Casey Prather: Coming To A Wing Near You? Comment Count

Brian September 25th, 2009 at 12:46 PM

casey-prather Next year Manny Harris will either be a senior or in the NBA, and we all kind of hope it's the NBA because that will mean he played at a high level and blew up the idea that John Beilein can't develop players for a career at the highest level. Michigan will then have zero Manny Harrises on the roster unless one of two high-profile wing recruits Chooses Wisely. One is local guy Trey Ziegler, the son of CMU's basketball coach, but his decision is a long way off. He'll decide in the spring.

The other is Tennessee's Casey Prather, who plans to make a decision in the next couple weeks. Prather's taken trips to Clemson, Florida, and Michigan. He also lives next door to Vandy and has been on a ton of unofficials there. Those teams represent his final four. In the past week, these things have happened:

  • Sam Webb said Michigan was "the team to beat" on WTKA a few days ago. This is not the same as a strong, strong, strong gut feeling but Sam is not a guy who says things like that lightly.
  • Webb wrote an article for the Detroit News that briefly touches on 2011 commitment Carlton Brundidge and then goes into serious detail about Prather's recruitment. Money quote amongst a bevy of potential selections:
    "(Rating Michigan's recruitment of Prather) on a scale of 1- 10, I would say a 12," said Jackson North Side coach Tony Brown. "I've seen more Michigan coaches at games. Michigan has been there through thick and thin. I can't say that every other school, in my opinion, showed. The head coach, he flew down to Fayette-Ware when we were in the district tournament. I was impressed then because Fayette-Ware is in the middle of nowhere. When I came out of the locker room, I looked up and there was Coach B. He was just displaying that proud M symbol on his sweats."

  • Prather decided against a Vanderbilt official visit.
  • Clemson cancelled a scheduled in-home visit and did not reschedule.
  • John Beilein made his in-home.
  • Prather's AAU coach posted this to twitter:

    Potentially I could have two guys play in Big Ten Country but are living in SEC Land...Parity at its best, I love it!

    And whats funny about that is, both guys are known for putting up good offensive numbers but Big Ten is known for grind'em out games that are won on the defensive end. Not that Hollins and Prather won't guard your butt but they're both so skilled offensively.

None of this is definitive, of course, but the tea leaves suggest that it's either Florida or Michigan. There's been some Florida chatter but look at the News article. It's packed with quotes from coaches and Prather's father. Webb's close to the situation, and the article he wrote up came from the same conversation that caused him to call Michigan the team to beat—with precious little time to beat them—on the radio. And Prather's AAU coach didn't quite say Prather was in the bag… but… yeah… quite. I'm thinking the "Beilein cannot recruit" meme will be lying in tatters soon.

While we're talking about basketball recruiting. UMHoops has your overview for you.


Blue boy johnson

September 25th, 2009 at 1:00 PM ^

This Belien recruiting thing is going much better than expected.
Belien's players improve, it is silly to think if he gets a talented player with NBA size and athleticism he would stagnate while the lesser talented players would flourish.


September 25th, 2009 at 2:11 PM ^

Brian has, with each does of good news over the summer, been coming off of that meme as of late. And, he's very happy to be wrongish.

I think many longtime UM observers had become resigned with the program's fate and that they assumed they first needed a coach who could bridge the gap from mediocrity to legit contention. I cant blame Brian or anybody for feeling that way. So, what I mean is, I dont know if anyone was really wrong here, but rather just beat down from poor seasons and not wanting to get too excited too prematurely.

I'm always on the outside looking in when it comes to UM Hoops so maybe that allowed me to be more excited with higher hopes for what Beilein could do.

I will say that it has been a big time blast watching everyone here get interested and pumped for hoops. We have a great coach here and will win big.....lets keep enjoying the ride.


September 25th, 2009 at 1:04 PM ^

My impression is that the Florida guys are just as confident as the Michigan guys. To be honest, I haven't read anything yet that suggests Prather himself actually has any idea where he's going. I think this is still a dogfight.

Either way, this whole recruitment is a big feather in Beilein's cap. Unlike Brundidge and maybe Smotrycz, there's no inevitable reason for Prather to love the idea of playing for John Beilein or Michigan. He's not a classic fit for the system, and he's not from a family of Michigan fans or anything. He's just a super-talented kid from Tennessee that John Beilein has recruited the hell out of. However this thing ends, it has to be a positive sign for the future of the program.

Rocking Chair

September 25th, 2009 at 1:05 PM ^

I'm content to wait just one more year to "prove" Coach Beilein can develop talent for an NBA career. I'll be more impressed if Beilein can convince these young men to stick around to graduate--and then play for the pros.

J. Lichty

September 25th, 2009 at 1:08 PM ^

I'll be more impressed if Beilein can convince these young men to stick around to graduate--and then play for the pros.

I am just hoping for three years from these NBA talent level kids as opposed the one and done we are seeing more and more frequently.


September 25th, 2009 at 1:10 PM ^

Hopefully Manny will be considered a lottery pick after this year and still decides to stay another year.

And everyone probably should have waited longer than a season and a half at Michigan before deciding that Beilein couldn't recruit.


September 25th, 2009 at 1:13 PM ^

It's unlikely, but if we had the opportunity to bring in 2 big recruits this year would we not keep him around?

Dylan brought it up a couple times and I hadn't even thought of it as a possibility before then.


September 25th, 2009 at 7:13 PM ^

While I'd be very excited to get Prather, I'm pretty sure that Zeigler is the better get. Does anyone think that Zeigler would be turned off by Prather committing? I do. Not to mention, getting Zeigler would help in securing commitments from possibly McCallum or definitely Brandan Kearney.