Basketball Recruiting

Submitted by ak47 on January 29th, 2015 at 1:59 PM

So I was reading the recruiting roundup over on umhoops ( and it really doesn't seem like we are in the leading group of any of our 2016 targets and seem to be going in the wrong direction.  Growing up as a Maryland fan I can't get Gary Williams career at Maryland as a comp out of my head and I don't like it.

To give a little background Gary Williams is a HOF coach who took Maryland from a situation where it was still struggling after the sanctions from the Len Bias tragedy and built them back up to the point where they were a top 5 program in college basketball in the late 90's and early 00's including back to back final fours and a national championship with a team comprised mostly of under recruited guys he coached up.  However he never capitilized on that success in recruiting and never made it past the sweet sixteen again.  Due to the fact that he was a great in game coach his teams still played well, regularly upsetting duke and unc, they won an acc tourney title and regular season acc title in his last 7 years but they were never again among the elite.  I'm worried that I see the same thing happening with Beilein where he is such a great coach his teams are always competing but just don't have the talent or the right combination to make that magical run to elite again.  

I'm hoping someone here can convince me that I'm misreading the 2016 recruiting situation and we are looking better than I think. 



January 29th, 2015 at 4:27 PM ^

McGary was a slow starter, too. Big men have a tougher adjustment in JB's offenses, as they are never the primary scorer unless they are a Pittsnogle type shooter. Since JB has been at Michigan, he has been wing-oriented. Lavell Jordan's development of guards and SFs has been the best for us. Caris and Irvin didn't take the leadership roles on as well as one would hope from a "rise in their game" standpoint. Caris does not seem to play as confidently as the man as he did when he was underrated. 

Walton is just a poor shooter and overall decision maker. He's been inconsistent in his two years and is not even as good as Morris was his sophomore year. 

They are talented players, but last year's team was driven by Nik's swag. The year before, Burke and THJ. This year's top guys are as enigmatic as GR3. 


January 29th, 2015 at 4:48 PM ^

your comments are off.  walton is a solid if not very good shooter.  he had a rough patch this year, but he will be on the plus side of 40% 3-pt accuracy when he leaves.  i would wager he will be a first or second team all big ten performer before he is done too.

ya, he may "not be even as good" as DMo as a soph, but DMo turned pro after his Soph year.  unfair comparison.


January 29th, 2015 at 2:43 PM ^

The doubters on Duncan will be creating the same threads now that they are about MAAR and Dawkins when 90% of this board was like wtf Beilein when he took them.

I watched him play an open gym a few times with the guys. He is one of the better players on the roster offensively speaking. He is a terrible defender quite frankly, but the kid is dang near automatic when you give him a clean look. Deibler is the perfect comp. Weak defender, iffy handle, EXCELLENT spot up shooter, and pretty dang good pulling up off 1 or 2 dribbles.

Bilas and Shulman were raving about the kid when they were in town.


January 29th, 2015 at 3:41 PM ^

Let's chill on the MAAR and Dawkins hype. While I will admit to being pleasantly surprised by their play, let's not pretend that we are talking about freshmen all american or most likely even all big ten. Some of our higher profile misses (Vince Edwards, Devin Booker, etc.) still hurt.

It is possible to be happy with how guys are performing and still be disappointed with our recruiting results at the same time.


January 29th, 2015 at 7:21 PM ^

Vogrich was a useful role player. If Robinson is better than him, as I expect him to be, he'll be a significant asset to Michigan.

Expecting Robinson to be the next Stauskas though...that's like calling somebody the next Tom Brady or Jake Long.  These guys aren't dime-a-dozen.


January 29th, 2015 at 2:24 PM ^

Are something all good programs have to deal with.

The reason we are struggling now is that the 2014 recruiting class is not very good right now.

This team, on paper is very similar to the 2012 team.  Except those freshman you had Spike and Caris being significant assets off the bench, and Nik, GR3, and McGary playing their way into the NBA.  This year we have...not that.



January 29th, 2015 at 2:33 PM ^

The reason we're bad isn't the 2014 class. It's the fact that we lost Robinson, McGary, Stauskas, Morgan, Horford, and now Levert from one year. That was bound to make us worse for a period of time. Now in late Janury our team's most significant contributers are MAAR, Dawkins, and Doyle. Our 2012 class had guys like Burke and Hardaway to anchor the team. We don't have that right now.


January 29th, 2015 at 4:03 PM ^

I don't get this sentiment. Do you honestly expect to recruit top 100 players and have them all stick around for 4 years?  Great players go pro.  That's just reality of NCAA BB.

The 2012 team didn't sit around and pout about how we could still have Darius Morris on the roster.  Kansas isn't crying about how good they'd be with Wiggins.  Duke and Kentucky know they're going to lose half their starting lineups or more next year.

You go back to the well and recruit.

If your freshman aren't helping you then you can blame recruiting.  Michigan recruited 6 of them.  The 2012 class compared to the 2014 class are night and day.  Look at the supporting cast (besides freshman)

JR veteran role player, limited but highly useful (Spike vs Morgan)

SO/JR knock-down shooting wing headed to the NBA (Irvin vs THJ)

SO all-conference caliber PG (Burke vs Walton)

The big difference is the freshman.  Yeah sure, Derrick and Zak aren't quite at Trey and THJ's level but the there is no comparison to McGary, Robinson, Stauskas, Spike, and Caris with this new group.  If you put this group of freshman alongside Walton and Irvin you'd have an NCAA title contender.


January 29th, 2015 at 4:54 PM ^

is that at least half of the top 100 players each year stay 4 years.  unfortunately, all of ours have left early thus far under beilein, plus a few other guys not ranked in the top 100.


January 29th, 2015 at 7:27 PM ^

We made the final game and then the elite 8.  I'd do that again in a heartbeat.

If Beilein had landed the kids in '14 he tried to land we wouldn't be having this conversation, just as in '12 nobody thought anymore that it was 'unfortunate' that Morris left.

We are fortunate to have good players. For one year, two years, or four.

The expectation that kids are going to stay for four years is just illogical, antiquated, stubborn, and ...wrong.


January 29th, 2015 at 2:56 PM ^

Kentucky,Kansas,Duke and other schools all lose kids every year. Kentucky loses half it's roster or more every year and still remains in the title hunt almost every year. Michigan can pull top five classes every year Fisher showed that. Just cause we got sloppy and got caught doesn't mean it couldn't be done. My point is sometimes we give Coach B a pass cause he had kids leave for the draft early. Well really that is the point of coaching these kids. They're not here for there love of going to school. They come here to get to the NBA and school is second to them. Coach B needs to recruit at a level that he can replace the talent we lose and not mis a step. That isn't really to much to expect if we want to be a top ten Basketball program.


January 29th, 2015 at 3:28 PM ^

That is complete and utter BS.  I like Coach B the way he is.  We don't need UM to sell their souls to get a coach who leaves sanctions in his wake just to be an NBA factory.  If you look at all of Michigan's NBA guys, only Mitch McGary was expected to be an NBA talent when he was recruited.  To me that alone puts Coach B ahead of Coach Cal who snakes his way to 5 star recruits and leaves programs in shambles.  


January 29th, 2015 at 4:06 PM ^

every NBA draft brings 60 some new people into the NBA pool.  Subtract X % for international players and the top 40-50 recruits are still 'expected' to end up in the NBA at some point, or at least getting roster invites.

McGary is far from the only top 50 player Beilein has gotten and there are plenty of top 50-100 guys.

Recruiting is part of the job.  You can't just pretend its not.


January 29th, 2015 at 8:44 PM ^

Didn't say McGary was the only top 50 player Beilein has gotten, but the fact remains McGary at the time of recruitment was the only one expected to leave early.  I'm not saying make the NBA, but to leave early.  This isn't an argument on what level Coach B recruits at, but is about me (and many others) prefering him to the snake that is Calipari, who IMO is only better at recruiting, but that comes with shadiness I prefer to avoid given UM's basketball history. 

Mr Miggle

January 29th, 2015 at 3:35 PM ^

has recruited anywhere near Kentucky under Calipari. It's pointless to compare us to them. Nobody else can pull in top 5 classes every year. To think we can, because Fisher had a couple (out of eight),  with some under the table help is silly.

We lost a lot more players last year than normal. We should expect the team to take a step back when that happens, even with a highly ranked, non-Kentucky level class.


January 29th, 2015 at 4:38 PM ^

But the idea that we can't recruit at a top 5 level is just flat out wrong.

We did it in the 90s and shennanigans aside we came up with a top 10 class in 2012.  If you build on that success and start landing the Looney's and Booker's and Thornton's instead of getting in early and fading away ... that's how you get to final 4s consistently.

We did it in the 90s. MSU did it in the 00s. There is no reason Michigan can not be a recruiting powerhouse on par with MSU, OSU, Florida, Arizona and approaching the upper elite of Kansas, UNC, Duke, Kentucky.

You don't have to be a one-and-done factory to be great at recruiting.

Mr Miggle

January 29th, 2015 at 5:05 PM ^

recruit top 5 classes every year. Imo, that's just crazy and a long way from saying we can recruit a top 5 class once in awhile. You just listed 4 teams you expect to be ahead of us. Given that, isn't recruiting at a top 10 level overall a more realistic hope than top 5? There's a lot of serious competition besides the schools you mentioned. Louisville, UCLA and Indiana to name a few.


January 29th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

Two years from now we should have a senior backcourt in Walton and Irvin.  Combine that with upperclassmen in Doyle, Donnal and Chatman and you're probably looking at a top 10 team right there assuming they continue to grow in JB's system.  That's also assuming Dawkins, MAAR, Duncan Robinson and Wilson have not supplanted them in the starting lineup.  I just don't see anyone that's leaving early on our current roster, besides Caris and he won't be here in two years anyway. Either way, I'd rather our situation over Sparty.