Unverified Voracity Busts Out Orbiting Panic Guy

Unverified Voracity Busts Out Orbiting Panic Guy

Submitted by Brian on August 21st, 2013 at 12:53 PM

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also Panic Kornheiser Google Image Search

Dammit, dammit, dammit. You have probably heard that Amara Darboh has blown up something in his foot and is out for the year. This calls for the little panic guy.

panic

Michigan is not going to replace Darboh's combination of size and blocking and receiver expectations should be downgraded a notch. Judging from scrimmage highlights and practice buzz, Jehu Chesson or Joe Reynolds is the next man in. Hopefully it's Chesson, who has excellent upside; realistically both guys are going to split Darboh snaps.

Michigan may also turn to more plays on which Devin Funchess splits out. While Funchess doesn't have the same speed Darboh does he can duplicate some of the leapy-catchy Hemingway business Michigan just lost.

At least Darboh gets a redshirt.

Elsewhere in PANIC. Bad sign:

"More production" in this case probably means "fewer blown tackles/coverages." That's bad. What's more, the seemingly odd move of Courtney Avery back there signals that Michigan is scrambling at that spot. If it was a safety coming through another safety, fine. A 175-pound corner whose health is constantly in question triggers my alarm bells.

That's a death knell for Josh Furman, for one. While it's less of a negative sign for Jeremy Clark since he's just a year into the program, it would have been nice if he was able to play once Wilson faltered.

Feel better? George Campbell Whitfield, broom-wielding quarterback guru, on Devin Gardner:

“I was shocked,” Whitfield said. “I had only seen him in a couple cameos at Michigan. I was shocked at all the talent, how strong he was, how athletic, how fast.

“We worked on a lot of footwork ... weight transition, the ability to drop, put your foot in the ground, stop and work back into a play. That’s not always easy. ... We spent quite a bit of time on chaos training — what happens if two linemen got beat, halfway through drop, and I don’t have to pull rip cord or I’m getting chased to left sideline, I’m a right-handed quarterback, how do I make this throw?”

Gardner's main issue is accuracy—too many times last year he missed on simple throws because of erratic mechanics. Hopefully an offseason of ownership sees him make serious progress there.

[after THE JUMP: pudding pops, Bartlestein on the shot, and advice for freshmen.]

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.

Brace For A Coaching Tree

Brace For A Coaching Tree

Submitted by Brian on July 4th, 2013 at 11:43 AM

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Jordan with Bluiett, via UMHoops

Well, nuts. Brad Stevens has shockingly bolted Butler for the head job with the Boston Celtics, throwing over lifelong employment at a place that loves him for an awful lot of money right now and getting fired in like three years because he's an NBA coach not named Gregg Popovich.

This would be pretty dang good for Michigan's pursuit of IN SF Trevon Bluiett, who is basically down to Butler and Michigan, except for

“He asked us personally, ‘What do you think (would make) an ideal coach for this program?” Butler forward Khyle Marshall said. “We told him a couple of things. We told him we want someone who is familiar with Butler basketball and knows our identity.”

Butler has long hired from within. Possible candidates to succeed Stevens include former players LaVall Jordan, now an assistant at Michigan, and Brandon Miller, a current assistant with the Bulldogs.

“(Collier) told us, ‘Don’t be surprised if we get a new guy this Friday,’” Marshall added.

ESPN's Jeff Goodman reports that Jordan is the frontrunner in a group of candidates that are all Butler alums or former coaches. Unfortunately for Michigan, slam-dunk candidate Matt Graves, a longtime Stevens assistant,  just finished his first year at South Alabama and has taken his name out of the running. If Jordan goes that would break up Beilein's new-look staff that turned his program around; Bacari Alexander and Jeff Meyer would still be around, but the guy coaching Trey Burke and THJ would be in Indy.

Jordan getting the Butler job would give Michigan an obvious option to turn to when Beilein retires… or at least it would have if Butler wasn't joining the new Big East this fall. The only thing that pirated Stevens away was a 6 year, 22 million dollar contract from an NBA team.

If Jordan does go, everyone and their aunt will clamor for Jalen Rose to become an assistant… which is not happening. Rose has not coached and has a cushy job with ESPN. It'll be a current Midwestern assistant.

UPDATE: Jordan is interviewing today, and Miller interviewed yesterday. They're the only two candidates, it seems.

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

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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.

Unverified Voracity Unleashes Charity

Unverified Voracity Unleashes Charity

Submitted by Brian on May 7th, 2013 at 11:45 AM

On my signal, unleash charity. EDSBS's annual fundraiser for Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta is up. Michigan has won this thing back-to-back, crushing all comers, and I'm pretty sure if we win a third straight year we get the right of first refusal on any 7'3" Spiderman shot-blocking centers they might accidentally produce.

Orson suggests commemorating a past football game with your donation. I'm going SUMMER OF TATE!

image

I blame the Big Ten Network for this. And wheel routes, of course. The donation page can be reached directly here. Michigan State is currently leading.

Hagerup gets the Stonum treatment. Michigan has announced that Will Hagerup is reinstated and will be suspended for the entire 2013 season. He'll have one more year of eligibility in 2014 if he can survive the double secret probation period, which of course Stonum could not.

Q: would Michigan announce anything if their own players didn't spill the beans on social media? The timing of all these reports seems to be: "wait for someone on a message board to notice, announce once it starts getting wider attention."

If Hagerup is still on scholarship that would take Michigan's next recruiting class down one.

Kovacs doing his Kovacs thing. The NFL equivalent of a walk-on is the undrafted free agent, and Kovacs is doing his Kovacs things with the Dolphins. But first, awesome lead!

Jordan Kovacs is the rarest kind of three-time all-Big Ten player. The kind that is nearly $100,000 in debt.

That might be a first, actually. Kovacs came in for a profile on the Dolphins' site with this quote in it:

"Those within the Dolphins organization tell me that Kovacs has a legitimate shot," MiamiDolphins.com's Andy Cohen wrote, "that you aren’t as productive as he was at Michigan without having a chance at the next level."

Practice observers are united in stating he is small but impressive nonetheless. One:

Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs was the main guy who caught my attention. At first I noticed he's the runt of the litter, standing all of 5-foot-10, 205 pounds. Most NFL safeties are three inches taller, and maybe 10 pounds heavier.

"Then I noticed Kovacs has a knack for being around the ball," Kelly continued, "and plays with a feisty spirit. He pulled down one of the Friday session's two interceptions and was consistently around the ball. What does that mean? No clue at this point, but flashing is a good thing."

And two:

Former Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs, an undrafted rookie free agent signee, knows how to make an impression. He was a walk-on at Michigan and rose to prominence and had something of a cult following in Ann Arbor. He knows the way to draw attention and that's hit. He did plenty of that, taking some liberties at times in the defensive backfield. He also had an interception. So he's got my attention, at least.

Spiece means all of the scouting reports. There was an immense AAU tournament in Fort Wayne over the weekend that has resulted in an unusually large scouting dump even for the internet. Trevon Bluiett had a great weekend on both ends, filling it up and giving five-star Kevon Looney the business on defense:

Dylan on Bluiett:

We’ve been keeping tabs on Bluiett for a long time now so his offensive exploits don’t come as a big surprise. Bluiett can score the ball against just about anyone. He has a great jumpshot, can use his 6-foot-6 frame to get to the rim and even has a nice mid-range game. But it’s always encouraging when a guy that you’ve been following for a long time shows off something new. We already touched on Bluiett’s defensive exploits against Kevon Looney but his performance was very impressive – mostly because we haven’t seen that out of him. Five threes on the other end didn’t hurt, although this still wasn’t Bluiett’s best offensive game of the tournament, that would have been his 28 point outburst against Team Thad.

He told Rivals($) that Michigan and Butler are recruiting him "most vigorously" at the moment. Everyone who's ventured an opinion thinks Butler has a tentative lead, and time is running down. Bluiett wants to decide before his senior year begins.

UMHoops also put together a scouting reel on Looney. Which… wow. He doesn't have the quickness to drive on guys a lot shorter than him, but he's a 6'9" kid who blocks everything, runs the floor, has three point range, and is aggressive. I say, he might be a good player.

Scout also has extensive, uh, scouting($). Vince Edwards had a little bit of a rough outing as his teammate and OSU commit Jae'Sean Tate went to the basket over and over; everyone's now filing Looney as an "elite face-up power forward."

Oh. ESPN's Paul Biancardi puts Zak Irvin on his class of 2013 "dream team," describing him as an "alpha dog($)":

Every team needs some alpha dogs, and Irvin fits that category. He provides the luxury of having a big-time scorer who can stroke it from deep with excellent size or beat his defender off the bounce, pull up and nail it from the midrange. That scoring versatility is priceless. He also has high-level athleticism, and his frame is strong enough that he can take a hit and finish at the rim. Irvin is a competitor who can play the game up tempo or in the half court. Bottom line, he is a bucket getter who can put up big numbers.

Hardaway++?

Sports in which you attempt to throw a ball past a person with a stick. Softball clinched their sixth straight Big Ten title over the weekend with a narrow 2-1 win over Northwestern, then celebrated by clubbing the Wildcats into a fine paste 16-1 in a game I attended. I was just talking up how Sierra Romero was pretty good when she put one over the fence; later in the game they walked her with a base full. The next day, Northwestern walked her at every opportunity, plunking her the first time. Also she's the shortstop. She might be good.

Softball is the top seed for the Big Ten tourney, which is in… Nebraska. Does that make more or less sense than having the hockey tournament at neutral sites? Advanced math necessary to tell. In any case, it's a big tourney for Michigan, which currently sits on the edge of the top-eight spot that would not only guarantee them a regional but also a home super-regional should they advance.

The softball tourney is a twelve-team single elimination thing; Michigan's Friday opener won't be televised but their hypothetical semi would be at 3 Saturday and the final is 1 Sunday, both on BTN.

Meanwhile, the baseball team is fighting for the last spot in the six-team Big Ten tournament, taking two of three from Iowa over the weekend. They've got six conference games left, a home series against Purdue and a trip to Lincoln. Purdue is about as good as Iowa—not good—and Nebraska is just okay; Michigan has to keep ahead of Illinois for the last spot. They've got a game on the Illini.

Dollar dollar bill y'all. The Big Ten's distribution to its schools pops up over a million dollars to $25.7 million. The BTN is now putting out $7.6 million a year. Makes you wonder how they used to manage with just 15 million a year. Probably ate roof tiles, sat in a hot tub filled with dirt, used old batteries to decorate.

The irony of this bullet. The only good thing about the new flood of articles (YES IT'S A TWO-ARTICLE FLOOD GAWD) about Chris Webber is they're the ones spurred by the dissociation period imposed on him by the NCAA ending. So they should be the last, by God. Has anyone else ever been a subjection of this much discussion 20 years after he left his college team?

Canadian Football. Your names. I don't know what to do. There's a new Ottawa CFL team that just drafted a backup Iowa lineman in the first round because the CFL draft is only for Canadians. In any case, I bring this to your attention mostly because that team is considering the following names:

Wiki says they're choosing between the RedBlacks, the Nationals, the Raftsmen, the Voyageurs, or the Rush. Of course a Canadian team would consider "Rush" an appropriate nickname. Whatever they end up going with, they're always going to be The Fightin' Tom Sawyers to me. But I digress.

Canada. I think "RedBlacks" is actually the goofiest what with its connotations of a distant rollerball future where all things are named according to the colors that comprise them because the gubberment has confiscated nouns.

Knobwatch. When Bret Bielema isn't fighting with Wisconsin fans on twitter—seriously—he's dialing up the doublespeak to its maximum:

Coincidentally, "Transition is a process" is also what the noun-confiscating dystopian gubberment says when it takes your nouns.

One of those guys is a postgrad quarterback everyone will want Michigan to look at who will instead go somewhere he can play.

Barwis talking about Mealer. Via the latest TEDx event at M:

Etc.: Is the body of this article titled "Why B1G has no November night games" just "IT'S COLD"? It should be. Ringer departure official if you missed it yesterday. FWIW, I heard he'd had microfracture surgery a la Greg Oden. Where the O'Bannon case stands and is going in the near future. Ben McLemore stuff just makes me want agents to be cool wit the NCAA. Burke's got a shot at going #1.

Unverified Voracity Drafts, Offers, Squints

Unverified Voracity Drafts, Offers, Squints

Submitted by Brian on June 27th, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Hi. I returned, sorry about the unannounced vacation time. I was in NYC, I thought I would be able to proceed as normal, I was correct only on Thursday and Friday. Back now.

Falk talks Bo. Self-recommending.

Draftings and goings(?). Michigan folk came off the board frequently at the recently-completed NHL draft. Jacob Trouba went 9th, Phil DiGuiseppe and Boo Nieves were second-rounders, and Connor Carrick went in the fifth. That was almost exactly what everyone expected—Carrick may have gone a little higher than his rankings suggested. So hurray, sounds like Michigan has Komisarek 2.0

9. Winnipeg Jets: D Jacob Trouba. Trouba is a tremendous skater — likely the best of the whole bunch — who loves to dish out punishment along the walls and easily separates his opponent from the puck. He's a rugged force in the defensive end who scores off the charts in both his character and compete levels.

…and will see him on the ice this fall since Trouba took opportunity after opportunity to restate that, barring a meteor strike, he'd be in Ann Arbor in the fall and even the meteor would have to do some explaining.

The sad fugee face news comes from Mike Spath, who brings a screeching halt to optimism in re: Phil Di Guiseppe's return. Yes, the PDG who said this after his selection by the Hurricanes:

“It’s great hockey,” Di Giuseppe said of the Michigan experience. “That’s why I went to school there and played there. I’m happy with my decision and I’m happy to go back next year.”

But Spath is hearing otherwise:

However, we heard chatter even before the season concluded that Di Giuseppe had one eye on the OHL and with the right situation could leave U-M early. After the Hurricanes picked him, that talk has only intensified, to the point that we put his chances at returning to Michigan at 50 percent, and would not be surprised in the least if he is playing in the OHL next season.

Getting picked by Carolina is not so good because Peter Karmanos owns both the Hurricanes and the Plymouth Whalers. Even if every public utterance from PDG has been strongly pro-college (Spath even references the one PDG gave him in the article), Spath is plugged in on this stuff.

Meanwhile in Lansing, four incoming Spartans were drafted, the first two coming off the board back-to-back in the third round. That's their best showing in the draft since… 2006. Rick Comley was a disaster and Tom Anastos may have been a better idea than he seemed at first.

BONUS: apparently NHL Network analyst Craig Button compared the kid who went seventh to Charles Woodson? I don't even know, man.

Come on, be as good of an idea as Anastos? Scott Stricklin got bombarded with the usual things about leaving Kent State after his Zips Golden Flashes bowed out of the CWS and responded a typically Ohioan fashion:

“I know some of you have been speculating that the coaching staff might be moving on after our historic season. A certain school up North came calling and we decided that Kent State and what we have built here was too good to leave."

Moving on, then, to… Chris Sabo? According to the twitter feed user Raoul has latched onto as the only plausible source of college baseball coaching scuttlebutt, yes:

Hearing reports Chris Sabo will be named new HC at #Michigan. Several reports today on this story. Something's up.Stay posted.

— Skippers Dugout (@SkippersDugout) June 23, 2012

According to other people, not so much:

Michigan asst. baseball coach Wayne Welton told me earlier today that Twitter is the only place he has heard Chris Sabo will be new HC.

— Matt Slovin (@MattSlovin) June 24, 2012

And our twitter feed started backtracking in the way people do in these situations when people get mad at him. But you are on twitter! I trusted you!

Sabo is a famous program alum and rec-specs aficionado, so he's got that going for him. He does not have any of that coaching stuff to recommend him, unfortunately. I'm guessing the guy who does get hired is not Sabo, nor is it someone who we've been talking about at all.

[UPDATE: and as I'm drafting this a report from College Baseball Daily says Michigan has hired Erik Bakich of Maryland. That would be underwhelming:

Erik Bakich's Maryland record

2010 — 5-25 ACC, 17-39 overall
2011 — 5-25 ACC, 21-35 overall
2012 — 10-20 ACC, 32-24 overall

On the bright side, his most recent effort is the second-winningest season in Maryland history.]

2014 offers of the basketball variety. Michigan's firing out 2014 football offers left and right already, and meanwhile John Beilein's has put the finishing touches on another handcrafted piece of calligraphy, this one directed at Indiana wing Trevon Bluiett. He's the third 2014 kid to pick one up after MS SG Devin Booker and IL SF Keita Bates-Diop. Michigan will have to battle Indiana and others (but mostly Indiana) for the kid. They are… not last:

How does the Michigan visit compare with other visits you’ve taken this summer?
It would definitely be near the top of other visits, you know? Like I said, not too many coaching staff jokes with you so once you find a coaching staff that jokes around, it makes you more comfortable. Being around campus, that made me comfortable. So it definitely beat some of the other schools.”

Tom Crean has been locking his targets down of late so this one seems like a longer shot than Booker or Bates-Diop. That's just speculation, of course.

Even farther down the road, the courtship between Michigan and 2015 OH SG Luke Kennard took another step forward as Kennard knocked down three after three at Michigan's team camp. He was "by far the most impressive player at the camp"—one that included Derrick Walton and Mark Donnal—as he drove his team to the semifinals, and has this to say about the coaching staff:

“They are absolutely amazing. I love each and every one of them and they make me feel right at home, which I love about them,” Luke said. “They tell me I fit in with how they play, and I think I do, too. Like I said, I look forward to going to see them because that’s how much I like seeing them. It was good to see them.”

That goes above and beyond the usual palaver, it seems. May want to pencil him in to the 2015 class, if you're the kind of person with a spreadsheet column entitled "Michigan 2015 basketball roster." Surely there are a few of you.

Men actually on the basketball team.

Burke on the skills camp, via Beth Long at Scout.

Tim Hardaway Jr and Trey Burke have been hitting up the college-oriented skills camps that are popping up these days, and both have been performing well. SLAM magazine returned with an alphabetical list of the top 20 players he saw at a couple of the Chicago camps Burke and Hardaway were at:

Trey Burke, 6-0, Sophomore, Michigan

Burke was one of the nation’s top freshmen last season and after flirting with declaring for the Draft, looks poised to build on his debut campaign, as he showcased an improved outside stroke, which should help a loaded Wolverines squad attempt to get back to the program’s glory days.

Tim Hardaway Jr, 6-5, Junior, Michigan

A wing sniper with length and athleticism, Hardaway attacked defenders off the dribble for pull-up jumpers or dynamic forays to the rim, while showing an all-around game, as he made a strong effort on the boards and defensive end.

MOTS from Burke. If Michigan gets dynamic forays to the rim, rebounding, and defense from Hardaway they are going to be awesome next year… and won't need to worry about where those 2013 scholarships are coming from.

Burke also came in for praise from ESPN's Reggie Rankin, who included him on a select list of four impressive campers:

"He has a great command of the ball and is a terrific open court passer," ESPN.com analyst Reggie Rankin wrote of Burke at this weekend's Deron Williams' Skills Academy in Chicago. "He can also knock down open jumpers on the break or when reading the defense as he comes off ball screens, can nail ball-reversal spot up 3s and make a play when the offense breaks down.

"Burke has worked to become a complete point guard and his improvement is easy to see, along with his improved strength."

UMHoops has a further roundup.

Men coaching people actually on the basketball team. Michigan's dynamic recruiting and teaching assistant corps picked up new contracts:

The new contracts will pay the three coaches a total of $470,000 in base pay for the 2012-13 campaign. Each assistant received a $10,000 base pay raise from a year ago, when the total pool -- per Michigan records -- sat at $440,000. …

Meyer and Alexander both signed four-year pacts, and will make base salaries of $160,000 and $155,000, respectively, in 2012-13. Jordan, meanwhile, inked a three-year contract and will also receive $155,000 in base pay next season.

They've got an interesting bonus system for sticking around, where there's a pool of 20k for each if all three are still around in three years, 20k for Alexander and Jordan if they're still around, and 20k in individual bonuses. I don't think Beilein's going to revamp his staff in the near future unless forced to. Head coaching gigs for Alexander and Jordan—Meyer is 58 and probably not destined for a head job—are the most likely way Michigan's basketball coaching staff will change.

Erp? Sounds like a number of Pac-12 teams are less than enthusiastic about the prospect of loading up on Big Ten teams in their nonconference schedules:

Multiple league sources have told the Hotline in recent weeks that several Pac-12 schools are … how should we say it? …  less than enthusiastic about the partnership, set to take effect in 2017.

However, the schools are reserving final judgment until they see whether a strength-of-schedule component is  included in the formula that determines which teams participate in the four-team playoff.

If SOS is given serious weight … if it’s a tangible part of the formula … then Pac-12 schools may be willing to consider a partnership in which the top programs draw B1G heavyweights every few years, sources said.

But if SOS is not included in the formula, then a full-blown Pac-12/B1G partnership — and I’ll explain what I mean by that in a minute — could be in jeopardy.

This would seem to affect the top end of the league more than the bottom, and would prevent the sort of titanic cross-sectional matchups that were envisioned when this thing was announced. If it looks more like Michigan's 2014-2016 schedule than "here's USC, Stanford, and Oregon" I'm even more of favor of adding that ninth conference game. Hopefully a committee is better able to take things like "you played LSU and Stanford did not" into account.

London Wolverines. Geena Gall will run the 800M. Peter Vanderkaay is headed to a third Olympics. AnnArbor.com has the ridiculously long list of Ann Arbor-area outboard motors competing in the (still-ongoing) Olympic Trials. Meinke profiles Michigan swim coach Mike Bottom.

Etc.: Mark Hollis is going to out attention-whore Dave Brandon if he has to put a basketball game in a volcano. Freshman basketball class hits campus. Kirk Ferentz owns a piece of Americana.