Hoops Recruitin' Doesn't Eat Dirt Sandwiches Comment Count

Ace September 28th, 2017 at 1:11 PM

The State of Things: Pretty Good!

247 changed latest commit Ignas Brazdeikis's composite ranking to reflect that half the services don't bother to rank foreign prospects. He's now the #42 overall player in the class, which would place him as the fifth-highest ranked signee in John Beilein's Michigan tenure, per Orion Sang.

That bump, combined with the scandal that's rocked college basketball (happy trails, Louisville's 2018 class), has Michigan occupying a lofty spot in the 2018 team rankings:

via 247, obviously

It really can't be overstated how nice it is to be one of maybe three or four major college basketball programs that isn't in a full state of panic over the possibility of an FBI raid. We're already seeing the fallout for other programs: Arizona lost a five-star commit; Louisville no longer has a coach, athletic director, or 2018 recruiting class, and they've suspended five-star freshman Brian Bowen. There's surely more to come, as Nike's EYBL, the most prominent AAU league, has been served with a subpoena.

Meanwhile, both recruits and coaches have to figure out how to navigate the post-Feds recruiting landscape, and both sides appear to be acting with great caution. The top overall recruit in the class, RJ Barrett, is no longer visiting Arizona after they were linked to the scandal. He's also no longer visiting Michigan this weekend and has eliminated the Wolverines; given Beilein's sterling reputation, read into that what you will.

It's going to be a long, messy ride for many of college basketball's top programs. Beilein's insistence on sticking to rules almost literally nobody else follows has rankled in the past, even those who want a generally clean program, but he sure looks better for it today. Running a program that isn't in danger of major sanctions or, like, having coaches literally end up imprisoned is going to be a major draw for the foreseeable future.

[Hit THE JUMP for weekend visitors and more.]

Weekend Visitors: Castleton, Nunez Taking Officials

Even without Barrett, this is another big recruiting weekend for the program. Michgian sits in the top two for four-star Florida stretch big Colin Castleton, whose other option is Illinois. Notably, Lamont Wade, one of Illini coach Brad Underwood's former Oklahoma State assistants, was one of the four coaches initially charged in the bribe scheme. Regardless of how that factors in, Michigan looks like they're in excellent shape after recently turning up the heat on Castleton, who told Scout's Brian Snow he's could make a decision shortly after this visit:

Given that Castleton is focused on two schools, and that he has already visited Illinois, it stands to reason a decision could be coming shortly after his trip to Michigan.

About a potential choice, Castleton said, "Honestly it all depends on the visit. I couldn't tell you what I will do yet because I haven't seen Michigan."

Castleton went on, "I will probably come home and talk things over with my family and my coaches and think about it before deciding, but I can't say for sure when I will make my choice. It all depends on how my visit goes and which school I feel most comfortable with."

Michigan has the last two picks on Castleton's Crystal Ball, including one from 247's director of basketball scouting, Jerry Meyer. As a true big with shooting range, he'd be an ideal replacement for Moe Wagner. As Dylan pointed out at UMHoops, Castleton had the second-best block rate in the EYBL this year, and he's also a strong rebounder; while he doesn't have Wagner's skill off the dribble, he could shore up M's longstanding issues with rim protection and rebounding from the center position.

The other visitor has flown under the radar to the entire country for most of his recruitment, which is a type of prospect Beilein has done remarkably well with as a coach. 6'5" Brooklyn shooting guard Adrien Nunez didn't have an offer heading into the summer, but after showing off a sweet shooting stroke—Rivals's Corey Evans regards him as one of the top five shooters in the class—he's picked up several offers, and could add another this weekend, per Chris Balas:

“I just got offered by Texas A&M. We’ll see how that goes,” he said. “Penn State and Boston College have also offered.”

But Michigan is extremely intriguing, he added.

“It just checks all the boxes,” he said. “It’s the No. 1 public university in the country, they just won Big Ten. Coach B. is Coach B., a great coach. He’s one of my favorite coaches. It’s the whole package.”

He’ll be on campus with his parents, during which he hopes to receive an offer.

“Coach Beilein said we’d talk about an offer when I get to campus,” he said.

The timing here will be interesting. Michigan is also heavily in the mix with sharpshooter Noah Locke, who visits Florida this weekend. Nunez could be the backup plan if Locke goes elsewhere, which seems to be the case with Texas SG Keonte Kennedy, who's slated to visit October 8th. If Michigan wants more size in the backcourt with this class, Nunez could potentially jump in front of Locke, who's a few inches shorter. This should move pretty quickly: Nunez told Orion Sang he plans to make a decision in early- or mid-October.


Four-star Chicago wing Talen Horton-Tucker had a good visit to Michigan last week, but after the Brazdeikis commitment, it's hard to find a spot for him in the class.

Happy trails to Hunter Tyson, who committed to Clemson, and Justin Ahrens, who re-committed to Ohio State. Michigan had seemingly backed off of Tyson in recent weeks as they focused on Brazdeikis, while Ahrens also likely slid into backup plan status given M's standing with Locke and increased interest in Nunez and Kennedy.


Dan Man

September 28th, 2017 at 1:19 PM ^

Just curious what the implication is from Barrett dropping us, given Beilein's reputation.  Is Ace just saying that we were never really in play for him from the beginning?  Or could we have backed off from Barrett for some reason?


September 28th, 2017 at 1:38 PM ^

like a bad time to search for the highest bidder....IMO.


September 28th, 2017 at 1:32 PM ^

Can anybody explain why we are ranked higher than Indiana on the 247 list, when they have a higher average and the same number of commits?  How does average x qty translate to points?

The Maizer

September 28th, 2017 at 1:39 PM ^

We have the higher rated guy. The formula must weight slightly toward the upper end of the spectrum as opposed to the average.

Basically, the lower down the list of your recruits, they count less and less toward your points. So our lower rated lower guys count against us less, thus overcome buy our higher rated higher guys.


September 28th, 2017 at 1:37 PM ^

In the limited tape, Nunez has a really nice stroke although he could make it more effiecient without the "slight" dip. He reminds me of a raw Allan Houston and looks to have a high ceiling if he gets quicker and stronger. 


September 28th, 2017 at 2:01 PM ^

wasn't it widely known that Jaylen Brown wanted to go to a school that had Adidas as its apparel company? And wasn't he down to Cal, Louisville and Michigan? And who did he sign with after college? Adidas. Just an interesting connecting of the dots. 


September 28th, 2017 at 2:32 PM ^

and here's my question about the apparel company thing: seems like that could all be done without the involvement of coaches, right?  Adidas could just say, pick a school from this list and you'll get paid, which is what it seems like they did with Brown.

It actually seems stupid that the companies would even interact with the coaches here, and only the dumbest coaches would interact with the apparel companies (perhaps to try to get preferential treatment for their program over the other programs the company sponsors?).

Through the apparel companies, it seems like there could be dirty players that some schools never knew about, right?

Mr Miggle

September 28th, 2017 at 5:36 PM ^

Sure, but those things have a way of leaking out to coaches. Maybe the kid or his family or a handler will go looking for something extra from the school. Working together kind of makes sense in terms of pooling their resources. Coaches can put recruits he really wants into deals.

It seems very risky for a shoe company to operate behind a coach's back. If they got caught, they could be jeopardizing their contract with the school, assuming they had one.

Mr Miggle

September 28th, 2017 at 4:34 PM ^

We were the only Adidas school involved. Maybe they tried to push him here. That could be why Brown contacted Beilein rather than the other way around. It could also be why he ended up elsewhere.

That was the story with Bowen to Louisville. They weren't pursuing him even late in his recruitment. He had even taken all of his official visits. One difference was an AAU director called Pitino to get his recruitment started. I doubt Beilein deals with those guys.

Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 2:13 PM ^

"Beilein's insistence on sticking to rules almost literally nobody else follows has rankled in the past..."

"Running a program that isn't in danger of major sanctions or, like, having coaches literally end up imprisoned is going to be a major draw for the foreseeable future."


The word "literally" wasn't necessary in either of these back-to-back sentences. Go ahead. Read them back and omit the bolded word. They're literally better sentences if you literally remove a word that is literally useless. You're too good of a writer to do this. Literally stop it. 


South Bend Wolverine

September 28th, 2017 at 2:21 PM ^

Actually, you're literally wrong here.  The word literally, properly used, serves to underscore that one is not merely exaggerating, but stating the literal truth.  Both cases in which the word is used here are things that look like exaggeration, but (surprisingly) turn out actually to be the case.  It's not just that not a lot of people follow these rules, Beilein is in fact very nearly the only person who does.  And people might not just be figuratively going to jail.  They might actually - yes, literally - be going there.

Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 2:43 PM ^

He said almost. That's a relative term and totally undefined. Nobody's going to think that's exaggeration.  "John Beilein sticks to rules that almost nobody else follows."  What exaggerated definition do you possibly get out of that?  Almost nobody.  Pretty much none.  But there are a few.  "Literally almost nobody" does not change the message in any way, shape or form other than word count.

When you say "very nearly", do you mean very nearly? Or literally very nearly?  According to you, there's a difference.

What figurative, exaggerated meaning do you get if I say "coaches end up imprisoned"? Imprisoned, guy. Put in prison. What is there to exaggerate?  The coach was free.  Then he was put in prison.  He was imprisoned.  He was literally imprisoned.  No difference.

Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 3:01 PM ^

Then literally you literally need to literally use "literally" before literally any literal word because literally you are literally refusing to take literal words at their literal definition.

That's literally dumb. These literal words have literal meaning already. They literally don't need literally you or literally I to put "literally" before them to literally confirm what they literally mean. Literally regardless, I lterally enjoyed this literal exchange of literal thoughts.


Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 3:17 PM ^

What are you waiting for me to reply to?  It's my post that started this.  Pretty sure my stance is clear.

You are the one refusing to take "imprison" or "almost nobody" at face value. You're the one that needs "literally" to confirm what I already know those words to mean.  Not sure what you want me to say to that.

panthera leo fututio

September 28th, 2017 at 3:25 PM ^

The argument is that "literal" can be usefully applied to a declarative statement to distinguish a claim that ought to be taken at face value from a claim that could easily be interpreted as an intentional overstatement, and that Ace's applications serve exactly this purpose. You haven't responded to this argument, other than to make the (obviously wrong) claim that numerically imprecise statements can't be hyperbolic.

Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 3:42 PM ^

That's a fact.  "Literally" can be used to clear up ambiguity. There's just no ambiguity in what Ace said.  And on that note, let's return to a question I asked of YOU, that you never answered:

     What figurative, exaggerated meaning do you get if I say "coaches end up imprisoned"?

If his use of "literally" cleared up something for you, what on earth do you think that means in the context of a story about the FBI cracking down on college basketball coaches? 


When you've danced around that long enough, I'm going to ask you to give me the numerical difference between "almost none" and "literally almost none".  Feel free to tackle it in the same answer if you see fit.




panthera leo fututio

September 28th, 2017 at 3:55 PM ^

Listen man, this argument has been going on for stupidly long already, and I'm sure it's made everybody's life poorer who's had the misfortune of coming in contact with it.

But it's clear that you really have no idea how "literally" ought to be used, which suggests that you should maybe find a new hobby horse. The purpose of the word in this context is to differentiate between claims that are intended as exaggerations and claims that ought to be taken at face value.

I'm out, with apologies to everyone. Let's never hang out.

Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 4:10 PM ^

Buddy, who are you apologizing to?  Nobody else is reading our bullshit. 

You're painted in a corner as I outlined below. You chose C) Slink away. Good game.


Do you want to never hang out?  Or literally never hang out?  Obviously that makes absolutely no difference.  Just want to clarify whether...<giggle>...  you really mean it.


Pepto Bismol

September 28th, 2017 at 4:39 PM ^

Maybe you want to answer the question, then: 

What did you think Ace meant by "imprisoned" in the midst of discussing FBI raids and the federal indictment of basketball coaches and agents?

Part 2:  Please tell me the numerical difference between "almost 10" and "literally almost 10".