Hoops Hello From The Future: Taylor Currie

Submitted by Ace on June 15th, 2017 at 2:46 PM

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.

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN 247 247 Comp
4*, #19 C,
#91 Ovr
3* PF NR C NR PF 3*, #30 PF,
#149 Ovr

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.

[Hit THE JUMP for scouting, video, and more.]

SCOUTING

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.

OFFERS

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.

STATS

Per UMHoops, Currie is averaging 11.7 points and 8 boards for All Ohio Red's 16U team so far this AAU season.

VIDEO

Sophomore highlights:

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.

Comments

Maizen

June 15th, 2017 at 2:53 PM ^

Currie sounds like he has potential to be a good player, and the fact that he has a motor and rebounds in encouraging.

Also, Rocket Watts....what a name.

MichFan1997

June 16th, 2017 at 10:02 AM ^

In the last 6 years, Michigan has won the Big Ten twice, won a Big Ten tourney, made three Sweet 16s, two Elite 8s, a Final Four (with title game appearance). In addition, this year they finished tied for 5th in the league (not 7th or 8th). Sorry that you have Kentucky expectations. 

Michigan4Life

June 15th, 2017 at 3:57 PM ^

but you can see that he gets overwhelmed by bigger players especially when he's matched up with Xavier Tillman. He's skinny but he's only 16 years old so he has room to grow into his frame.

The best player in that game was a MSU commit, Foster Loyer, who happen to be the son of a former Pistons coach, John Loyer. Foster Loyer is a smallish PG at 5'11" but he's crafty and can shoot from anywhere. GR Christian threw everything at him yet Loyer dominated in this game. He was a big reason why Clarkston won the title over the #1 team in the state, GR Christian.

Elmer

June 16th, 2017 at 12:00 AM ^

I went to the semi-final game between Clarkston and West Bloomfield.  Loyer was special on offense and is an extremely intelligent player.  The only down side is that the point guard for West Bloomfield (Kevin McAdoo) took him to the rim consistently and that kid is not even rated by the major services.  Loyer looks to be a significant liability on defense unless he improves over the next 1.5 years.

Al that said, Loyer was an absolute joy to watch on offense.  Probably the most skilled high school player I've ever watched.  He is pretty small.  Looks to be around 5'10 and 150 lb.

 

 

Michigan4Life

June 16th, 2017 at 1:01 AM ^

offensively. He can shoot it from anywhere and is a crafty player who consistently knows how to get by quicker players. Can whip the ball around. His size is the biggest detriment since he's not a big player and will get pushed around by bigger PGs who knows how to utilize their size.

nerv

June 15th, 2017 at 3:25 PM ^

I like his all around game and upside quite a bit, seems a perfect fit for our system.

I also love that he pulled the tigger as soon as he got his offer. This is a kid who really wants to be at Michigan and that can do nothing but help.

KTisClutch

June 15th, 2017 at 3:26 PM ^

It's good to remember that he just finished his sophomore year of high school. If he gets up to 6'10"-6'11" that would be great. He doesn't have the handles that Mo had at the same age, but he looks to have more post moves and defensive presence. He seemed to have some very good games against good competition.

 

Comparisons to Mark Donnal are harsh at first glance, but Mark Donnal was not a nobody recruit. He was 86th in the composite and I remember watching his HS highlight tape and being fairly excited. In watching Currie's highlights he plays with a lot of excitement much in the same way Mo does, and in the opposite way that Mark Donnal does. I would take a longer, stronger version of Mark Donnal all day.

spiff

June 15th, 2017 at 3:55 PM ^

I think Donnal gets a bad rap around here. 10-15 years ago he would have been a really good 4. In today's game he was too slow for perimeter 4's and too small to guard a 5. Classic tweener.

It is hard to bash the guy's defense (like Ace/Brian love to do) when he's being asked to do something that is incapable of.

When Borges asked Robinson to do a PA naked bootleg, that is Borges' fault not Robinson's.

Asking Donnal to guard centers isn't his fault either. Not blamiing Beilein, since what else are you going to do with him. Just saying that Donnal should be cut some slack.

Year of Revenge II

June 16th, 2017 at 9:58 AM ^

He does not need slack.  He's a pretty good player, but far, far from elite that you need to win championships.

Stones for hands with a pretty good shot if he got set.  Forgets to block out on occasion.  I will never forget him against the white, slow, Rutgers center as they each tried a series of moves against the other that was beyond laughable.

Tweener, beaner, he's just wasn't that good, and I cringed most times he had the ball, but he most times gave his all, was all Blue, and as much as I hated to see him in, I am going to miss him.  VIVA DONNAL!

93Grad

June 16th, 2017 at 11:02 AM ^

the softest player we've had in the last 10-15 years.  I agree that he was probably caught between positions but with the things he could control like his effort, energy, demeanor and toughness he was too often lacking.

 

Compare him to JMo who was also a tweener and not physically gifted but he totally transformed himself into a super valuable player through effort and determination.

AC1997

June 16th, 2017 at 11:30 AM ^

On the one hand, Donnal was a rotation player for multiple years, a decent recruit, and a good shooter.  If he's your back-up stretch-4 or offensive-5 for a few minutes per game that's a solid role and we'd probably appreciate him more than hate him.

I agree that he suffered from Jay Cutler syndrome - he always seemed to be soft, not trying hard, and sulking no matter what.  Combine that with some poor defense/rebounding/hands and I think we remember him much like the Bears fans remember Cutler, despite the fact that both players had their moments/roles.

I don't think Currie is going to be the next Mo Wagner, but I think he's closer to that than he is Donnal based on effort and willingness to show some post play on both ends.  I like him as a recruit and I like that he'll be on a roster with some more traditional bigs and a scoring 4 in Livers.  If he tops out as a "Donnal who plays hard" that's not the end of the world.  

TrueBlue2003

June 15th, 2017 at 3:28 PM ^

rarely ever mention defense.  It's half the game!

My guess is that's not his strong-suit.  Being a solid rim-protector at 6'8 in HS doesn't say anything about his ability to protect the rim at the next level.  It's probably not there...yet.  Hopefully he grows a few more inches but arm length is the bigger measurement at play there.  I'd hope we can get an actual rim protector and put him at the 4 (where he and Wagner would ideally be).

AlwaysBlue

June 15th, 2017 at 3:56 PM ^

Michigan many times according to various articles over the last year. I think this a great pickup and if he continues to show the growth that he did between his freshman and sophomore seasons better than great.

BlueinLansing

June 16th, 2017 at 3:01 PM ^

was very impressive in the state title game against a very good GR Christian team loaded with D1 talent.  I liked  him alot.

Really nice upside, will play for an outstanding coach for 2 more years on an outstanding team for at least this next season.   Potential is the word here.

 

Hopefully he'll stay committed, he'll get a lot of the "you need to play somewhere else as a big man" recruiting schtick for the next 2 years.