Hoops Recruitin' Sets Officials

Hoops Recruitin' Sets Officials

Submitted by Ace on August 18th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Winston Narrows List, Stops By A2

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

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

...

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

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

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

Unverified Voracity Might Be Real Maize

Unverified Voracity Might Be Real Maize

Submitted by Brian on August 8th, 2014 at 11:58 AM

1994: when the universe was right-side up. Via Wolverine Historian:

This game featured a halftime interview with one Gerald Ford:

It's over. Everything is over. The FAKE 40 scale has been broken. They said that man could not claim a 40 time with more than five FAKES attached. They said a lot of things. Well, I present you with the first level eight (eight!) FAKE 40 time:

Unstoppable run-god Trevor Siemian? That does not sound right. Rodger Sherman figures that whether this is true or false this is the beginning of the end for Pat Fitzgerald. I agree. This has destabilized the entire structure of the sport.

IS IT MAIZE? This poster-type thing makes Michigan's uniforms look far less highlighter-y than they have in the recent past:

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Delonte Hollowell front and center

All discussions about this inevitably center on the fact that you can make the same color look vastly different depending on lighting and various other photo doodadery, so let's just stipulate that. But maybe it'll look like a color instead of a fire truck this year.

I am intrigued by your newsletter. 2016 AL SG Josh Langford is arriving on campus today. It is possible there has not been enough chatter about this. Everyone's focused on Tyus Battle after Battle's camp appearance, but Langford is just as highly touted of a prospect, says highly positive things when asked about Michigan, and now 247's Jerry Meyer has put in a prediction for M on their Crystal Ball. He offers a brief explanation as to why:

Duke had been considered the leader in his recruitment but the Blue Devils have only showed minimal recruiting interest to this point.

Sources tell 247Sports that Michigan and Kansas are the two schools in the strongest position with Langford. … A physical guard at 200-pounds or more, Langford loves to attack the rim and also has a versatile and skilled game that would fit great into John Beilein's system of play.

Langford's quotes about Beilein are on the rapturous side, and apparently there's some substance to that.

Meanwhile, Michigan is asserted to be the leader($) for 2016 CA PF TJ Leaf by Scout analyst Evan Daniels. Asserted to be the "slight" leader. That is still an improvement over the perception that Indiana or UCLA was on top.

Leaf's Crystal Ball is a total mess, with five different schools listed—a recent Duke offer has caused a lot of picks for the Blue Devils to come in, there's a random CBS Sports writer projecting Florida, etc. Leaf just visited Arizona, as well. His recruitment could go any direction from here. Michigan probably needs another visit before Leaf's announcement in March or April to feel good. The current plan is for Leaf to take an official in February.

DRIII. Jeff Eisenberg has a rather lengthy article on the second-newest Wolverine, Duncan Robinson. How does a guy go from D-III to Michigan? Bad luck and hard work.

He stood only 5-foot-7 entering his freshman year at Governor's Academy in Byfield, Mass. He suffered an ill-timed back injury that hampered him during the all-important summer before his senior year at Exeter. And even after his growth spurt, he still needed to build the muscle necessary to absorb contact and finish at the rim. …

"His goal is to be an impact player," Tilton said. "He's not a kid looking to play a small role. He'll put the effort and energy in. I have not coached a kid with more passion for the game of basketball. He has a tremendous work ethic. He spends hours and hours on his craft. Basketball is his social life, and that's why he has been able to put himself in this position."

It'll be fascinating to see how this decision works out. Michigan passed on Nevada's Cole Huff when it looked for all the world like he would end up transferring in and seem ready to shut down 2015 recruiting entirely with Robinson in the fold. All Hail Infallible Beilein, of course, but 6'8" two-guards shooting 45% from three do not grow on trees.

Almost ready to shut down 2015 recruiting. 6'6" combo guard PJ Dozier just announced a top five and a plan to visit Michigan this fall, and if he has been shut out by the Robinson commitment he is not aware of this fact:

“Some people will say I like this school because they’re this type of school and I’ve watched them forever. But P.J. is selecting a school that is the correct way in what is going to be the best program and the best fit for him so Michigan is definitely a strong, strong possibility.”

Michigan does have a spot in the 2015 class, and if a guy on Dozier's level—#31 on the composite—wants to take it you probably let him even if it removes the possibility you get a similarly-ranked 2016 guy.

Well yeah. Listen to this man, he is a wizard.

"It's no longer about education," Snyder said. "We've sold out to the cameras over there, and TV has made its way, and I don't fault TV. I don't fault whoever broadcasts games. They have to make a living and that's what they do, but athletics -- that's it. It's sold out."

I am skeptical it was ever really about education but yes probably more so than now; "sold out" is correct.

I would be okay with this. Stunningly, a plurality of coaches in the Power 5 support doing away with cupcakes entirely:

Of the 65 Power Five coaches from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Notre Dame, 46 percent (30 coaches) favored playing exclusively Power Five opponents while 35 percent (23 coaches) were opposed. About 18.5 percent (12 coaches) were undecided.

"About 18.5." Significant digits, man.

Anyway, they did away with the requirement that you have to win six games to go to a bowl, significantly greasing the skids towards a "yes" vote. Pac-12 coaches were the most gung-ho in favor, with only Rich Rodriguez opposed; the ACC was the only conference where more coaches were opposed to the idea than in favor; The Big Ten split down the middle. Hoke was not quoted but was listed as in favor.

Joe Dumars' last transaction. Brendan Quinn notes that the DRIII transfer saga was kicked off by none other than Joe Dumars's firing:

After the Pistons fired general manager Joe Dumars in mid-April, a six-week search for his replacement finally landed on Marist College head coach Jeff Bower.

Bower accepted the position, vaulting from a low-major college coach to an NBA GM.

That left Marist scrambling for a new coach as the summer churned toward key recruiting periods. The coaching search in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., ultimately landed on Mike Maker, a 48-year-old who had led tiny Williams College to a 147-32 record and two national championship game appearances in six years.

With Maker gone, Robinson started looking around. May this transaction be more in the 'Sheed department instead of the "everything after the Billups trade oh and also the Billups trade" department.

Etc.: Thanks, Landon. Autonomy passes. No one knows what that means yet. Impact figures to be minimal in basketball. Scrimmage details. You have to register, because you need to be bombarded by emails. The NFL is suddenly open.

USA Today previews Michigan. Scouting Caris. YOU WRE-E-E-CKED ME.

Unverified Voracity Welcomes You To Emmert Day

Unverified Voracity Welcomes You To Emmert Day

Submitted by Brian on June 19th, 2014 at 12:07 PM

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Wat. All joke circuits shorted out, man.

I just can't, man.

I wish I could disagree. Michigan opens up as big dogs against Michigan State (they are +7.5) and Ohio State (+8). They're only +3 for Notre Dame, so we've got that going for us.

Michigan should be favored in the rest of their games; they're a touchdown favorite against Penn State and –3 against Northwestern.

O'Bannon stuff. The trial has been a bit odd, as scheduling issues have caused plaintiff and defense witnesses to come in a jumbled mess instead of a particular order. I think we can safely call this the low point (read tweets from bottom):

Yesterday South Carolina president Harris Pastides had his turn on the stand, where he asserted that if athletes were granted rights to their image that South Carolina would shut everything except football and men's basketball down, because they can't find any more money.

I did not see any tweets to the effect of "plaintiff lawyer ask Pastides how many sports South Carolina had in 1990 and how much revenue they had then," unfortunately, but Kevin Trahan jumped on Pastides's ridiculous assertions anyway.

JetBlue Hooks the Horns

One dollar says Christine Plonsky sounds like Ben Stein

Meanwhile Texas women's AD Christine Plonsky, who we've pooped on in this space before, turned in the spectacularly tone-deaf performance you'd expect, claiming in a danged courtroom that players asking for a slice of the money they generate is a symptom of "entitlement." Plonsky seems to think everything is entitlement. From last April:

"Who gets a four-year, $120K deal guaranteed at age 17?" Christine A. Plonsky, women's athletic director at the University of Texas, wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle. "The last thing young people need right now is more entitlement."

From September 2012:

"I view these cases as being the result of the entitlement attitude we've created in our revenue sports," Plonsky wrote. "We now have threatening s-a's -- many of whom, based on grad rates of the '80s and '90s, sucked a whole lot off the college athletics pipe -- and now want to buckle the system at the knees of the expense of today's s-a's."

Plonsky makes 350k a year supervising sports that lose piles and piles of money; a large chunk of her testimony worked its way around to the fact that the NCAA is protecting their athletes from commercial "exploitation."

It's remarkable how insane these arguments are once you put them in a legal setting. In the NCAA's eyes, it's only exploitation if someone gives you money for something. The people with inflated salaries preventing this transaction from happening are the heroes.

I leave the law-talkin' to BISB, but the immense amounts of double-speak being issued here would make me want to swing my gavel into the head of the people presenting them.

And today. Today is Mark Emmert day. He probably won't issue quite as many howlers as Plonsky, who has a real knack for sounding like the worst possible use of 350k. I wouldn't take a bet on that, though.

The latest "people are just in charge of things for no reason." KU's student government took a look at the athletic department's finances and recommended that KU's student athletics fee should be terminated. They ended up not quite doing that but cutting about a quarter of the completely unnecessary subsidy to the AD. The AD responds thusly

Kansas associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said Thursday that the KU athletic department has decided to re-allocate those seats for boosters, cutting out some of the KU students’ best real estate.

The decision, according to Marchiony, stems from a student government vote earlier this year that aimed to remove a student fee that channeled close to $1.1 million to the athletic department.

Kansas athletics revenues have almost doubled since 2005.

Nope, not yet. Zagsblog momentarily reported that Canadian PG Jamal Murray had gotten a Michigan offer, but corrected itself. Michigan called, but an offer is not on the table at the moment. Murray has been on an unofficial so he could get one at any time, and while he's mostly being recruited as a point guard he is 6'5" so there is some possibility he could coexist with Thornton or Winston.

In other basketball recruiting news:

  • Michigan is poking around 2015 NY SG Matt Ryan. Ryan has a Notre Dame offer and is projected to end up there by the 247 Crystal Ball; he might be waiting for bigger offers.
  • Another new name($) is 2015 FL combo guard Prince Ali, a former UConn commit who's around 50th most places. His named popped up out of nowhere when Rivals's Eric Bossi reported that Ali's top two are now UCLA and Michigan. Ali is a "hardcore driver and really athletic" who needs to work on his shooting; he'd be a departure from the Beilein mold. He should take an official this fall.
  • 2016 CA PF TJ Leaf is thinking about moving up his thinking about moving up his timetable to March instead of taking officials next fall.

While Michigan appears to be looking at other options, Jalen Coleman is the top priority in 2015. Given the promising way the class of 2016 is looking Michigan may take a small 2015 class (they have one spot now but will probably get up to three or four) in order to take more of the 2016 guys.

A potentially large blow for Buckeyes. OSU was going to rely on freshman shooting guard D'Angelo Russell heavily, as he can shoot and such. OSU needs someone to do those things. But they may not have him; he still doesn't have the requisite test score:

The eligibility center is awaiting Russell’s score from a standardized test he took earlier this month, the source said. He needs a test score that, combined with his grade-point average in his high-school “core courses,” makes him eligible to play as a freshman.

If he doesn't get the number there he's just about out of chances.

Prepare for hits. USA Hockey has announced the 42 players invited to their WJC evaluation camp, including four Michigan players: D Michael Downing, F JT Compher, F Dylan Larkin, and F Tyler Motte. Recruit(!) Kyle Connor is also invited; he's the second-youngest player there.

Compher made the team last year before a broken foot sent him back to Ann Arbor for the GLI. Compher played anyway, because he is JT Compher, and this is the reason he's a holy lock for the WJC this year:

The group embodies what Johansson hopes to have with the group picked for the 2015 WJC: Strong, skilled and hard to play against.

"J.T. Compher embodies all of that," Johansson said. "We look at a player like that and a coach says I can use him in any and all situations. He's hard to play against."

Motte went last year and should go again this year. Downing probably won't make the team without a big leap from him; the US is stacked on D. I'd bet Larkin goes as well. The hockey roster's enormity will at least give Michigan options for the GLI.

Etc.: I would be super mad about this, but I am not perpetually aggrieved. Tyus Battle visits Louisville and Kentucky, says requisite nice things. David Sills, who committed to Lane Kiffin as an eighth grader, is not going to end up at USC. Surprise.

Offer Day Aftermath

Offer Day Aftermath

Submitted by Brian on June 16th, 2014 at 12:33 PM

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

NV PG Derryck Thornton Jr.

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

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

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

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

MI PG Cassius Winston

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

Winston is not likely to make an early decision:

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

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

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

KY PG Quentin Goodin

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

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

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

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

PROJECTION: Commits to Indiana.

NJ SG Tyus Battle

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

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

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

PROJECTION: I don't know, man.

OH SF Seth Towns

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yes that's Trey Burke's high school

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

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

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

…Zak Irvin 2.0?

PROJECTION: Commits to Michigan by end of summer.

CA PF TJ Leaf

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

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

That top four was the same in May, FWIW.

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

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

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

OH C Jon Teske

image

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

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

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

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

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

Unverified Voracity Fought In T-Shirt Stalingrad

Unverified Voracity Fought In T-Shirt Stalingrad

Submitted by Brian on May 22nd, 2014 at 11:55 AM

The T-shirt arms war is being lost. This aggression will not…

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…uh. This aggression will be tolerated. Just point that somewhere else, PCP-raging hell-coyote(?).

One dollar this is not a thing. Former Oregon QB Jake Rodrigues is transferring, and Michigan has just been mentioned as a school that has "reached out" by Scout West Coast recruiting guru Greg Biggins. Michigan would have four other available QBs by the time he was again eligible, so it doesn't seem likely he'll be heavily pursued.

The one thing that makes it seem even vaguely possible is the lack of a redshirt on Shane Morris. Rodrigues would have to sit out one year and then would be able to play three, which would restore one-a-year balance to the Morris-Speight-Malzone wave of QBs. Still: doubtful.

FWIW, Michigan did offer his first time around. He went off the board to Oregon in May, so Michigan didn't have much opportunity to make an impact.

I know I said I'd make these separate posts… but there's not enough for a full basketball recruiting post, so I'll just mention it here. CA PF TJ Leaf did visit briefly after playing at an AAU tourney in Indiana before catching his flight back to California:

"Michigan likes to run a point guard, a center and then three players who are versatile and can create," he said. "The coaches have brought up Glenn Robinson to me a couple times before as far as a comparison, but nothing too specific. They say I'm a perfect fit for the offense and I agree. I really like that about Michigan and I also really like the fact that Coach Beilein is under contract there until the 2019-2020 season. I don't have to worry about him not potentially being there if I was to play there."

Glenn Robinson plus about three inches (and minus three inches of vertical) sounds pretty good to me. Sounds like Michigan has sold him on both fit and the fact that Beilein ain't Tom Crean when it comes to legions of fans just waiting for an excuse to pull the lever on his ejector seat.

Michigan would be "at or near" the top with an offer and is looking to decide in January or February.

/waves tiny punt flag. For the Nth consecutive year the Big Ten leads college sports in filthy lucre. I used to think this was terrific until it became clear that the relatively narrow gaps in revenue are meaningless when it comes to competing in the sports that drive all the interest.

Purdue can offer ten million dollars to alum Kevin Sumlin and he's not leaving A&M, and even though SEC outfits have somewhat less money they also run significantly fewer teams than the Big 10 does on average. As the money has spiraled upwards the Big Ten's national reputation has spiraled down. So congratulations, various high-level administrator types who can now afford a third house. Everyone else should shrug.

See also: BTN on basic cable in New York now. That it got done so quickly without terms being disclosed suggests the BTN is coming in at a much lower price than it does elsewhere in the footprint, because obviously. Also the money, it does nossing.

But at least they're working out how to throw less of it away. The Iowa Gazette has a look at bowl ticket guarantees and the changes the Big Ten is finally imposing on them. First a boggling statistic given stubhub exists:

Top-10 teams Ohio State and Clemson rank among the nation’s most devout bowl travelers. However each school absorbed more than 11,100 tickets of their 17,500-ticket requirement to the Orange Bowl. Yet the Orange Bowl posted an attendance of 72,080.

Michigan sold 40.7 percent of its ticket allotment to the Tempe-based Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Wisconsin and Minnesota sold barely one-third of their tickets to the Capital One and Texas bowls, respectively. Among Big Ten schools only Iowa (78.2 percent at the Outback) and Michigan State (94.5 percent at the Rose) sold more than half of their allotted tickets this year.

Despite no running game, no quarterback, a late-night December bowl game, and the high probability the market gets flooded with cheap tickets to a game far from sold out Michigan still sold almost half of their allotment. We love vacations, I guess.

Anyway, all those losses are pooled with the bowl payouts and then everyone gets an equal slice, so any "TEAM X LOST MONEY ON BOWL Y" headlines you read are fictional, at least for the Big Ten.

As for changes:

“We’re paying less money in a guarantee, but there will be years where they’ll make more money,” Outback Bowl President Jim McVay said. “There’s a shared revenue deal where the schools are going to keep all the money over a certain threshold."

The schools are going to get less terrible tickets, and of course it's now the Big Ten in charge of where schools go (for the most part). With the newly diverse slate of bowl locations it's no longer just Florida Florida Florida, so people can go other places for the warm-weather vacations they inexplicably crave.

Paternalism! MLive finds some former Michigan players and asks them about paying guys. They are generally against it*. David Cone:

"I think that (allowance) number should come up a little bit. It should. I came from a middle class family, it couldn't have covered Michigan, but they could help me out if I didn't want to eat what the team was eating, I could eat something else. (But others couldn't, and) that number has to come up.

"But I don't think kids should be paid differently. If they're paid differently, then it's a salary. If it's a salary, then you're an employee. And if you're an employee, you can be fired."

That argument is just so frustrating. It is the opposite of reality. Two BU hockey players just got "fired". It happens to a half-dozen Alabama players annually. Kansas State refuses to release Letitia Romero so she can transfer. Employees can enter into contracts that guarantee X in the event they get fired—Charlie Weis is laughing right now about this fact. There is a ton of law about the rights of employees in this country, and none about the rights of student athletes. Reclassifying them puts them in a position of power.

Cone is in favor of a player having right to his likeness, so at least there's that.

Marcus Ray:

"If we give these kids money, we're opening up a can of worms for a different set of problems," former Michigan safety Marcus Ray said. "Casinos, expenditures on drugs and alcohol, giving them the means to finance some of that stuff."

This kind of thinking bugs me. We are perfectly happy to have baseball and hockey players sign contracts with huge signing bonuses without worrying that they'll end up playing Pai Gow in a den of ill repute. Everyone treats the first round of the NFL draft as a watershed moment where you buy your mom a pink Cadillac, but what happens when you're Denard Robinson instead of Teddy Bridgewater? Maturation is a gradual process that everyone approaches differently, and if there are some guys who will waste whatever's provided them (hello, Allen Iverson) that's unfortunate but it's no reason to prevent the guys who will just send it to mom from benefiting properly from their hard work and talent.

*[This is not a unanimous opinion. At the event we had last year with Chris Perry, Marlin Jackson, and Jerome Jackson all three were in favor of some level of payment. Marlin has a quote in this one on the conservative end of things; the other two guys were more strident, IIRC.]

Dey tik r jebs! Mikey Weber got one of those photoshops from Michigan.

It has been asserted that the photoshoppist* misspelled "All American" as "All Amercian," but I have it on good authority that this is a long game that ends with many hilarious references to the South Park episode "Goobacks" and convinces Mikey Weber that he should attend Michigan because of a cartoon about immigration from the future that probably came out when he was like eight or something.

Also I don't think Weber noticed it.

*[I am less careful about spelling photoshoppist than rappist.]

Interesting. The Eagles are embarking on a draft strategy wherein they draft almost exclusively guys who have graduated. Six of seven draftees this year were college graduates, and that is not a fluke:

Allen, who made the Big Ten Conference's all-academic team while at Wisconsin, is one of six Eagle draftees to be on track to graduate out of the seven players they selected. In today's game, that is unusual: This year, 98 college players went pro after their junior season, a record that marks a 34% increase from 2013 and an 85% increase from 2010. (That total doesn't include players who had playing eligibility left but had already graduated.)

The Eagles' operative theory is based on Patriot and Colt outfits laden with graduates that were successful. They seem to think that football is hard and complicated so smart people are better at it. Also people who go do things even if they are hard.

He told Kelly "the guys with degrees have what you are looking for. They are driven. If it's between two players, a degree might tip the scale. But at the time, I don't think he was even thinking of the NFL."

If there's something behind that it should benefit Michigan, which tends to take the high school equivalent of the guys the Eagles are looking for in the draft. Just as soon as our smart guys are old, anyway.

Welp. Mike Babcock says any rumors about him and Michigan are bunk. All I can say is that the reason I thought it was possible was because guys high up in the Michigan hockey program thought it was likely. Quite high.

Etc.: Composite top 100 2016 IN SG Kyle Guy is coming in for the elite camp, as will fellow 2016 SG Justin Turner. Eric Davis talks offer.

Even more horrifying old Sparties. Recruiting thread turns into pages-long civil war trash talk festival. Name that school. Hooray 14 team conference scheduling.

Basketball Recruiting: Things, Stuff, Things

Basketball Recruiting: Things, Stuff, Things

Submitted by Brian on May 16th, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Now that we've reached the relatively busy summer, it's time to once again temporarily break out basketball recruiting into its own post.

Eric_Davis[1]Offer issued

2015 Saginaw combo guard Eric Davis has acquired a Michigan offer after an unofficial to Ann Arbor. Davis, a 6'3" gentleman ranked in the top 50 most places, has offers from big chunks of the Big Ten, Florida, and UCLA. He's currently projected to head to State, though he's played things close to the vest. He told Rivals "I don't have favorites," just like Jalen Coleman tends to do. Unlike Coleman, he does have an idea when he'd like to get things over with: September.

Davis is only the third guy Michigan has offered in the 2015 class; Jalens Brunson and Coleman are the others. Does this say something about Michigan's confidence level with them? Probably. If either was super enthused they would not be waiting around. They'd be trying to pre-empt Eron Harris.

Speaking of Harris, it's status quo($) with him: looking to visit Michigan and State and then make a decision. It is possible that the two schools are going to get some combination of everybody they're competing over: Brunson, Coleman, Harris, and Davis are all mutual targets who play SG/PG who are projected to one school or the other by the Crystal Ball or down to those two and Purdue. Whoever drops first would push the others towards the rival.

Leaf Acquisition: Possible

Along with a gaggle of high-profile 2016 point guards Michigan is also receiving favorable attention from 2016 CA PF TJ Leaf, currently a five star. Leaf's family is originally from Indiana, mitigating distance issues, and for a face-up 3/4 like Leaf, Michigan's style of play is highly attractive. His dad gave Sam Webb some encouraging quotes($) in a lengthy article:

“What we like about Michigan is that the two, three, four positions seem to be somewhat interchangeable from the way that I see it,” Leaf’s father and coach Brad said.  “That’s the type of versatility that T.J. has and that’s what Michigan likes… guys that can play multiple positions.  This is why we really really think Michigan is a great fit for him at this point at this time in his career.”

Before you get too excited, Leaf has given highly positive quotes about Indiana as well, and any number of West Coast schools are pursuing him. Sounds like Michigan has as legit a shot as anyone.

Leaf was on campus for the most recent ND game and is thus in position to receive a June 15th offer.

I am probably going to hate you, no offense it's just sports

2015 WI SG Brevin Pritzl took a Michigan visit, left without an offer, visited Wisconsin, got his offer, and then said he would shut it down after visiting Marquette. He has a tentative plan to make a commitment by July. This has caused a flood of Wisconsin predictions on the 247 Crystal Ball, a group which we joined.

If Pritzl's going to be off the board in a couple months it's likely Michigan will either have acquired Eron Harris or still be waiting on Jalen Coleman. So, yeah, file Pritzl under "guy making banked threes at the buzzer against M for Wisconsin."

I'm not going to bother learning how to spell this

A brief rumble of excitement shot through the e-fanbase a couple days back when Michigan was mentioned in the same breath as Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, a Ukrainian phenom who is apparently looking to hit up college basketball before the NBA.

Despite being 16, he is apparently a 2014 recruit, which complicates things for Michigan since they are currently pursuing Harris. Both Rivals and Sam Webb shot down the idea that uh… the Ukrainian guy was at all likely to even visit, with Webb saying flatly that it wasn't happening and Chris Balas mentioning that European teams are going to try to keep him across the Atlantic for the next couple years. Also, a few other teams—UVA and Kansas are most heavily mentioned for him—were ahead of M even if he decided to play in the USA.

Mykhailiuk is setting up some trips before making a decision; in the event that he does end up in Ann Arbor that would be the time to start planning your hybrid Ukrainian/Michigan flag. He has UVA and Kansas the next couple weeks. Michigan might take a poke if he's still on the market and Harris goes elsewhere.

Speaking of June 15th

That is of course the magic offer date for the 2016 class. One man's opinion on who gets issued scholarships on that date:

LOCKS

NV PG Derryck Thornton Jr—Undoubtedly Michigan's top priority.

CA PF TJ Leaf—see above. They don't have a higher post prority.

HIGHLY LIKELY

OH SF Seth Towns—has the grades and the visits, M seems to like him a lot. Not a slam dunk like Leaf/Thornton according to the rankings.

NJ SF Tyus Battle—as long as he comes in for camp and transcripts shake out would be goofy not to.

POSSIBLE

MI PG Cassius Winston—would file higher except for that UMHoops interview where he says he's on track for an offer by the end of the summer. Giving Thornton a shot to jump first? Or maybe a transcript thing he's fixing with summer school?

IN PG Eron Gordon—visited last fall, projected by world to go to IU, but a top 50 guy who may warrant an offer. But if they don't offer Winston it's hard to see them offering any PG until they get a sense that Thornton will wait.

KY PG Quentin Goodin—confirmed he will camp, so always a possibility.

ON PG Jamal Murray—visited for Indiana game in March, top 50 guy.

OH SF Matthew Moyer—straight A student who is enthusiastic about M. Michigan may prefer Towns.