Hoops Recruitin' Doesn't Eat Dirt Sandwiches

Hoops Recruitin' Doesn't Eat Dirt Sandwiches

Submitted by Ace on September 28th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

The State of Things: Pretty Good!

247 changed latest commit Ignas Brazdeikis's composite ranking to reflect that half the services don't bother to rank foreign prospects. He's now the #42 overall player in the class, which would place him as the fifth-highest ranked signee in John Beilein's Michigan tenure, per Orion Sang.

That bump, combined with the scandal that's rocked college basketball (happy trails, Louisville's 2018 class), has Michigan occupying a lofty spot in the 2018 team rankings:


via 247, obviously

It really can't be overstated how nice it is to be one of maybe three or four major college basketball programs that isn't in a full state of panic over the possibility of an FBI raid. We're already seeing the fallout for other programs: Arizona lost a five-star commit; Louisville no longer has a coach, athletic director, or 2018 recruiting class, and they've suspended five-star freshman Brian Bowen. There's surely more to come, as Nike's EYBL, the most prominent AAU league, has been served with a subpoena.

Meanwhile, both recruits and coaches have to figure out how to navigate the post-Feds recruiting landscape, and both sides appear to be acting with great caution. The top overall recruit in the class, RJ Barrett, is no longer visiting Arizona after they were linked to the scandal. He's also no longer visiting Michigan this weekend and has eliminated the Wolverines; given Beilein's sterling reputation, read into that what you will.

It's going to be a long, messy ride for many of college basketball's top programs. Beilein's insistence on sticking to rules almost literally nobody else follows has rankled in the past, even those who want a generally clean program, but he sure looks better for it today. Running a program that isn't in danger of major sanctions or, like, having coaches literally end up imprisoned is going to be a major draw for the foreseeable future.

[Hit THE JUMP for weekend visitors and more.]

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Monday Recruitin' Hits A Lull

Submitted by Ace on September 11th, 2017 at 2:16 PM

Weekend Visitors: The Other Sport

I don't envy recruiting writers on a post quota this month, as the start of both college and high school football has led to a very quiet stretch with recruiting. That's particularly the case with Michigan, which didn't host any major football visitors over the weekend; they're loading up the Michigan State and Ohio State weekends with visitors instead.

The basketball team, on the other hand, hosted a couple top targets over the weekend. The top 2018 target on the board, Canadian wing Ignas Brazdeikis, took his first official visit to Ann Arbor, and per Chris Balas he came away impressed:

"The trip was amazing," Brazdeikis reported (with two exclamation points). "I enjoyed everything so much. I just need a little time to soak it all in."

What that means is anyone's guess, but come might construe it that he's contemplating a commitment. He is slated to visit Florida and Vanderbilt, but U-M has long been one of his leaders.

Michigan is on a run of Crystal Ball picks for Brazdeikis, including one from 247's director of hoops recruiting, Jerry Meyer. If that holds, Brazdeikis will be the centerpiece of the class.

Three-star OH wing Justin Ahrens told TMI's Josh Henschke he had an "awesome" visit, and he hit it off with Brazdeikis and two current 2018 commits:

With multiple Wolverine commits in tow, Ahrens says the entire group, including Brazdeikis, connected and discussed the possibility of playing together in the near future.

"David DeJulius, Brandon Johns, Iggy and I all got along really well," Ahrens said. "We did discuss how sweet it would be if we all went there. That would be a major recruiting class."

Ahrens has an obvious fit in John Beilein's system as a sharpshooter who hopefully can work the high screen game as well. Henschke CB'd Ahrens to Michigan; we could see this class wrap up in the relatively near future.

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