to be hard for Richardson to get on the field this year.
  • Pipkins wins a rep against Glasgow with authority.

Omar comin'? Frank Clark gets the CTK treatment:

Countdown to Kickoff 2013: Day 22 - Frank Clark by mgovideo

Clark says he'd be competitive with Devin Gardner in a 40 yard dash… but not Denard. He says he 268, not 277, but a CTK a few days later they say he's 274. I dunno, pick one.

Also available: Aaron Wellman may get results, but does he sound like a gravel truck? Maybe a little. Jeremy Jackson's Day 18 is mostly a look into weirdass Navy Seal exercises like "kick a pole and wiggle forward on your butt" and "rub sand on your head." Jake Ryan is running and whatnot.

Hail Brady. Oh man Michigan's head coach has the same opinion on uniformz as sane people do:

"(The uniform issue is) bigger than it should be," Hoke said Monday during a radio interview with FoxSports' Jay Mohr. "But we’re traditional, and we have such a great tradition and legacies, we’re going to be staying pretty much standard.” …

“We had one uniform we wore once that we won’t wear again,” he said. "It’s something that you’re always trying to have that excitement with your kids, and that’s part of it."

Is that the ghost number outfit, the No Rain bumblebee one, or… actually the Sugar Bowl uniforms were hardly different from the usual and fine.

The times, they have changed. Ohio State picks up a 2015 PG commit from AJ Harris, a 5'8" kid who I'd never heard of. A quick check of the UMHoops page for him reveals nothing but a lot of scouting from various AAU tournaments, so that's why: no one had mentioned him in connection with a Michigan offer. This is interesting for a couple reasons:

  1. It likely removes OSU from the Jalen Brunson chase, but Harris is a AAU teammate of Luke Kennard.
  2. Harris's commitment was "shocking" because as of two weeks ago he said Michigan was at the top and he wanted to be Trey Burke.

Harris told Eleven Warriors that "it's true, I did want to hear from Michigan," but Michigan is focused on a half-dozen high profile targets. So… Ohio point guard picks Ohio State because Michigan showed no interest. Remember when the basketball program was 1-6 in the Big Ten? No? I don't either.

Meanwhile in silly things said on the internet:

What could make it sweeter? Beating out Michigan for a prospect that two weeks ago wanted to emulate Trey Burke.

To beat the man, the man has to be in the ring, or at least cognizant of the fact there is a ring.

Booker and Johnson do things. Elsewhere in basketball recruiting news—we are downshifting from occasional roundups as football season starts—Devin Booker releases a top five of Michigan, Kentucky, Michigan State, Missouri, and Florida. The latter two are not reputed to be strong contenders, especially Florida. Booker told Scout that he's set up officials with the other four schools and pull the trigger "whenever I feel whatever schools is right for me" and that he's not even sure he'll visit Florida.

You are rooting for Indiana decommit (and Kentucky legacy) James Blackmon to pick the Wildcats, as they seem to be the biggest threat at the moment. Indiana blog Inside The Hall thinks Blackmon is all but locked up for the Wildcats, so we've got that going for us. The primary way things could go pear-shaped if Blackmon takes Kentucky off the table is if Michigan gets a commit from Trevon Bluiett and Booker looks at Stauskas/Irvin/LeVert/Bluiett as a higher hill to climb than Michigan State's roster.

Also, Ypsi PF Jaylen Johnson, who recently took a visit to Michigan, is profiled by the Louisville paper:

“I love his activity,” Meyer said. “He’s athletic, he’s long, and he’s so active. He’s such an aggressive rebounder, one of those who is always fighting for position early. I love his feel for the game as a rebounder.”

Meyer thinks Johnson will end up at Louisville, so expect him to cut Louisville from his list immediately. YES I AM STILL BITTER.

Finally, touted 2015 PF Carlton Bragg plans a visit:

We talked about it a little,” Graves said. “I think Carlton would be a three, stretch four because he has the jumper to be 6-9 just like a forward that runs the floor, like a hybrid. We haven’t talked x’s and o’s but they can see him in their system, especially with the three’s that they shoot.”

Bragg is open at the moment; Ohio State will be a major player.

They were almost ready to throw in the towel last year. On the OL, that is. Apparently the debate as to whether to redshirt Kyle Kalis was being had within the walls of Schembechler Hall as well as without:

"It sucked," the redshirt freshman offensive lineman said Sunday. "It sucked. So many times, I was close to going in, but they didn't want to burn my redshirt.

"Everyone wants to play, and it sucks (when you don't get to). And I was mad about it."

So many times I was like "why aren't they playing Kalis." At least we know now there was much debate about it.

Prepare for WJC departures. The United States of Hockey handicaps the National Junior Evaluation Camp field, which includes four Michigan forwards. Chris Peters projects that Compher ("One of the better centers for most of the camp… really strong when playing a bottom-six role and playing an aggressive, grinding two-way style") and Copp ("A prime candidate to play the fourth-line shutdown role the U.S. will so badly need to succeed") will make the roster, while Motte and Nieves are question marks. Nieves's evaluation is pretty much the thing:

Nieves is one of those guys where if he finds that missing piece to his game, he could be really good. With size, speed and some truly remarkable puck skills, he’s got a lot of the tools going for him. He just couldn’t seem to finish the play out with the right decision or buy himself time when he needed it. That led to poor shots or turnovers and that’s going to be tough to do at the WJC level. The speed and skills are there, but I think he needs some more work.

Right now he's Milan Gajic, a guy who looks like he's got every skill you could want but doesn't put it together to blow up. He's got some more time to break out of that rut.

Meanwhile, Motte is sounding like something not very much like the midget puck wizard I'd assumed he would be:

Motte showed good quickness and some skill in a solid camp performance. He had some good two-way play and worked really well when playing with Compher and Fasching in the middle parts of the camp.

He might grab a lower-rung spot, especially if the brass thinks his long familiarity with Compher would make a good pairing.

Are they related to Wiz Khalifa? I don't know what this means.

For Gallon, there’s an added bonus there: He and Gardner are extremely tight. “Closer than Phineas and Ferb,” as Gallon puts it.

I am old.

Etc.: Big Ten building spree reaches 1.5 billion dollars. No M-OSU night games on the docket according to Jim Delany. Chengelis wants to futz with the tunnel. Michael Bradley profiled. Penn State fans no likey Hoke after the Wangler decommitment. Moeller and Lou Holtz break down The Catch.

Ondre Pipkins is ready to eat… metaphorically. The center battle should be decided this week.

Basketball Recruiting: Explosions! Things Happening!

Basketball Recruiting: Explosions! Things Happening!

Submitted by Brian on August 5th, 2013 at 4:31 PM

LAST TIME: bitching about the fact that following five kids instead of fifty tends to make basketball recruiting langorous at best, endless repetition of the fact that Recruit X has not cut his 23-team list at worst. Picture of polin' down the Mississip'.

THIS TIME:

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ACTION! (At least comparable to one of Ace's bi-weekly football updates.)

First, the bad news…

I thought we were bros Jerry Meyer said so

Happy trails to five-star PF Kevon Looney, who cut his list to six teams and did not include Michigan. : /

Also in Happy Trails:

  • Rivals and 247 have both reported that Michigan has essentially parted ways with OH PF Vince Edwards, who's expected to commit to Purdue shortly.
  • MO PF Jordan Barnett committed to Texas. Barnett didn't have an offer despite a Michigan visit. Even if he was a plan B, he might have moved up into the A range once Looney gave M the axe.

That is kind of a downer when it comes to stretch fours, but…

You call that a knife? I'm from Flint, sort of

Nevada-by-way-of-Australia-and-Flint stretch PF Jonah Bolden burst onto the scene recently, having just returned from the land of vicious dunking koala bears. As a 6'8" or 6'9" kid with excellent range he fits exactly the kind of hole Michigan was hoping Looney would fill.

He just showed up on the radar after an impressive showing at the Adidas Nations tournament:

Best prospects I've seen so far at Nations include Josh Jackson, Okafor, Stanley Johnson, Jonah Bolden, Malik Newman and Tyler Doesey

Findlay Prep is getting good one in Jonah Bolden. Face-up PF at 6-8 w/length that is finishing on break, hitting from 3, really passes well.

Believe I got asked about Australian Jonah Bolden the other day. 6-8 forward has a great looking shot and can move. Very intriguing.

At 6-foot-8, he can really shoot, he has great length and he runs the floor well. … little doubt that high majors will be interested.

Bolden can jump very well for such a tall, long player and his greatest asset is his outside shot. Very long arms allow him to be a difference maker inside defensively without the type of muscle he’ll need to add at the next level. Slithery and smooth in his ability to penetrate on the offensive end, Bolden has a very high skill level and terrific touch.

Bolden's dad is from Flint and played a year of high school ball with Glenn Rice before starring at Boise State in the mid-80s; Bolden reputedly grew up a Michigan fan as a result.

Bolden will play at Findley Prep (the same school that Michigan target and eventual OSU commit Amadeo Della Valle played at) for his senior season and enter college in 2014. Rivals seems to think he "prefers" M, and he did give this quote to Scout:

"My dad is from Michigan and I always liked the way they play, especially my position," Bolden said.

Despite growing up a Wolverines fan, Bolden said that he's completely wide open in his recruitment and isn't planning on making a decision until the spring.

"I'm not committing anywhere anytime soon," Bolden said. "I'll look at my positional availability; who is there before me. I also will look at academics."

Positional availability is going to be pretty dang good if GRIII is in the NBA draft, and he fits Michigan's style to a T. Thanks, Australia.

Commit imminent?

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Michigan's interest in 2015 IN SG Jalen Coleman is sincere enough that he is one of a very few kids in that class to currently sport a Michigan offer. He's moving from Indianapolis to a prep school in northern Indiana, an area that has recently an absolute bounty for Michigan. He's looking to schedule a visit in the near future (first or second football game), and Kyle Bogenschutz reports that 1) they want to get recruiting over with, 2) Michigan is "at the top," and 3) there is a "great chance" he pops the next time he's on campus.

That would be pretty good, as Coleman is a top-50 player to most services with Indiana, OSU, Purdue, and Arizona offers. Coleman was recently profiled in a free 247 article:

“It’s like a hungry dog going after a slab of meat,” Adams said. “He can put the ball in the basket.”

His comment on Michigan:

* On Michigan -- “I’m thankful. That’s a blessing to have an offer from a college team that advanced to the national championship and almost won it. I watched them the whole season and saw how they improved. I was happy for their success. I’ve been talking to Coach Jordan a lot and Coach Beilein has been texting my dad.”

Very good vibe from that compared to the things he says about the other schools.

List slicing ho!

CA SF/PF Kameron Chatman released a list of his five finalists: USC, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon, and UConn. Washington, once the perceived favorite, is a notable omission. Meanwhile, UConn was dropped at one point due to a lack of contact and unless USC's paying guys again he's not going to that tire fire, so this seems to be a duel between Oregon, the 247 Crystal Ball favorite, Michigan, and Arizona.

Supporting evidence: Chatman has scheduled officials to those three schools only, with Michigan getting their swing at UTLII.

IN SF Trevon Bluiett has sliced his list from 23 or so to seven. Michigan, Butler, and UCLA are thought to be the main contenders; Bluiett is also considering Indiana, Xavier, Arizona, and Purdue. Bluiett's dad told Scout that he thinks the list of seven is really about four and that Michigan is amongst them:

“Always have,” he said. “He’s always regarded Michigan pretty high and he loves the coaching staff, the style of play.”

Also in that article, Bogenschutz got a quote on Bluiett's impending official (scheduled for the CMU game on the 31st) that turned into a "Adidas: Bluiett to Visit U-M, Commit too?" headline. Judge for yourself:

“We got a tentative (visit) on the 31st of August, the first football game,” Bluiett’s father said. “We’re trying to make arrangements for that. I hear that’s an extravaganza.

“A lot of recruits don’t leave there uncommitted -- I heard,” he laughingly added.

Bogenschutz would later add($) that based on that interview and "conversations throughout the camp" that he "might be close" to pulling the trigger on his visit.

Bluiett has provided no timetable for a commit, FWIW. Brad Stevens's exit from Butler should give Michigan the advantage now, with official visits the best chance for other schools to catch up. Bluiett gave Brian Snow a breakdown of his finalists nad his quote on Michigan was encouraging:

I probably have the best relationship with that staff. Coach (John) Beilein lets his players go. He recruits players with high IQ’s, and they are able to get wins without him really over coaching them.

Butler's is also pretty encouraging for the Bulldogs, FWIW.

Booker still winding towards decision

Booker on Michigan:

“Well, Michigan’s been recruiting me since the eighth grade, so they have a special place in my heart I’d say because I’ve visited there seven times and my mom lives in Michigan still and she’d probably like me to stay closer to home and play,” Booker told SNY.tv. “I live in Mississippi but I’m there in Michigan for the summer.”

Zagsblog says it's a "safe bet" he'll land at M, MSU, Kentucky, Missouri, or Florida, but he hasn't officially cut his list.

Kentucky on Kennard

Snow on 2015 OH SG Luke Kennard:

“I would say UK is definitely a game-changer,” Snow stated. “I have always felt that if UK offered they would be very tough to beat and I have heard nothing to suggest otherwise. Now it isn't a done deal, but if UK continues to make him a priority I think they will be extremely tough to beat.”

Let's go Kentucky… in other recruitments of shooting guards. Not that that seems to slow them down at all.

Etc.

Michigan's looking at 2014 four-star wing Josh Cunningham, presumably just in case. Add 2015 wing Tyler Williams to your offer candidates. 2015 Cleveland PF Carlton Bragg has buckets of talent. Watch him for a potential visit. If you've got Scout, highly recommend Bogenschutz's scouting of the various Michigan targets at Adidas Nations.

Basketball Recruiting: A Slow Paced Kind Of Life

Basketball Recruiting: A Slow Paced Kind Of Life

Submitted by Brian on July 12th, 2013 at 11:41 AM

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You know what's weird about putting together these basketball recruiting things irregularly? Nothing happens. Because we're talking about a class of 3-4 kids instead of 20, these things meander down the great Mississippi, leisurely taking in a vague quote here, a scouting report there, without seeming to go anywhere. I mean, Trevon Bluiett still maintains he has a list of 24 schools or something. Takin' her easy, basketball recruiting.

In any case, things that sort of happened…

Roster Reminder

This is what the current roster looks like for 2014, assuming Robinson and McGary are in suits on draft day:

PG: Walton (so), Albrecht (jr)
SG: Stauskas (jr)
SF: Irvin (so), LeVert (jr)
PF: Donnal (so), Bielfeldt (jr)
C: Horford (sr), Doyle (fr)

Donnal may play the post; Irvin may be big enough to be a Beilein 4. Even if Donnal ends up at the 4, it's going to be a wing-heavy class. Michigan is going to skip the PG spot, has Ricky Doyle as a developmental big, and will probably take three guys who can play the 2, 3, or 4.

They could add four more players without any unexpected attrition; more likely they'll add three and bank one for a talented 2015 class. Michigan projects to have just one senior in 2014, Horford, so taking a five-man class this year would unduly restrict Michigan's ability to flog the championship game appearance to kids whose recruitments are just starting.

Leaving an open slot in in 2014 plus Horford plus an assumption of at least one piece of attrition (Irvin, Stauskas, or Walton blowing up to NBA early entry levels, Bielfeldt not getting a fifth year, someone transferring because of PT issues) would let that 2015 class reach three top quality guys: a post, a point guard, and someone who is very good at something else.

Bluiett is not making any decisions hastily

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I think I just flipped my metaphor from leisurely polin' down the river to Ents, but whatever. As mentioned in UV, IN SF Trevon Bluiett has not dropped Butler after Brad Stevens's departure. That can't help, though, and Yogi Ferrell's mom thinks his list got a shakeup:

RT @DocLibby: On the list but ranked differently RT @JeffRabjohns: Butler is still on the list for Trevon Bluiett.

Yes, Yogi Ferrell's mom has special insight into Bluiett's though processes. Shut up.

With Scout's Brian Snow popping in on the GBW message board to proclaim he'd be "shocked" if Bluiett ended up anywhere other than Butler or Michigan, that would be a good thing. Bluiett's reputedly a guy who would like to stay close to home—Butler would be very close—so if anyone else gets involved it would likely be the in-state schools or maybe a Louisville or something. The 247 Crystal Ball flipped towards Michigan recently, FWIW.

Booker: Ent

Devin Booker remains Devin Booker, and will always be the same until probably November. He told Sam Webb that he made it down to Michigan's camp out of "loyalty" recently:

Sam Webb: I saw you last month when you were at the Michigan camp. You had another camp you were going to be going to a week later, and you had just gotten home. You get right home… come over to Michigan… why did you even make it over?

Devin Booker: “I think it’s more of a loyalty thing. Michigan’s been there since 8th grade, and a lot of my friends are going down with me. It’s just overall a good time; I can use it as an unofficial visit, and I’ve basically seen it all there, but just talking to the coaching staff, you know, it was good to go down there. "

Booker's been hanging out with Drake Harris for "like three straight weekends" as he cools his heels in Grand Rapids for the summer with his mom. He claims he has a top group but won't tell anyone.

Booker is headed to Kentucky for their Midnight Madness event. With Duke and UNC taking commits at SG, the Wildcats are likely the top threat.

Chatman: yeah.

CA SF/PF Kameron Chatman was just interviewed by Scout:

UConn, Oregon, Washington, and Michigan are the only schools he mentions as offers. Michigan was "good," but with positive inflection. Chatman also said his Oregon offer was "good." You see what I'm saying? About the things not happening? I mean.

Maybe a positive thing: Chatman is apparently buds with Devin Booker, and while they haven't talked much about playing together you'd have to think Booker dropping to Michigan would be a feather in Michigan's cap. Chatman plans a decision in the fall.

Pipe dreaming at the four

Sam Webb talked to WI PF Kevon Looney, who says he wants to get down to a top five this month. Sounds like Michigan will make that list($):

Sam Webb:  You mentioned that Michigan was really a school that was coming on with you.  Where does Michigan stand with you at this point?

Kevon Looney:  “Michigan is in that top tier of schools.  Michigan, Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Tennessee, Georgetown, they all in the top tier right now.”

Sam Webb:  How did they get in there because it seemed like for a minute there that they were on the outside looking in?  What was it about them that made them get in there?

Kevon Looney:  “Michigan was always there.  They had actually slowed down their calling and stop coming out.  I don’t know what they thought.  Then he picked it back up, Coach Beilein came to a high school in the playoffs and since that they have been staying more consistent.”

Looney has only been to Wisconsin and Tennessee, doesn't mention the Badgers in his top tier, and went to Tennessee mostly because he was in the area for a funeral. He plans on taking all of his officials. Looney was similarly coy with UMHoops.

More realistic options at Michigan's stretch four include OH PF Vince Edwards, who is still down to Michigan and Purdue, but also mentioning that Louisville is vaguely interested. Purdue sites think the Boilers may be pulling out in front:

Edwards opened things up a bit in the spring when he said he wanted to see if any other schools were going to show interest. One school that has is Louisville. To what extent, nobody really knows. They are pretty full for 2014 and have a couple guys higher on their board at Vince’s position.

Purdue on the other hand might be starting to take a slight lead, if you could call it that. Edwards stated earlier this summer that he would like to have the process over before his senior season begins in November. He also said it could be anytime between now and then so anything could change.

Edwards has repeatedly stated that he wants to be shown the proverbial love by whoever he picks, and Michigan seems to be diversifying its options at the four, so I'm with that guy.

A couple of unoffered guys are also in the mix. Jaylen Johnson is from Ypsi, has a MSU offer, and blew up at the LeBron James thing. He has "more skill than he's given credit for," sayeth the recruiting analysts there, which makes me think he's more of a fit for a pound-the-rock team like MSU than Michigan, which prefers skill and shooting to raw power at the 4. I mean:

Jaylen Johnson

Johnson played with one of the best motors out of any of the bigs in the camp. He was constantly making an impact on the game with his rebounding, defending, passing and scoring.

His ball skills are a little raw, but the potential is there. Just his effort defensively and on the boards is enough to help any team win games.

Doesn't sound like a fit.

Meanwhile, MO PF Jordan Barnett visited and is waiting on Beilein to see him in person to offer. He's a bit undersized at 6'7" if he's not a skill guy, and it doesn't sound like he is.

2015 point guard derby

The race to be the next Derrick Walton is on. The wooed and the wooing:

  • Jalen Brunson (offer). Offered on the 23rd of June, Brunson is the top PG in the 2015 class according to ESPN.  Michigan is currently… yes… I can say this… the biggest offer in his list, with Purdue, UVA, and Xavier following. Illinois and MSU are also pursuing hard. Brunson also talked to Scout, saying "Yes, I am" in a beautiful deadpan when asked if he is having fun, and claims no favorites. He's waiting until next November to decide.
  • Jalen Coleman (offer). It's raining Jalens. Coleman may fit in the Miscellaneous Very Good Player category as a 6'3" combo guard and may not be mutually exclusive with other pure points, but since we know Beilein really likes his height at the SG spot I'm guessing he would be brought in as the point. Coleman, named after Jalen Rose (you are old), was "ecstatic" to get a Michigan offer.
  • Sedrick Barefield. Barefield doesn't have an offer just yet but will get one the moment he steps on campus.  He lives and California and is playing a typically heavy AAU schedule, so that visit might have to wait until fall.
  • Corey Sanders. Sanders is the running mate of misc.-very-good player Dwayne Bacon, a near five-star in the class. While he's the lowest-rated of Michigan's potential additions, he has been impressing on the AAU circuit with his athleticism. Sam Webb just projected Sanders and Bacon to end up in the class—apparently they've added a play called "Michigan" to their AAU team's playbook. Let us consider where the program is now vis a vis the Aneurysm of Leadership.

Any of these options is kind of good. IL PG Hyron Edwards is out there still, but since he's fulfilled all the offer criteria, even attending the elite camp, but has not gotten an offer he seems to be a Plan B.

Sanders is the most intriguing/weird/dangerous/could-be-a-spy option. Anyone who sees Sanders's highlight video…

…knows that his handle his capital-T Tight and his game is capital-S Salty, which may be an artifact of an internet highlight video. But it's also quite a departure from the usual Michigan recruit highlight video, which shows the player working out without fanfare for 12 hours straight, carrying a trainer who screams profantities at him in Tagalog while eating ice cream the player himself has never and will never taste. Hard men, these point guards.

Sanders brings athleticism and heaps of swagger, but can he shoot and can he actually play point guard? Is it worth the risk if he brings Bacon along?

If Brunson sticks to his timetable I bet someone else jumps on the Michigan opportnity first, FWIW.

2015 post grabbage

Michigan seems strong with NV C Stephen Zimmerman, who just moved to #1 overall in the 2015 class to Scout and is enamored with the possibility of being Mitch McGary 2.0, except taller and (necessarily) less adorable. They're also chasing WI C Diamond Stone, who talked to Sam Webb. Stone mentioned Michigan in a small group of planned visits:

Sam Webb:  Any plans on getting out to any other schools this summer or is that going to wait until the school year to get out on some more visits?

Diamond Stone:  “I’m trying to figure out what Midnight Madness I’m going.  Coach Calipari asked me to go to his Midnight Madness.  So I don’t even know.  It’ll probably be Michigan, Marquette, Wisconsin.”

Michigan hasn't had a Madness event since the first year they made the tourney, FWIW, but that's a quality group to be mentioned in: two local schools (easy to visit) and Kentucky. Stone was already on campus for the MSU football game last year, as well. Kentucky is obviously a huge problem, but if both these guys end up down to Kentucky and Michigan… well, Kentucky and only Kentucky can apparently lock both down. But you've got to think that they go to different places so they can be The Man.

2015 miscellaneous very good player

Depending on who you talk to, OH SG Luke Kennard is either a favorite or a middling shot to be miscellaneous very good player in the 2015 class. Michigan fans have been hearing about him since he was a freshman who shot a lot like John Shurna—oddly but effectively. Michigan has been on him forever-ever:

Bales recalled explaining to a Michigan graduate assistant, “You know, this is going to sound crazy, and I don’t know how good he is, but we think he’s pretty special. We have an eighth-grader who is going to be a freshman that you should take a look at.”

By Franklin’s second game at the camp, one of Michigan’s staffers was watching Kennard play. His third game, the entire Wolverines staff was watching. Like that, his recruitment had begun, even if an offer from Michigan, one of the many schools recruiting him, didn’t come until June 15 of this year.

“At the time, Luke had not received any offers,” Kennard’s father, Mark, said. “He had just gotten out of eighth grade.”

Kennard's been adding more bounce to his game consistently and ranks inside the top 50 everywhere you care to look; he picked up his offer about a month ago, and said the requisite things:

"We enjoy doing that and being there," Mr. Kennard said. "They've got great facilities.

"There's no doubt Michigan will be there [at the end]. They were the first ones that had kind of recruited Luke when we can to team camp his freshman year. That was kind of how it started."

There is of course Dwayne Bacon, Sanders's potential package-deal bro.

Basketball Recruitin': Offer Day Check-In

Basketball Recruitin': Offer Day Check-In

Submitted by Brian on June 18th, 2013 at 11:51 AM

Junior Offers Out

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Kennard and Coleman

Junior day came and went with one offer issued, that to OH SF Luke Kennard, which duh. Kennard isn't on the verge of committing and would like to narrow things down.

“We’re going to have to start narrowing it down some,” said Kennard. “Top 10 or top five, and then see where we go from there.”

Kennard plans to visit each of the schools that make the cut, naming Ohio State, Michigan, Indiana, Butler, and North Carolina first when asked who has the best shot to survive the trim.

Kennard is planning to hit Michigan's team camp at the end of July; M is reputed to  be in strong position. Kennard hit up the Elite 100 camp last week and impressed Scout's Brian Snow($):

Luke Kennard, SG – The Ohio native had another excellent event proving to everyone that he is not only a high level shooter, but pretty darn good at everything on the basketball floor. He is more than athletic enough to guard high level wings, and then on offense his IQ separates him from most of his peers. Kennard is still somewhat left hand dominant, but he was able to get by guys going either direction. Add in that he makes plays for himself and others, and Kennard might have been the most complete wing at the entire camp.

A Beilein guy no doubt. Kennard is talking about a decision at the beginning of his junior year, which you'd think favors Michigan. Kennard has gotten around to Indiana, OSU, and Kentucky, though, so it wouldn't be a slam dunk.

IN SG Jalen Coleman wasn't offered over the weekend because he was playing in an AAU tourney and was unreachable, but he got his yesterday. He's not as familiar to Michigan fans as Kennard is. He did tell Scout's Kyle Bogie($) that he is planning some summer visits, "especially Michigan," amongst some other tantalizing things. Coleman will be a knock-out, drag-down fight between various Big Ten programs and potentially Louisville. He's named after Jalen Rose($), so we've got that going for us.

He told Inside The Hall that, like Kennard, he doesn't plan on taking his recruitment out too much longer:

“I don’t think it’s going to be senior year, I doubt if it’d be that late,” he said. “Probably his junior year he’ll be making the decision on what school he’ll be going to because it’s good to get that done, especially being an upperclassman so you can just focus on your team.”

Indiana offered Coleman when he was a freshman and seems like the main competitor.

WI C Diamond Stone has met the visit prerequisite but wasn't offered; Sam Webb says that's because he hasn't sent in his transcript, and once he does that he'll (obviously) get the offer.

I think we're for real

It's still a little boggling to consider that Michigan can go out and snatch a top-ten national recruit who isn't an enormous puppy-man, but the more information we get on 2015 NV C Stephen Zimmerman, the more I think Michigan's in it. His mom is handling a lot of his interviews, and even though this is an interview with a Kentucky site things keep coming back around to the Wolverines($).

I'm curious--who are the schools that he's having these 20 minute conversations with?

That's a loaded question... Coach Payne at Kentucky has and Coach Jordan at Michigan, they've tried to get to know Zimm. Coach Rice at UNLV too, and I think they have a little more knowledge of Zimm because his brother is his high school coach, so I think they have a good relationship. Those are the ones I can think off the top my head.

Zimmerman appears to really enjoy the idea of playing the Mitch McGary role:

Michigan is a popular school with several guards at this camp because of Trey Burke and his success this season, I'm curious, what are your impressions of Michigan and Mitch McGary from this past season?

We were really impressed because Stephen plays with Dream Vision and we ended up playing Mitch's team quite a bit in Stephen's first summer, so Stephen got to watch Mitch and see where he was at this point to where he is after this past season. You can just see that he was a man on that court now instead of the boy we saw just a summer ago on the court. That meant a lot to Stephen to see how he developed during the year.

Has Stephen ever indicated that he's felt like a school has had a similar style of big that he is?

You know, the only one he's mentioned is with Mitch McGary. He'll mention, "hey, we run that play" or, "Ok I see what I did there, I can try that." So that's really the only one I can think of that he's voiced, but I'm sure you know from talking with Stephen that he doesn't say a lot of what he's thinking in his head, so he may not verbalize it until a few days later, he's an observer.

Zimmerman's going to visit a small list of schools and I'd be shocked if Michigan isn't one of them. He just told a Rivals guy that Kentucky and Michigan were the "most aggressive" schools after him.

Meanwhile, in 2014 land

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Jordan Barnett, Devin Booker

Uh… nothing's really going on you guys, other than AAU tourney after AAU tourney after AAU tourney.. IN SF Trevon Bluiett is status quo, deciding between Indiana, UCLA, Michigan and fuzzy potential leader Butler. OH combo forward Vincent Edwards is status quo, deciding between Michigan and Purdue. Michigan got CA SF Kameron Chatman on campus and offered; that's the only recent Event aside from a visit from MO SF Jordan Barnett, who could be in line for an offer:

“[Michigan] said they would like to offer me, but coach Beilein said specifically that I couldn’t get an offer from Michigan unless he saw me play,” Barnett said. “Beilein hasn’t seen me. He said if he saw me and he liked what I did, I’d probably get an offer.”

He's looking to commit by the end of the summer; Iowa, Texas, and Florida are his other main suitors.

MS SG Devin Booker still doesn't have a well defined top list and plans to take officials in the fall. Duke and North Carolina are taking themselves out of the running a bit after getting commitments from similar players, so Kentucky looms as the biggest threat:

About [Kentucky] — Booker appears to be quite high on its list of priorities. Booker said he talks with Kentucky coach John Calipari “on a day to day basis.”

“Me and Coach Calipari, we text back and forth, we’ll talk on the phone,” Booker said. “He actually has a good relationship with my mom and dad, he’s been talking to them. So we’re talking about a visit sometime soon. I think right now it’ll be an unofficial. After the summer, I might take an official.”

He told a newspaper basically the same thing.

Booker's in Michigan for the summer with his mom, hopefully hanging out with Drake Harris and enjoying the weather. He plans some sort of cut at the end of the summer followed by some number of official visits.

All of this will be terribly exciting when Michigan smashes Kentucky's recruiting hegemony and spirits away a bunch of top 20 players. August and September promise to have a lot of movement, as it seems everyone mentioned in this post, be they class of 2014 or 2015, is talking about making a decision before their high school seasons kick off.

Basketball Recruitin': Debut

Basketball Recruitin': Debut

Submitted by Brian on May 15th, 2013 at 12:48 PM

Hey kids. I've been wandering around trying to figure out what's going on with Michigan basketball recruiting, so I figure it's time to start posting about it on the site. Guidelines:

  • This will be a once-a-week feature through summer that will either get picked up by someone else or dropped during football season for obvious reasons.
  • We will deign to cover 2015 kids just as much as 2014 kids since Beilein Offer Day is in a month and it's a lot easier to project basketball players a year or two out.

Let's go.

You are not prepared to know the destination of Trevon

bluiett040611[1]

Trevon Bluiett is playing very well on the AAU circuit and planning on an official cut to… well, some number of schools. His dad (also his AAU coach) is zen about this:

“I think he has an idea,” said Reynardo Bluiett, who is also Trevon’s AAU coach for Spiece Indy Heat. “I don’t ask him because I’m not prepared to know. He’s got an idea.”

He plans a decision before his senior year starts; popular opinion holds Butler the leader with Michigan and Indiana still strong candidates. Blueitt was one of the top performers at Spiece

Trevon Bluiett, shooting guard (Spiece 17U)
Bluiett continued to play where he left off the past two weekends on the Nike EYBL circuit.  The thick-bodied shooting guard is a physical wing that plays with pace and patience.  He lets the game come to him.  Bluiett is a great perimeter shooter off the bounce and in the catch and shoot.  The junior has a quick release and good form.  Bluiett also is solid off the bounce getting in the lane and getting to the charity stripe.  The highly touted wing finished with 21 points.

…and seems to be a good fit for Beilein's offense. Here is an indeterminate quote from Bluiett himself:

"They've been texting me constantly, three, four times a week," Bluiett told ChicagoHoops.com recently. "Out of them, I have the best relationship with (Michigan assistant) LaVall Jordan.

"It's good to talk with him now and then."

If we meditate on this we may find enlightenment.

Trevon plus Kevon equals unstoppable power

Kevon Looney was the topic of Sam Webb's weekly Detnews article. Looney is wide open at the moment:

"It's still wide open," Parrish said of Looney's recruitment. "You have Duke, Florida, Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Marquette, Georgetown, Stanford; and he's a real educational kid, so Stanford and schools like that are going after him as well. It's still wide open for him. He hasn't cut his list yet."

Michigan didn't just pop up on Looney's list because Michigan was tardy recruiting him, they popped up because now they seem like a valid place for a top-ten player to go.

"Michigan was actually the first school his freshman year that started recruiting him," Parrish said. "Coach LaVall Jordan began recruiting him early on, so they're in there. They've been doing a great job with him. We were down at the Final Four that weekend, so he got an opportunity to go and watch the games. Not the championship game, but prior to that, the Final Four games. That always helps because he wants to play on a big stage."

Looney does have Duke, MSU, and Florida already in a top five he'll cut down to in the near future; Sam says "many pundits believe the Blue Devils are leaders in the clubhouse."

: /

Soon to change his name to Devon

Five-star-ish MS SG Devin Booker has acquired offers from every power you can name, though Duke has probably taken itself off the board with a five-star SG commit. The most recent is Kentucky, and yes it is a little irritating that Calipari would offer a kid ranked as low as 27th.

Booker may or may not hit Michigan's camp on June first:

“I’m not sure [if I can make it to camp],” Booker reported. “I think they mentioned it to me. If I’m up there (in Michigan) and have no camp or anything else, I might go.”

Booker's recruitment is going to extend a while:

“I don’t have any timeframe right now, but probably after the summer is when I might actually cut it down of some sort,” Booker said. “And then I’ll go from there.”

Don't expect any news there for a while.

Also In 2014

CA SF Kameron Chatman has confirmed that he'll be at Michigan's camp, whereupon he'll get an offer.

Instate wing AJ Turner is seeing his options expand as he moves into summer, but appears to be a plan B recruit, as Michigan has not offered yet.

Michigan has continued to show interest in Turner, sitting courtside at the Atlanta Spring Classic the weekend before Spiece, still doing thorough evaluations. Any talk of an offer from the Wolverines is tabled at the moment.

“I’ve still been talking to coach Beilein,” said Turner. “Just going through the process right now, he said keep working hard and we’ll see what happens.”

If Bluiett or Booker goes off the board Turner will be one of the prime candidates to grab an offer in response.

2015/2016

2015 offer day for Michigan is about a month away. Instate combo guard Eric Davis($) is a candidate for one of those offers. He's already got an Illinois offer. On Michigan:

“Really I see what they did with Trey Burke, and John Beilein says that I could come in and be the next Trey Burke,” said Davis.

Another candidate is IL PG Hyron Edwards, who has Purdue, Indiana, and Illinois offers and claims MSU is on the docket. Edwards on M:

“The contact is tight,” he said his relationship with the Michigan coaching staff. “It is as tight as it can be right now. Coach (LaVall) Jordan, he is a nice guy. Coach (John) Beilein (too.) The players are great to me. Glenn Robinson III, Spike (Albrecht), Mitch (McGary), we all like this off the court.”

“I watched all of their games actually. I have been to some too. When they played Michigan State and IU, as well.”

He says something similar about State's interest, and has no favorites. He's not looking to make a decision for another year.

BONUS: best typo or best typo?

With all these Big Ten pogroms showing Edwards’ interest, is there a clear cut favorite yet?

Hey man that's football's problem, not basketball.

While I refuse to even mention 2016 football recruits, except when I mention them, basketball is a bit different. Michigan's after the spectacularly-named PG Cassius Winston, who has a couple BCS offers already and looks like he'll be a serious candidate for both Michigan and Michigan State offers in what will be the state's most-talented year in a long time. UMHoops caught up with him:

Despite the fact that he’s just wrapping up his freshman year of high school, Winston has an idea of what he’s looking for in a potential college.

“Point guard dominant,” said Winston. “Where the point guard controls the tempo and the pace and a great coaching staff.”

For its part, Michigan fits the ball.

“I like Michigan. That’s a point guard dominant team with lots of screen and rolls. They support you and they make sure you take care of your books and everything.”

Yes, Michigan fits that bill. It's shaping up to be a rare MSU-M head to head battle:

“I talk to Bacari Alexander a lot and every now and then we talk,” Winston explained. “Probably it’s between Michigan and Michigan State leading my recruitment [right now].”

There is yet another Gordon, his name is Eron, he's a 2016, he's got Indiana and Purdue offers already.