via Endless Motor, also about a year old
June 15th is annually a notable day for Michigan basketball because John Beilein play it by the book and you're not supposed to offer rising juniors until that date, and this year was no exception: Michigan offered and picked up an immediate commitment from instate big Taylor Currie. Ace described him as "American Moe Wagner," and that would be just fine with me.
— Ravens Basketball (@oldredhoops) September 25, 2016
Two more offers went out as well, both to instate players: New Haven SF Romeo Weems and Redford PG/SG Rocket Watts. Both are high-level prospects and names, so… yeah. Very Important Recruits, they are.
“I’d be open to anything. But I’d like to stay home. If I stay, my family could come see me play a lot.” …
“I don’t want to come in and play behind somebody. I want to get good minutes and play.”
Michigan's ability to offer immediate playing time to a guard in the 2019 class depends on how much and how rapidly the gents currently on the roster develop. They'll lose both backcourt starters (Simmons and MAAR) after this year; Eli Brooks and Jordan Poole will be sophomores; Xavier Simpson will be a junior. That may be a difficult situation to sell early playing time in, or the curse of Beilein could strike and someone ends up in the draft. Lotta ins, lotta outs.
Meanwhile in 2018
Next year's class appears to be rapidly sorting itself out. PG David DeJulius—a new member of the ESPN 100 at #84—will likely be joined by two or three players in the next few months as Michigan sets its sights on a five-man class. The most likely addition at this juncture appears to be OH PF Pete Nance, who is more or less down to Michigan and Northwestern with Ohio State trying to get back in after their coaching change. Scout's Brian Snow asserts that while Nance is one of those ghost recruits who doesn't do much talking, expectations from the plugged in folks are that Michigan "will be very tough to beat." He looks set to make a decision after visits to Northwestern and Michigan at the end of this month, so there will not be much time for OSU to get back in.
Snow also asserts that Nance is more of a jumbo wing than a post, mitigating some concerns he is not a swaggy dawg who will eat rebounds off your face. I agree with that based on this UMHoops scouting video:
Nance's offensive game is very very Zak Irvin. He's got enough handle that his HS team uses him as a press breaker on occasion; he can drive but his lack of quickness means he's often pulling up for a jumper unless he catches someone closing out way too hard. He's looks much more like a Michigan 4 than a post. Caveat: Nance is very far from a finished product physically and his father and brother were both posts; he could continue expanding until the 5 is his home. Wagner was supposed to be a wing when he committed, after all.
I wouldn't get too worried about Nance not filling it up at NBPA. He's a developmental guy with a lot of skill a la DJ Wilson. Beilein's turned guys like him into first round picks repeatedly.
Michigan will take at least one more wing sort and possibly two given the names on the board. One who is no longer on that board: RI PF Cole Swider, who got offered by Duke and rejiggered his list. Michigan did not make his final four. Happy trails.
Canadian combo forward Ignas Bradzeikis told Evan Daniels that he won't cut his list down until the end of summer, whereupon he'll take a suite of visits. Michigan was the first name out of his mouth when asked for a list of schools coming after him, FWIW. Daniels manages to get sort of a top three-to-five out of him by asking about coaching relationships: Michigan, Florida, and UConn followed by Baylor and Vanderbilt.
For the longest time, Hunter had listed Michigan, Xavier, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Butler among his top schools. Ohio State had offered previously but did not pursue Hunter aggressively again until after Bazley de-committed in April.
“It’s still all the same schools,” Hunter said … Asked if he has a timeline to make his college choice, Hunter said, “No, it’s wide open right now. I’m not sure when I will be ready.”
It would have been nice for Michigan to scoop up Hunter in the midst of OSU's turmoil; now they'll have to fend off a guy in a stable situation. Snow thinks Xavier has a slight advantage right now.
East Lansing combo forward Brandon Johns is coming off visits to Indiana and Purdue; like Hunter he's not tipping much of anything in public.
“People definitely mention that I’m locked into [staying in state]. That’s definitely not true,” he said. “I’m still open. It’s kind of iffy if want to leave or stay. I’m not really sure yet. That’s what I’m trying to find out, why I’m taking these visits … to see what I'm more comfortable with.”
Snow actually thinks that MSU is amongst the less likely choices for Johns right now. Admittedly fuzzy situation.
Michigan seems confident that they'll get at least two of the above players. Instate combo forward Gabe Brown has been surging up recruiting boards. He picked up an MSU offer two days ago. Brown visited Ann Arbor on June 5th… and left without an offer in hand. Brown, like DeJulius, just cracked the ESPN 100. Michigan's hesitancy there hopefully portends good things.
The guard situation is less salutary. With the Stanford commitment of Cormac Ryan, the only guy currently on the radar with a shortlist featuring Michigan is Robbie Carmody. Carmody recently visited Purdue; Notre Dame is also a strong contender. Yea, Michgian must sway him from the dark side:
But there's also a lifelong affinity for Notre Dame — "I've always been a huge, huge Notre Dame football fan," he said — and Michigan has made a compelling case as well."
Michigan is unlikely to be the favorite here. As of a month ago he'd set up trips to ND and Purdue while the Michigan official was still in the "probably" phase.
Michigan's expanded their search, bringing in KY SG CJ Frederick. Frederick didn't get an offer per Josh Henschke:
- While he was not offered during the visit, the coaching staff told him that they need to see him live in July before making a decision, says he feels like he's in a good position to receive an offer.
He's more likely to than Brown since Carmody seems like he's headed elsewhere and Michigan doesn't have many other fish on the line.
Michigan will have just Jordan Poole as a pure SG after this season—Ibi Watson and Charles Mathews may or may not be good fits there—and may wait for a late riser if they don't get Carmody. It worked out okay with MAAR.