Basketball Recruiting Update from Sam Webb

Submitted by Raoul on April 18th, 2014 at 8:41 AM

On today's recruiting roundup (podcast), Sam Webb provided a good overview of where Michigan's basketball recruiting stands in regard to late 2014 signings and possible transfers. Here are the highlights:

  • Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins (both of whom Sam talked to) are scheduled to be on campus this weekend at the same time, setting up an interesting dynamic because Sam believes that Michigan would want just one of them, not both.
  • Abdur-Rahkman has Michigan at the top of his list; he has no other visits scheduled and won't decide on taking any other visits until after his Michigan visit.
  • Dawkins has Michigan and Dayton at the top of his list; he has a visit to Dayton scheduled for next week.
  • Input from Michigan players will play a key role in Michigan's process of vetting the two players for possible offers.
  • In terms of ranking Michigan's interest in the various players who have been mentioned as possible late additions, Sam says Abdur-Rahkman and Dawkins are at the top given their pending visits.
  • Next in terms of interest from Michigan are two transfers—6-9 power forward Sean Obi (Rice) and 6-9 forward Cole Huff (Nevada)—plus 6-5 wing Tavarius Shine (Fork Union Military Academy). Further down the list are two possible late 2014 signees: 6-5 wing Ryan Taylor (St. John's Northwest Military Academy) and 6-7 wing Marial Shayok (Blair Academy; Marquette decommit).
  • Sam believes that 6-5 guard Byron Wesley (USC transfer) might be expressing interest in Michigan, but he hasn't heard that Michigan has any interest in him.

One other note: Sam talked about Huff being a good fit for Michigan as a stretch forward, but as was noted in yesterday's thread on him, apparently a major reason he's transferring is because he wants to play the 3, not the 4, in preparation for the position he'd potentially play in the NBA.



April 18th, 2014 at 8:47 AM ^

Below is the latest word from Huff's AAU coach, posted after Nevada agreed to relax their restrictions on the schools Huff could transfer to. I'm a bit puzzled as to why he went through the appeals process if he's not actually interested in any of the SoCal schools he's now allowed to transfer to. Or is he waiting for some of those schools to ask for a release before publicly declaring his interest in them?

turd ferguson

April 18th, 2014 at 8:53 AM ^

Interesting. Thanks for posting. I wonder if any basketball will be played this weekend (even without the coaches around). It'd be pretty fascinating to see both recruits play pick-up with current players with everyone knowing that one of them will likely be offered before the other. My guess is that it won't be part of the weekend, but I find that my serious basketball-playing friends often play basketball as a way to get to know and hang out with people.


April 18th, 2014 at 8:59 AM ^

Sam seemed to imply that the prospects would play some hoops with the players. You reminded me that I left out an important part of what he said. During visits, the Michigan coaches want the current players to evaluate how the prospects would fit in with the team both on and off the court—how well they would mesh with the team culture. That's part of the staff's vetting process.

turd ferguson

April 18th, 2014 at 9:56 AM ^

I just pulled up his stats and I'm kind of surprised by his limited productivity (and development), at least statistically.  He never really became more than a 5 ppg, 5 rpg guy.  In 2013-14, his senior year, he averaged 5.1 points and 5.4 rebounds per game in 33 games.


April 18th, 2014 at 10:38 AM ^

Very strange.   When it was just Duke earlier it was one thing but if he is seriously considering NU over UM makes me wonder if he read Horford's quotes.   Another reason a great year by Mitch would have helped quiet this nonsense about a 5 cannot thrive in this system.

Everyone Murders

April 18th, 2014 at 11:46 AM ^

I don't understand your point.  The main distinguishing characteristic between Duke, Vandy and NU is not overall academic prominence.  Three of those schools are private schools and all are significantly smaller than UofM. 

But as others have pointed out, Michigan is better than the other three in many, many disciplines.  The distinguishing factor in my mind is that Michigan is a full-fledged public university with a much different feel than the others (esp. Duke and Vandy).


April 18th, 2014 at 9:59 AM ^

Are they tall guys, guys that talk or tall guys that talk? Personally I like tall guys that have the ability to speak as it tends to come in handy while playing basketball...or just in everyday interactions really.


April 18th, 2014 at 9:21 AM ^

Regarding Huff, maybe I'm wrong but I have to imagine there are very few teams that will look at a 6'9 kid and say, "yeah, you'll play guard for us". Most rosters just won't have the other bodies to sacrifice that size down low, even with the 40% three shooting. If anything, Beilein's offense should be be a draw because the 4 is more of a wing player anyway and he could really feature his outside shot. I have a feeling most teams will say "yeah, you can play the three" and then he'll end up playing significant time at the 4 anyway. But who knows; seems like a good fit for Beilein, so I would like to have him.


April 18th, 2014 at 10:36 AM ^

He doesn't want to play the 2.  He wants to play the 3.

And for all those offering advice about NBA players - again, he is transferring to avoid playing the 4 at Nevada.  It is sort of difficult to have a conversation some of you are offering:

"So Mr. Huff why are you transferring?"

"They are asking me to play the 4 sir, I really think my position is the 3, and that is why I am leaving, Coach."

"Let me tell you about playing the 4 at Michigan."

I am on the Huff train and have no idea why everyone wants him to play the 4.  I want a 6'8 guy at the 3.  We have a stretch 4 who will be a RS SO in 2015-2016 already.  Having a front line of 6'10 Doyle, 6'9 Donnal and 6'8 Huff? Yes please - size and rebounding for once??  No more NCAA tourney game previews offering how UM will lack size versus its opponent? Interior length across the board?  Yes yes and yes. 

Sure he would play 4 maybe 6-8 minutes a game perhaps when Donnal sits but having 3 trees like that out there at once would be great. 


April 18th, 2014 at 10:56 AM ^

Nevada fans thinks their coach has as much to do with it as playing out of position. Huff said he wanted to play close to home but his list is all Midwest schools. Likewise,  think Huff would jump to play at UM regardless of position. Go look at his AAU coaches twitter, it is full of Sanderson, Stauskas and UM player development stuff in April. Wilson's. Chatman's and Donnal's versatility also make the 3 spot viable for him for large stretches, but everyone plays multiple positions so he'd play 4, too.


"I doubt Huff's reasons had much do with anything other than wanting to go to a big time school I wish him well but I don't have much respect for him now.."


"I disagree, I think Huff just wanted to play for a good team. When he committed we had just made the NIT semifinals and returned 3 starters, things were looking up.

Now he saw how Burton wasted his career here, and doesn't want to do the same.

I can't blame him, now he gets to compete for a national title rather than a winning record in the MW."

"I think its interesting that we may have Michigan caliber players on the roster........


And still can't win many games"



April 18th, 2014 at 11:17 AM ^

Sure - that front line you list would be great, but then we don't have any back ups.  The more likely scenario is that both Donnal and Doyle at at the 5, unless we pick up a young big man in the meantime, either by transfer or in the 2015 recruiting class.  If we get one of the 2014 wings who are visiting this weekend (which is likely) I don't think we want Huff if he wants to be a wing player here.  In 2015 we'll have Irvin (most likely), Chatman, Wilson and that last 2014 guy, plus any 2015 recruits.  At this point, the only 4/5 guys we will have is Donnal and Doyle, plus 2015 recruits, but bigs have a harder time producing right away than guards.


April 18th, 2014 at 11:42 AM ^

Except Chatman (at least 6'7'') and Irvin have near 7ft wingspans and can handle 220 lbs on their frame. Tim and Nik have 6'6'' wingspans and are slight of frame. 

Chatman also has an advanced post game and is an elite rebounder in EYBL 

Also, have you watched Beilein basketball? Irvin has played th 4 and will continue in 3 point shooting lineups. Recruiting also seems to infer that the staff views Donnal as an adequate 5 along w/ Doyle and Max. 


April 18th, 2014 at 11:47 AM ^

I completely agree with you that Donnal will be a 5 moving forward.  Also, I didn't mean guys couldn't play a particular spot at times when we go with a different line up.  I was referring to what a guy will play primarily.  Sure, sometimes Spike and Walton are on the floor together, but you wouldn't list either of them as an option at SG.  

Chatman is 30 pounds lighter than GRIII, so he'll have a really tough time with anyone of decent size down low.  I agree we could slide one of those guys to the 4 at certain times when we're playing small, or when the opposing team has a starting big on the bench, but not as a standard line up.


April 18th, 2014 at 12:00 PM ^

I just think his skill set would be a waste there.  He's a terrific ball handler and shooter.  He's more like LeVert than GRIII.  Like I said, he could slide there is we wanted a line-up with a PG and three wings, but I don't see that happening often.  

If LeVert goes pro a year from now, Chatman and Irvin will be our two starting wings anyway, and they'd probably slot Bielfeldt or Wilson at the 4.


April 18th, 2014 at 12:23 PM ^

The 4 can bring the ball up and run PnR, ya know? 

And Chatman is nothing like Levert. Levert has great lateral quickness to stick guards while Chatman has a post game. Kyle Anderson, Hedo Turkgolu, Draymond Green, Lamar Odom and Tayshaun Prince come to mind when I watch his footage. 




April 18th, 2014 at 12:57 PM ^

Consider that he's playing at an exceptionally low level of competition in Portland.  A lot of the scouting was from before that but the highlight videos might not tell you a whole lot.  Dribbling is kind of like a QB running - doing it at the HS level it might not translate to a higher level of athleticism


April 18th, 2014 at 12:12 PM ^

I am of mind the 2 thru 4 are pretty interchangeable on OFFENSE for Beilein's system.  Obviously its different on defense.  That said right now I do see Chatman more as a 3.  And I dont care about "heights", I do care about "weights" and bulk (and hey skill set) as to where these people should be playing.   For Huff, if he can put the ball on the floor which from the story I posted yesterday from Reno newspaper said he can, and take 3s, he seems like a more natural 3 but could in theory play 10 minutes at 2 or 4 in the Beilein system (on offense)

Just curious if anyone knows GR3s weight as a freshman.  He is around 210 now - so I assume he was 195-200ish as a freshman.


April 18th, 2014 at 10:58 AM ^

Most teams nowadays play a point guard, two big guards, one forward and one center, or two forwards.  There will be very few teams for which a 6-8/6-9 guy is going to be the third biggest on the floor, and Michigan isn't likely to be one of them.  

Huff looks like a fairly productive player who could fit into a Beilein offense nicely with his 3 point shooting, but maybe not in the role he has in mind for himself (somewhat like Robinson).  With Donnal, Wilson and Chatman in the mix too, there's a question of how many minutes he could grab after sitting out a year.


April 18th, 2014 at 11:07 AM ^

Donnal is a center due to roster necessity and Huff is a better player than Wilson, who I expect to start as an upperclassman. Chatman can bulk of his minutes as a natural 3. 

Ill guess a class of McQuaid and the Jalens for 15'

Irvin/Coleman/Dawkins or MAAR
Chatman and Huff can be switched if "position" is a big deal. 



April 18th, 2014 at 12:01 PM ^

If we got both Jalens in 2015, and in any case, I'm not sure that a point guard, a combo guard and a wing would be the best mix for that class.  It will depend somewhat on how Donnal, Doyle and Wilson develop, but I would tend more towards grabbing a true big next year, along with a PG and  SG/W, unless both Doyle and Wilson look like they'll be effective inside.