Basketball Recruiting: Domino Time Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2013 at 4:12 PM

Sounds like Donte Grantham is your next Hello post.

After months of poling down the Mississippi, taking in the sites while chewing on a piece of wheat comes a frenetic burst of machine-gun commitments. Michigan's already seen Trevon Bluiett go off the board to UCLA; Michigan State lost Tyler Ulis to Kentucky. Ypsi's Jaylen Johnson picked Louisville before Michigan could offer.

Those are the first dominoes in a string that should fall over the next couple months. As a reminder, it seems logical that Michigan will take a class of four guys. C Ricky Doyle is committed; Michigan will take one guy they think can play the four, one guy who can play SG, and a wing or combo 3/4.

Combo Forward

Via UMHoops

WV SF/PF Donte Grantham is down to Michigan, Cincinnati, Clemson, and West Virginia. He's taken official visits to Cincinnati and Michigan recently, and Cincinnati responded to their shot a couple weeks ago by taking another combo forward and ceasing their recruitment of him. The tea leaves there combine with insiders on Scout and Rivals predicting good things, and soon. If he drops soon he'll be a Wolverine; the only thing that would give you pause is if he decides to take some additional visits.

Grantham's 6'8" with shooting range and would likely be a stretch four, but has shown some ability to put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. He's a postgrad, so he'll come in a little more polished than other kids.

CA SF/PF Kameron Chatman may drop this weekend on his official visit to Arizona, where Damon Stoudamire is a close friend of the family. Michigan seems to be running second at the moment; if Chatman escapes the desert uncommitted they will have a real shot. Chatman will have to act fast if he's going to join the Michigan class, though, since…

CA SF/PF DJ Wilson appears next on the pecking order. A fringe top 150 kid to the sites, Wilson is a high academic kid who took an official to Columbia—yes, that one—and is scheduled to go to Gonzaga this weekend. Michigan will host him the week after, and if an offer is forthcoming may drop on the spot. He says flat-out that Michigan leads. Wilson's even bigger than Grantham, pushing 6'9", and he sounds like a Beilein guy all the way. ESPN:

He is still growing at almost 6-foot-9 and his ball skills (in the open court) as well as his 3-point shot are impressive. He can face-up defenders and maneuver his way to the rim as well.

Wilson is a great prospect but his assertiveness at both ends needs attention. He plays in spurts and doesn't exert much energy consistently, especially in the areas of rebounding and defending.

Sounds like Evan Smotrycz 2.0. Hopefully he can get those deficiencies ironed out.

NV SF/PF Jonah Bolden is settling in at Findlay but cannot take official visits until he has an SAT score. That happens in October for him. He's planning on a spring decision, and while he just put Michigan in his top ten and rumblings have M in a strong position for him, timelines might not work out.

On the other hand: if Bolden shows that he's an elite recruit this fall, Michigan should have a spot for him. The projection above assumes Michigan banks a scholarship. If he's just that good they could say "screw it" and take him.

Shooting Guard

MS SG Devin Booker seems to be trending towards Kentucky. Depending on who you talk to his friendship with Ulis is either important or not, but it certainly doesn't hurt the Wildcats that he's on board. That Booker is still on recruiting boards after seven unofficials to Michigan and a recruitment that started in eighth grade implies that he's been looking for something he hasn't found in Ann Arbor; the vibe here is that this has gone on too long for this to end well. See Wesphal, Parrker.

old-timey haircut FTW

IN SG James Blackmon, Jr. is the other A-list option. An Indiana decommit who is a Kentucky legacy, he was thought to be a heavy UK lean. Now folks are split on his eventual destination. He visits Michigan this weekend and has an official to UK set up in mid-October; a recommitment to Indiana is also another possibility.

You'd think that one of Booker/Blackmon committing would put off or maybe even cause Kentucky to stop recruiting the other guy, at which point Michigan would seem to be in good shape, but at Roster Turnover U they may need a whole new damn team next year; tough to predict what UK will do. FWIW, some trawling of UK message boards indicates that fans don't think UK will take both. Here is your grain of salt.

OH SG/SF Javon Bess looks to be the primary backup plan. Bess is drawing a lot of Big Ten interest at the moment, and Michigan is amongst them:

"He said that he’d let us know (about a possible visit), because they’re still recruiting Devin Booker and James Blackmon Jr. They’re going to see about them,” Bess said. “He said in a week or so they’re going to call me and we’re going to set up a visit. If it comes to that, where I set up a visit, then I’ll have a scholarship when I get to Michigan. He said he waits for recruits to get to Michigan to offer them.”

So, that's clearly a plan B thing there.

Likely Outcome

Grantham drops for Michigan soon. Chatman heads to Arizona; Michigan offers Wilson on his visit and he commits. Kentucky picks up one of the shooting guards, and then it's up to them if they want the other. If not, that guy extends his recruitment a bit. I actually feel a bit better about Blackmon than Booker in the event that Kentucky is out of the picture for either. It's 50/50 whether a Plan A picks M; if not, they get Bess.

Michigan then enters the late signing period with an open slot they may or may not use.



September 25th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

That would be my suspicion on what will happen. He will have to be counted against the cap for a year no matter what so we'll see if he's able to go (if not it doesn't matter and he better get one hell of an ovation from the arena when he makes an appearance). If not, then he'll be put on a medical to allow him to finish school and he wouldn't count against a future cap. 


September 25th, 2013 at 6:33 PM ^

It was my understanding that they could oversign by one and medical him right away if Austin was OK with that, and it wouldn't count against the cap.  It would mean he doesn't get to play college basketball, but that he would get a free Michigan degree and be able to be a part of the team in whatever capacity he wanted (outside of seeing the court). 


September 25th, 2013 at 4:22 PM ^

Bolden seems to have the most upside of the combo forwards. If his test scores are good and we feel we're his favorite (Glen Rice connection, reportedly a Michigan fan), I think we have to ask DJ Wilson if he's willing to wait. Jonah just may be too good to pass up on because of timelines.

Also, I'm not convinced Booker/Blackmon is UK's decision alone. One might not want to join a class with the other in it, at least I hope.




September 25th, 2013 at 4:38 PM ^

what a depressing update.  Its starting to look like we will strike out on all of our plan A and plan B guys.  This is looking like JB's worst recruiting class in several years and it comes after a national championship berth.  Basketball recruiting is beyond difficult to figure out.


September 25th, 2013 at 4:46 PM ^

It's still going to be a solid class overall, just not a nationally elite one like the last couple years so don't jump off a bridge.  For basketball though, recruiting is so accelerated that I'd expect the national championship berth to be more beneficial to the 2015/2016 classes that are just starting to form big interests.  


September 25th, 2013 at 5:04 PM ^

but basketball recruiting happens so early that by the time Michigan made the final, most of these kids had probably been actively recruited by programs for 1-2 years prior. Payoff will probably be in 15 and 16


September 25th, 2013 at 5:44 PM ^

Blueitt and Booker before almost anyone else.  We were also in early on the two kids that went to Ohio in the spring. 

Beleive me, I am still very high on JB and this program, it is just looking to be a pretty disapointing recruiting haul given who all who we were in on and our on-court success over the last few years.


September 26th, 2013 at 3:20 AM ^

Yeah, kid from Ypsi drops for Louisville and Michigan ahsn't offered yet. All sorts of things seem wibbly wobbly. 

Noticed that rankings weren't mentioned for almost anyone save a reference to "fringe top 150" or the like or noted schools in competition for him. More info in this respect - evaluations, rankings, etc -. would help with better context. Seemed dreary but I also imagine a lot of this kids are decently prized recruits. 


September 25th, 2013 at 5:19 PM ^

I know this has been mentioned before, but landing Blackmon would make me happy if only to see the look on Tom Crean's face. I would love to live in a world where Jeff Meyer actually hurts the Indiana program by flipping IU commits. 

EQ RC Blue

September 25th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

He's been pretty bullish overall and he is usually in the know.  Until he goes negative, I'll continue to think we have a good shot. 

McGary's recruitment was a lot like Booker's.  Some go your way, some don't.  Booker's had a process in place for a long time and I wouldn't take too much from the fact he hasn't committed yet.


September 25th, 2013 at 5:47 PM ^

I too am disappointed by the outcome.  I know that recruiting starts early, but we've been pursuing some of these kids for a long time and then topped it off with the title game appearance?  And yet we have to start developing relationships with new guys when the Plan A guys aren't working out?  I like some of the names on this list and I actually prefer a world where we sign a 3+ year player that our coaches like instead of a 1-and-done class, but still......hard not to have hoped for some sort of new since the title game.  Literally nothing has happened in recruiting since Burke became a star and Michigan was cool again.  Not in the 2014 class or the 2015 class.


September 25th, 2013 at 6:10 PM ^

for a second here. . . was looking at Wilson's tweets, which umhoops has a permanent link to/window on (not sure of the nomenclature here). Looks like various kid tussles with other kids, "haters," girlfriends, etc. I know the kids open themselves up when they do that, but between the narcissism, the coarseness often on display generally, and the murder done to the English language, my old ass finds it infinitely depressing. 

And it's not just kids. I had a collegue who likes to think he's the new old sh*t tell me that he likes to see what his students are tweeting and saying about him on FB while he conducts his online classes, and is trying to become handy at checking people's conversations at conferences while giving talks. I could have offered him a pretty good assessment. . . 


September 25th, 2013 at 10:47 PM ^

I guess I'm repeating what's been said above, but if we strike out on Booker and Chatman I'll feel like this is a dissapointing class. I understand that we aren't (yet) Duke, Kentucky or Kansas on the national recruiting stage, but we were 2nd in the country this year.


September 26th, 2013 at 7:38 AM ^

Basketball recruiting is very excellerated.  The Final Four appearance happened after most of the elite guys had been recruited for years.  And, you can still see the impact in guys like Blackmon taking visits seemingly out of nowhere.  We will soon have a top 100 kid in the fold, with a few more coming.  That is a damn good class.  We are not going to get a McGary and Robinson every year.  But remember, Grantham is in about the range Burke was whenre he came in.   

Mr. Rager

September 26th, 2013 at 11:28 AM ^

Has anyone else heard about Jalen Coleman (our top '15 target) getting booted from his high school and transferring to another one in Northern Indiana?  I have some pretty reliable info, but wondered if anyone else had heard something.