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.
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.
Sponsor note. Are you thinking of doing a business? Are you sick of working at your business factory? Have you purchased a trench coat and a broom and found two like-minded associates willing to make a foray into the unknown?
As a further demonstration of Onwenu's superdense construction, most of the contributors around here asked people with the misfortune to be around them how much this man weighs, given that he is 6'3". Prepare yourself for Price Is Right horns:
I do not know how much Onwenu weighs but… not that. Or within 50 pounds of some of those guesses. Is it weird that I might be more excited to see Onwenu start than guys like Evans and DPJ? I mean, I know what Donovan Peoples-Jones probably looks like on a football field: Braylon Edwards. I have no idea what's going to happen when Mike Onwenu steps on the field. Will they have to offer him snowshoes so he doesn't plunge through the turf? That sort of thing.
INDIANAPOLIS -- The little hand on the clock hanging in the gym at Ben Davis High School is creeping toward 8 on a Saturday night in May, and Chris Evans has lost track of the time. One of the parents lingering on the sideline gives him a friendly reminder that dinner hour is whisking past and perhaps it's time to wrap it up. He has, after all, been working with the boys since lunch.
"Oh man, OK. Next touchdown wins," he hollers at the pack of 10-to-12-year-old boys spread out in front of him, then gathers half of them in a huddle. Evans is wearing a blue-collared button-up shirt with his first name sewn on to a patch on his chest and a dark-blue block-M hat, just like the one his head coach Jim Harbaugh wears at Michigan. He's toting a dry-erase clipboard, and he's still using it to draw up plays 30 minutes later when the parents along the wall start making the glances toward their watches a little more obvious. "Last drive," he says. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry."
Evans is trying to squeeze in every rep possible before tomorrow's 7-on-7 tournament, which they've been preparing for all month. Carrie Eller, whose son Gavin is one of the boys on the team, shakes her head and smiles.
"We knew what we signed up for," she says.
They signed up for a guy who signed up for Harbaugh and apparently… is Harbaugh? Caught in a time loop or Quantum Leap kind of situation?
Who, exactly, is Harbaugh “wearing out his welcome” with? Would that be his bosses now coping with full football stadiums, a huge Nike/Jordan brand apparel contract, and figuring out how to spend all of that revenue from the Big Ten’s massive new television deals? Jim Harbaugh may be the best investment Michigan has ever made.
Surely, it must be the underlings working under his tyranny? Assistants are just dying to get away from there. And look how he treats the staff. Inventing the “employee of the year” award and giving it to a custodian. Going out of his way to thank the stadium ushers. It’s an absolute nightmare in Schembechler Hall.
Fans. Gotta be the fans who are upset. One can hear their cries. “Please, Jim. Stop making Michigan one of the coolest programs in the country. Stop being so innovative and energetic. Stop trolling SEC coaches; no one wants that. Stop being relentlessly diligent at your job 365 days per year, seven days per week, 24 hours per day, and for the entire 60 minutes during games.”
Now I don't have to write this identical piece but with more personal insults.
this is what giphy usually gives you when you ask it for "Debord"
"Wilson sold his offense to try and get better talent in there. Besides Ohio State, we didn’t see an offense that had the kind of ceiling Indiana’s did. Mike DeBord runs something that’s as appealing as Wilson’s offense when it comes to recruits. DeBord is so efficient as a coordinator. His offenses show so much confidence and great timing on film. It was a great hire for Allen."
…before arriving at a couple of interesting Michigan bits…
"They want to outwork you. That was the whole satellite camp thing last offseason. He wanted to send a message to the SEC and other schools that he will outwork you to make up for any advantage you might have over Michigan."
"They’re scouting opponents better than anyone in our league. They’re at Alabama’s level of prep and analysis, and as they’ve started to fit talent you’re seeing the effects. It’s hard to surprise them."
…and digging a grave for MSU:
"They’re coming off conference title games, a Rose Bowl, and they’re not in on the top players in their own state in some instances. You can recruit against them easily.
"Jim Harbaugh’s success will directly impact how MSU recovers and maneuvers from here on out. This is a different league than the one Dantonio started in.”
The article contains a bunch of interesting stuff about the rest of the league, as well. An annual Read The Whole Thing.
MLS is happening? Wayne County exec Warren Evans has instructed his staff to focus on the Rock Financial offer to build an integrated criminal justice complex on a site away from the fail jail:
"The Rock Ventures proposal has more upside, less risk and a smaller financial gap than Walsh Construction's proposal. There are, however, many issues to resolve with Rock Ventures before I could recommend the approval of a contract to the County Commission and the County Building Authority."
Among the issues remaining are negotiations over the purchase of city-owned property for a new criminal justice complex built by Rock, and whether the Internal Revenue Service determines whether the county can use bond money left over from the Gratiot jail project to help pay for the Rock Ventures project a few miles north.
Still some hurdles but if they were insurmountable the county would not be proceeding in this direction. Assuming things don't get derailed attention now turns from a stadium plan to the bids currently competing with Detroit. A couple of media members with their ear to the ground think that Detroit is about to jump to somewhere near front of the line:
Dylan Wendt, Grand Haven, Mich., Belle Tire 16U, Right Shot, 5’11”/175 - He’s physically mature and rugged so it’s hard to tell if he’s just dominating at this age because of that, but he’s still worthy of an invite. He has a hard shot and plays heavy on pucks. He can power his way into the scoring areas and wins a lot of battles below the dots. He has decent hands and vision.
He did not make it, but is on the U17 Five Nations team. Sounds a bit like Brandon Kaleniecki plus a couple inches. Now I can embed a very silly goal again:
I'm putting this down here because I'm not going to get invested in it. Canadian RJ Barrett was the top player in the 2019 basketball class. He is now the top player in the 2018 class, and he's going to take an official to Michigan:
Duke, Kentucky, Michigan and Oregon are considered the frontrunners to land Barrett and are expected to host him on an official visit.
Lurking right behind these four schools in his recruitment are Arizona, Kansas, Texas and UCLA.
That official visit is likely to turn into qualified optimism that results in a commitment to Not Michigan.