Today is the first day offers go out to the hoops class of 2019, and one such prospect jumped on his Michigan offer immediately. Clarkston (MI) big man Taylor Currie, an Ohio import who nevertheless grew up a Michigan fan, announced his commitment on Twitter shortly after John Beilien extended a scholarship.
Currie is, of course, the first commit in the 2019 class.
4*, #19 C,
|3* PF||NR C||NR PF||
3*, #30 PF,
It's still early in the game for 2019 rankings. The only site to give Currie a full position ranking, Scout, released their updated rankings today. ESPN doesn't yet have a scouting report on him.
Currie still has some growing to do. He's listed at either 6'8" or 6'9" and 200-205 pounds. By the time he gets to Ann Arbor, he should have the requisite size to play the five in Beilein's system.
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One of the earlier scouting notes on Currie that I can find, from Rivals analyst Eric Bossi, gives you a pretty good idea of what Beilein sees in his future:
A 6-foot-8 power forward from Worthington (Ohio) Christian, Currie is a smooth athlete with long arms who can run the floor and looks like he will be able to play pick and pop basketball.
Hello: American Moe Wagner.
Currie faced a step up in competition level when he moved to Clarkston before this past season. His coach, Dan Fife (yes, of that Fife family), said Currie had to adjust to the increased physicality and competition while improving his conditioning; he did so and made strides on both ends of the floor:
Fife is encouraged by the effort that Currie has put in, citing a large amount of upside still left in his development. Although Fife says Currie is still in his transition to learning a new system, it is hard to keep him off of the floor.
"The fact that he's high and he's tall and he's long, he changes shots in there (in the paint)," Fife said. "He give us a presence when you drive in there. You've got to run into that guy."
Currie adjusted just fine: Clarkston won the state title while Currie posted double-doubles in the semifinals and the final, when he was matched up on incoming MSU freshman Xavier Tillman.
Triple Double Prospects likes Currie's combination of size, skill, and the all-important motor:
Evaluation: Skilled big with good feet to run the floor and excellent length, Currie has a ton of upside as a high post-low post power forward who can make the mid-range shot or score around the rim. Has above average athleticism for his size and age and always plays with a good motor. As he continues to add strength and confidence, Currie could challenge to move even higher in the rankings.
Per SpartanMag's Jim Comparoni, Currie showed off a wide array of offensive moves as his AAU squad, All Ohio Red, knocked off Detroit-based The Family and five-star 2019 wing Romeo Weems at the Spiece Run N Slam:
Currie drew strength as the game progressed. He score in a variety of ways, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, a hook shot in the post, a drop step in the post, a pick-and-pop 18-footer, and hustle garbage around the rim. He was smart and quick with cuts to the lane on in-bound plays, and in loose ball situations. He was efficient, intense and showed good finishing touch and fist-pumping enthusiasm.
Currie spent a decent chunk of that game matched up on Weems, which hopefully bodes well for his defensive versatility.
Bank Hoops also was impressed by Currie's Spiece performance:
He’d left a favorable impression as the starting center on Clarkston’s state championship team, and did nothing but help his cause here particularly with a 33-point performance against the Family. Particularly with Romeo Weems in and out of the lineup and not 100 percent with cramps, the Family didn’t have anyone who could handle Currie’s post play scoring off either shoulder. He also made 3-of-4 three-pointers and handled his business on the glass, active and keeps the ball high. The best big in Michigan’s 2019 class, and easy to see the U-M, Wisconsin interest.
While we don't have much on his defense other than his coach's assertions that he's a solid rim protector, what's out there on Currie is quite promising. He looks like an ideal fit as a five in Beilein's system as a big who's comfortable firing shots from deep or operating from the post.
Since this is the initial day for offers, we only have contact to go on, and Currie had interest from some quality programs: Florida, Iowa, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin all showed interest. Currie picked out U-M, MSU, and Wisconsin as the three schools in hottest pursuit.
Per UMHoops, Currie is averaging 11.7 points and 8 boards for All Ohio Red's 16U team so far this AAU season.
A couple single-game reels put together by UMHoops:
PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE
I'll let Currie himself take this one:
“They see me a lot as a Moe Wagner-type player — being able to play both inside and outside, stretch the defense with that jump shot, but also being able to play with my back to the basket, play off those high pick-and-rolls,” Currie said. “They love how hard I play, how hard I rebound and how I play with great energy.”
He'll arrive just after Wagner's eligibility expires, should M be lucky enough to get a senior season before he goes pro. Jon Teske will be in his senior year, while Austin Davis will be a redshirt junior. Currie should get a chance to play spot minutes before growing into a bigger role in his second or third year on campus.
UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS
At the moment, Michigan has three open scholarships for the 2019 class, though that number is still pending additions to the 2018 class, for which M also has three open spots right now. Beilein has sent out one other offer today to 2019 Old Redford (MI) combo guard Rocket Watts, who came in at #99 overall on the updated Scout rankings.