Basketball Recruiting Roundup

Submitted by matt D on January 25th, 2017 at 9:25 PM
With football season done, and signing day a week away, I figured this would be the appropriate time to get a basketball recruiting roundup out for the 2017-2019 classes with basektball season in full swing.
Isaiah Livers (commit) - will be combo forward at Michigan. Legit 6'7-6'8 with a good shot, above average athleticism and some ballhandling ability. Jury is still out as to whether he has the ability to be an on-ball playmaker at the collegiate level. Has looked really fluid handling the ball against lesser defenders and not willing against really good defenders. His shooting ability is good regardless of comp level, and has been consistent from both distance and midrange. Average/slightly below average rebounder given his size, frame and atheltic ability. Overall, think this is the best combination Beilein has signed at the PF spot since GR3 when considering size, raw talent and athleticism. Definitely think Livers is a reasonable upgrade in the recruiting profile at that position.
Jordan Poole (commit) - will be a shooting guard at Michigan to start out, and likely evolve into more of an on-ball playmaker as he develops after his freshman season. Legit 6'4 with a nice shot and range out to 26feet. Average/above average handle, but loose with the ball when pressure defense is applied by good defenders. Really nice vision, but his passing is high-risk/high reward, and a lot of turnovers come with that when he has to play with the ball in his hands often. Not a great athlete by any means, but appears to have made marginal improvements in that regard over the past year. I think Poole will likely start out in a Zak Irvin role, as a designated gunner from deep off the bench, and is likely to struggle on defense. His minutes as a freshman will largely depend on how good/bad MAAR is next year. Overall I think Poole is a reasonable upgrade over what we've seen the last few cycles in terms of skill. I think he has the tools to be a really good second option for a good offensive team. Think he will be good for Michigan.
Eli Brooks (commit) - will be a combo-guard at Michigan, and more of a shooter to start out his career. Around 6', but can shoot the ball well off the dribble from midrange, and very good shooter off the catch from three. Doesn't move particularly well laterally, but has an above average vertical that will catch some by surprise. Much like Poole, Brooks' playing time as a freshman will be dictated by how good/bad Xavier Simpson is. With Simpson struggling on offense, Brooks should have every opportunity to compete for early playing time. I think Brooks will likely struggle on defense, but if he can be a competent ballhandler for brief stretches and knock down perimeter shots on offense, he should earn some minutes next year. Appears to be a nice compliement to the much more defensive oriented Xavier Simpson.
Mo Bamba (Top Target) - 6'11 center that is a top 5 player in the country. Bamba has a 7'8 wingspan and would instantly improve Michigan's defense with his shotblocking and rebounding ability. Very raw on offense, but his athletic ability at that size is absolutely elite and would be a game changer for a Michigan team that is athletically challenged. I don't think there's any chance Bamba comes to Michigan, but if he does that changes next year's projection a good deal. Staff going all in on Bamba, and any other potential targets are being put on the backburner until Mo gives a definitive yes/no to Michigan.
David DeJulius (commit) - will be a point guard at Michigan. Small at 5'11-6, but really strong build and frame at that size. Excellent shooter off the dribble or the catch from both midrange and three. Not a great athlete that will be able to finish in the paint at the college level, but has a really nice floater from 8-12 feet that will compensate. This is the weapon we all hoped Derrick Walton would develop in light of his struggles inisde the arc over the years. Great at getting to his spots on the floor using an above average handle and superior strength. Once Dave gets you on his hip, he's getting to his spot period. Very aggressive going to the rim and makes a living at the FT line. I think he'll struggle on defense early on, as he isn't the quickest and is on the small side. Dave is going to be a scoring lead guard that I think will be a nice 4 year player. 2018 rankings are in the infant statges right now, but DeJulius is an 80-100 type in my opinion and I think the rankings will reflect that when all said and done.
Wing Targets
Cormac Ryan (offer) - probably the top target on the board at the wing spot. Listed at 6'5 but only a legit 6'3. Very good shooter off the catch and the dribble from distance and midrange. Has above average ballhandling ability, but is loose with the ball when pressure defense is applied in the half court. Good passer with nice vision as well. While not thought of as an athlete, Ryan has good verticality and will surprise people that way. Cormac is extremely skinny at this point, and adding 10-15 pounds of muscle mass would definitely help as he is off balance a lot. While Cormac has a lot of upside based on his skill, size and verticality, I don't think he'd be the best of our wing targets in his freshman year, as I think it would take him a while to get adjusted to the speed and physicality of the college game. Cormac is ranked as high as 54 on ESPN to as low as a 3 star on some sites. I think Cormac is a 70ish type prospect, as he has a lot of tools and upside, but needs some more dog in him for sure. I haven't spoken with Cormac personally, but he doesn't appear to be in a rush to make a decision any time soon. I view Ryan as a more athletic Jordan Poole.
Robby Carmody (offer) - a legit 6'4 with a strong frame.........and he uses it to his advantage. Carmody is a really good shooter off the dribble and catch from both midrange and three. An average/slightly below average ballhandler but able to get to the rim using superior strength/size combination and has surprisingly good vision and makes nice passes to teammates for easy buckets. Takes tremendous pride on the defensive end of the court and is a really nice rebounder for a guard. Above average athlete with nice vertcality, great strength, and moves pretty well laterally for a kid that size. His motor is just non-stop, he's not soft by any means............Robby is a true competitor in every sense of the word, plays hard on every single play. While I think Ryan has a bit more upside long term, there is no doubt in my mind that Carmody would be better early on, as I don't think he would need much time, if any, to adjust to the speed and physicality of the college game. Robby plays the game fast and hard right now. Carmody's ranking falls between 60-90 on all sites. I talk with Carmody rather frequently, and I'd say that Michigan is likely in his top 5, but not the leader. My comparison for Carmody is Rex Chapman (formerly of UK. Charlotte Hornets)
Jamal Bieniemy (interest) - a name that many will not know about. Jamal is a 6'4 lead guard with nice length out of the Houston area. Has a nice handle and change of direction, but needs to tighten up the handle a bit with the left, and can be right hand dominant at times. Bieniemy has a really nice jumper off the dribble from midrange and an above average shot from 3 off the catch. He has tons of upside, as he still has tons of filling out to do with his frame. He's an above average athlete with good straigt line speed and above average verticality. Jamal is only ranked by 1 site, as Rivals ranks him #132. I think he's going to be a summer stockriser for sure, as he's running with Houston Hoops (EYBL) this year instead of Texas Boys Athletic  Club (non shoe-sponsored club), so he's going to get tons of exposure. I think Jamal has all the tools to be a top 70-80 player in the country, and his ranking is going to increase for sure. I spoke with Jamal yesterday, and while Michigan is just showing preliminary interest right now, he has legit interest in Michigan and knows our offensive style of play fits his skillset well. He's definitely one to keep an eye out for moving forward. My comparison for Jamal is Caris Levert.
Forward Targets
Jerome Hunter (offer) - 6'7-6'8 forward out of Columbus is the #1 target for the staff at the forward spot. Has a really versatile game. Can stretch the floor from the perimeter, crash the glass, put the ball on the floor a bit, and even play with his back to the basket at times. Above average athlete with good straight line speed, above average lateral agility and verticality. I think he's Michigan's best bet for 18 forward targets and would love to have him, and I think he's going to be a nice two-way player in college. I spoke with Jerome last week, and unfortunately I don't think Michigan is in Hunter's top group at this point. Jerome's rankings vary from 70ish to 3 star. I view Hunter as a 75-100 type prospect. My comparison for Hunter is DeShawn Sims and CJ Fair.
Brandon Johns (offer) - started off as a top 20 type in the country and was the #1 target at the forward spot until last summer, when his play in EYBL left a lot to be desired. A legit 6'8 and 210-215 with really nice shooting form. Johns has the ability to put the ball on the floor at times, but just hasn't shown the ability to be a playmaker off the dribble against legit competition. During EYBL he was a catch and shoot guy almost exlusively, and did little else. If I recall correctly, he only shot 27% from 3 during EYBL play. While Johns shot a low percentage from distance in EYBL, I think he'll be a 35-36% shooter from deep in college, which is a really nice percentage for a 4man. His form is really nice and consistent. He just needs to bring more motor and intensity to the game, as he's a sub-par rebounder at that size and doesn't move well laterally. Does have above average verticality, but not explosive. I speak with Brandon from time to time, and I'd say that his parents want him in-state, but he's not necessarily sold on that. While Brandon started off as a 5star/top 20 type, his rankings have fallen universally, as he's now ranging from 37-97. I view Brandon as an 80-120 type player. My comparison for Johns is Anthony Tolliver stylistically.
Kevin Easley (Interest) - would've probably committed to Michigan by now if he had been offered, as he was EXTREMELY high on Michigan over the spring/summer. Listed at 6'6, but only a legit 6'5, and a bit of a tweener. Doesn't have the ballhandling skills to be play on the wing, and lacks the size to be a true post. That said, he has an above average shot off the catch from distance and a good shoot off the dribble from midrange. Versatile player that has the ability to play with his back to the basket as well. Not a good athlete by any means, but has a really strong frame and uses that to bully people on the glass. Kevin ranges from 100-150 in the rankings. I view Kevin as an 80-100 type. He has limited upside based on lack of size and athleticism, but he has a good motor on the glass, and can knock down shots at all 3 levels. I speak with Kevin frequently, and while Michigan is not in his top group, I get the feeling they could enter the mix if they really ramped up the interest. My comparison for Kevin is sort of a David West/Adrian Dantley type.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot.






January 26th, 2017 at 10:02 AM ^

No. Shitty because the "I have to be the first person to be negative in this thread" attitude gets old. And I don't think my opinion if he is gokinh here has any bearing on whether his post is shitty.

OP put together an awesome post and the first comment is a poster being a whiny pussy. As I said, shitty first post

matt D

January 25th, 2017 at 9:35 PM ^

Obviously no offers yet, but prospects of interest no doubt. Won't get into much detail, but here's a list of some potential offerees


Jordan Mitchell - 6'7 wing from Columbus that is an elite athlete, and a top 40 player in the country. Has an above average handle, average shot. I speak to Jordan frequently, and despite conventional wisdom, Mitchell is no lock to Ohio State. He has legit interest in Michigan and visited for the Sep. 24 football game. Hopefully Michigan can keep up the pursuit and stay in this one until the end.

Romeo Weems - 6'6 wing/forward that is a top 25 player in the country. This is the exact type of player Michigan needs to land. Really versatile player with a high motor that plays hard every play. Can handle the ball, tremendous rebounder, very good passer, great length with a 6'11 wingspan, average shooter, average/slightly above average athlete. Has been on campus numerous times. I speak with Romeo frequently, and while Michigan is in his top group (if such a thing exists for 2019 kids), don't be surprised if he eventually commits to............Ohio State.

Mark 'Rocket' Watts - 6'2 combo guard that is likely a borderline top 100 type. Can really shoot the ball well off the catch from three. Average/Above average ballhandler and limited athlete. I think Watts has limited upside at this point. Has visited a few times already.

Taylor Currie - 6'9 forward that recently made the move from Ohio and now playing with Clarkston HS. Have only seen him briefly and can't really speak intelligently on his game at this point. Staff certainly showing interest.





January 25th, 2017 at 9:55 PM ^

Thanks Matt. Word on the street a little while back was that you were in some kind of accident. Hope that's not true but if it is glad to see you're doing better.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


January 25th, 2017 at 9:57 PM ^

"not a great athlete by any means".   "Doesn't move that great"    "Not thought of as an athlete"   Those are terms i wish i would quit hearing about our basketball commits and targets.  

matt D

January 25th, 2017 at 10:03 PM ^

Charles Matthews is an elite athlete, and Livers is an above average athlete as well. Are we going to be an above average team athletically next year, no. But with Charles Matthews, DJ Wilson and Isaiah Livers we go from terrible to bad/below average athletically.

matt D

January 25th, 2017 at 10:09 PM ^

But under Beilein Michigan doesn't prioritize recruiting during the season. We're in the hunt for Jordan Mitchell and Romeo Weems for 2019, both of whom are top 40 types. As AAU season commences I'm fairly certain top 50 targets will emerge. Landing one is the bigger question.


January 25th, 2017 at 10:07 PM ^

Hey matt, who do u think leads for Ryan, hunter and carmody? I look at Ryan and carmody and don't see us landing either one which is why I think it'd make sense to take elliott

matt D

January 25th, 2017 at 10:13 PM ^

Haven't spoken to Cormac, so I have no Intel there. I'd say Notre Dame leads for Carmody, with UM in the top group after that. We're not in Hunter's top group as of right now, which is unfortunate, because I think he'd be a nice pickup.

I'm the biggest Greg Elliott proponent you will find. Think he'd be a steal for us late in the 17 cycle. He just picked up a Marquette offer about a week ago and I guarantee other high major schools will follow suit over the next few months. Elliott has tons of upside.


January 25th, 2017 at 10:25 PM ^

Prospects talk about education and life after football.  The Michigan connections etc.  And that being a big lure and ultimate reason a lot of kids come for football.  I don't ever seem to hear the same pitch on the basketball side.  Maybe it just doesn't get as much press?

I think we all are dying for some stud recruits to come to Ann Arbor again.  Feels like it's been too long.  Always hopeful.  Lately disappointed.

matt D

January 25th, 2017 at 10:31 PM ^

In football, prospects attend school for a minimum of 3 years so the degree/education is emphasized more because at that point you can obtain your degree or be 1 year away from it and not sacrifice your professional aspirations.

Basketball prospects can see their payday after 1 athletic year, and only attend class for one semester, so financial incentives outweigh academics by far. Academics aren't a huge draw in basketball, and I doubt it ever will be unless a kid is the intellectual type to begin with

matt D

January 25th, 2017 at 10:45 PM ^

Eric Hunter - 6'3 lefty out of Indy. Above average athlete, above average shooter, average shooter, above average passer. Visited Michigan in the fall and has legit interest but he's not as high on the board as others. Hunter is ranked in the 80-120 range currently

Nate the Newt

January 25th, 2017 at 11:08 PM ^

Love this intel and the thanks for taking the time to write it.  It does feel super "Beilein" when you read through them all.  What did the Stauskus, LaVert, Burke, Hardaway and other 80-120 guys we've recruited in the past have that propelled them to the NBA that our current guys don't?   - I know if you had the actual answer you'd be a recruiting genius, just looking for your opinion on why we're down right now with similarly ranked guys.  Luck?

matt D

January 26th, 2017 at 7:40 AM ^

For the most part, the attribute that separated guys like Stauskas, LeVert, and Burke from our current guards/wings like Walton, Irvin, MAAR was the ability to break down defenders off the dribble and mandate help defense. We simply do not have that on the roster at this point. It is a huge need moving forward, and it would be really nice if Livers displays that ability against legit competition.

I don't put much stock into rankings, as there is simply no way the major services have seen 500-750 players, let alone more than few seconds. I attended 3/4 EYBL events (by far most talented circuit), the Adidas Championships in July, and all the other big evens in July (various shoe circuit clubs battle against each other), and I only witnessed scouts from ESPN, Rivals, Scout, 247 present a hand full of times in total.

matt D

January 26th, 2017 at 8:40 AM ^

Never quite felt the proverbial 'love' from Beilein and co. and decided to go with Marquette. Think it will really sting down the road, as I think Jamal would've been the perfect fit at Michigan, and has NBA type athleticism with a nice stroke from distance. Is now a universal 4 star, top 60-80 type player.


January 26th, 2017 at 8:56 AM ^

In your opinion who will Michigan battle for in state, and where do you guess the top prospects in state will go?

Weems, Rocket, Tillman, Johns, & Williams 

Also who do you expect to be the next elite player in the state.  In previous years players like Jackson, Booker, J young etc have all come from the mitten and I'm wondering who's next?

matt D

January 26th, 2017 at 9:06 AM ^

Weems - at this point I'd say Ohio State, but its still way too early to make a confident prediction in that regard


Rocket - don't really know, as I don't really view him as hands down high major prospect as of right now. His development will determine what offers he obtains moving forward


Tillman - Utah leads, with Cal probably in second. His official to Cal this weekend will determine a lot.


Johns - he wants to go to Kansas, but he's not a Kansas level player in my opinion. His mom wants him at Michigan, while his dad wants him at MSU. If he gets a Kansas offer he will commit. In terms of fit, Michigan is a much better for him than MSU in my view.


Williams - he's trending toward football at this point, and may pursue that route with the current trajectory, as he only has mid major offers in basketball.


Elite Player - don't know if there is a sure fire elite/one and done type player in Michigan at this point. Terry Armstrong is a great athlete, but don't know if he has the skillset to be a one and done. For 2020, I train a kid named Steve Pearson that is a freak athlete, but his skillset needs to develop, and its still extremely early.



matt D

January 26th, 2017 at 9:46 AM ^

#1 Grand Rapids Christian - Xavier Tillman, James Beck, Duane Washington


#2 Clarkston - Foster Loyer, Dylan Alderson, Taylor Currie


#3 East English Village - David DeJulius, Greg Elliott


#4 UofD Jesuit - Ike Eke, Greg, Julian Dozier, Elijah Collins, Scot Nelson, Jalen Thomas


#5 Flint Beecher - Malik Ellison, Jordan Roland, Levane Blake



After the top 3, the distinctions are very small in my opinion

matt D

January 26th, 2017 at 10:37 AM ^

and the one time I viewed them live this year was a really close game vs Wayland Union. I'd certainly have them in my top 10 overall, and there is an argument to be made for top 5, but I don't think GH is as good as the 5 teams listed above, in particular the top 3.

matt D

January 26th, 2017 at 11:00 AM ^

Norman is essentially a small forward stuck in a point guard's body. Absolutely great athlete, but not a great ballhandler and doesn't shoot particularly well. Tough to make it in college at 5'11 when you can't really handle the ball and aren't an above average shooter. His only division 1 offers are Oakland U, U of D, and Central Michigan. I highly doubt he gets a high major offer.