BBall Recruiting - New 19 Target/EM Top 100 Guard/Wing Samuell Williamson

Submitted by matt D on April 4th, 2018 at 8:08 AM

With the basketball season in the books after another superb year by Coach Beilein and the crew, its time to turn our attention to recruiting where hopefully the NC game run pays dividends.

Samuell Williamson out of Texas, may very well be the most underrated prospect in the country to the other services. I'm in the process of doing my 2019 rankings as we speak and he's likely to be a top 50 prospect..................he's that good. At a legit 6'7 with prototype length, a nice handle, a lethal jumper off the bounce and good athleticism he has the total package.

Williamson reminds me a bit of former UNC standout Justin Jackson in terms of size/frame and skillset. He also has some Paul George (obviously extremely poor man's version) like qualities to his game.

Just to give some context, when a prospect says "I'm hearing from X, Y, Z the most" that is generally code word for his top group/leaders.…


matt D

April 4th, 2018 at 8:22 AM ^

Coach Washington is the contact in that recruitment. Weems was a heavy Ohio State lean before Matta was fired and appeared to be leaning toward MSU up until recently...........but with the cloud over MSU and the Spartans underperforming once again this year it feels like things are a bit more open for Romeo.

I talk with Weems/his camp on a fairly regular basis and he's tough to get a read on. He's a quiet kid by nature and doesn't like the media attention. He just goes about his business on the court and appears to be handling his recruitment the right way by taking an objective, well thought out approach.

Of all our current 19 targets, he's the guy I feel we could greatly benefit from.


April 4th, 2018 at 9:20 AM ^

"He's a quiet kid by nature and doesn't like the media attention. He just goes about his business on the court and appears to be handling his recruitment the right way by taking an objective, well thought out approach."

Sounds like a Beilein sort of guy (well, aside from a certain Jordan, anyway).  And if he's a 'well thought out' kinda guy, he'll stay far away from the cesspool known as East Lansing.  Unless, of course, he wants his minutes given to some 6th yr nobody a few seats down...

matt D

April 4th, 2018 at 9:54 AM ^

1 year ago I would have been willing to wager that Watts ends up anywhere but Michigan. I'm still skeptical that he ultimately lands at UM, but with the run this year and Watts a shooter that isn't a great athlete, perhaps the tide has turned.

A tidbit that I'll drop here, Watts' HS coach was fired after the season and I don't necessarily think he's a huge fan of Michigan so perhaps more/less of his influence changes the recruitment.


April 4th, 2018 at 8:13 AM ^

Looks like an intriguing prospect. I'm a fan of SG's with length, really helps on defense if they have active hands and ability to block shots on smaller guards that drive on them.


The Fugitive

April 4th, 2018 at 8:15 AM ^

The more versatile wingys the better.

Matt, any update on that Jimmer Fredette clone from upstate New York? We could really use his outside shooting.


April 4th, 2018 at 8:16 AM ^

Thanks for this matt. Hate to be pessimistic but I’ll wait till after the smoke clears from the FBI investigation before I believe we’ll get a NC game bounce. Got burned after the 2013 appearance. Look forward to the day the sport gets cleaned up. Guys like Beilein are due that justice.


April 4th, 2018 at 10:20 AM ^

and player development validates Beilein and the program in a way the 1st NCAA run probably didn’t around the country.

I am not saying Beilein needed validation but I do think we are going to see that effect.

Your average basketball fan would have thought Izzo was an equal or better tactician a few years ago. Given comparable talent people can see that is not true.

This run will pay dividends.


April 4th, 2018 at 8:52 AM ^

thanks Matt, I wondered/hoped that our deep run would impact recruiting. 2013 didn't seem to give us the big bang we hoped for.

matt D

April 4th, 2018 at 9:09 AM ^

Let's get this out of the way............its obvious at this point that Coach Beilein was not working on a level playing field at that point, hopefully he is now. All that said, while JB is probably a top 5 coach in terms of Xs and Os, he's not the best salesman in the world and that's ok if you have top notch assistants that are ace recruiters.

This is where Saddi Washington comes into play. I think we would have seen the benefits of the 2013 and 2014 runs exponentially more had Coach Washington been on the staff. In his short tenure at UM he is responsible for the recruiting wins of Isiah Livers, Brandon Johns and David DeJulius. Each of those kids had multiple options and had the opportunity to attend programs that were just as high, if not higher, in the generally accepted/perceived college basketball hierarchy.

I think Saddi is a top 10 recruiter in the country, and kudos to Coach Beilein for this amazing hire. In addition to his recruiting prowess, its hard to ignore his actual coaching when we see the development of DJ Wilson, Jon Teske and Isiah Livers.


April 4th, 2018 at 9:24 AM ^

This is the kind of insight I come here to see!  I'm a fan of bball, but don't watch a lot of it.  It's good to know that Beilein found a top recruiter to go with the best defensive coach in the land, too!  And those two assistants tell me that DeAndre Haynes is no slouch as a coach - or he wouldn't be able to keep his seat at the table...


April 4th, 2018 at 6:24 PM ^

Matt - thanks much for your insights. This is a great and much appreciated post. I have a bunch of questions for you.

  1. I would love to hear a bit more about how the playing field wasn't level before. Is that because of bagmen and the like, or recruiting fails, or recruiting acumen among coaching staff beyond Beilein, or something else?
  2. Great to hear about Saddi Washington. Is he a head coach target elsewhere yet? Do you think we will be able to keep him?
  3. I'm not sure if it was Maizen, but I remember reading here a year or two that prep coaches in Chicago steered kids AWAY from Michigan. Is this still true? Has the success of Charles Matthews changed this at all? Or Michigan's success?
  4. Looking at the current scholarship situation, we are one over next year. Do you think it is a lock that Mo declares for the draft to get us where we need to be?
  5. Do you anticipate anyone currently on the team roster leaving before the 2018 - 2019 season? (No names needed or wanted.)
  6. Who would you consider the top targets for 2019? How many do you think it is reasonable to target for 2019? (EDIT: largely answered in posts further down.)
  7. Given the learning curve at Michigan with Beilein, it seems to me that "one and done" kids really don't fit. They need at the very least one year to learn (Poole, Livers, Matthews, Wagner, et. al.) and then can play a leading role the next year? Do you agree? If so, how does this affect recruiting? (i.e., what's the point of a one and done coming to Michigan at all, if they really need two years.)

matt D

April 4th, 2018 at 7:15 PM ^

1) Bagmen is part of the equation. Assts coaches the other (in addition to Coach B himself not being the strongest salesman)

2) Saddi loves coaching at Michigan despite being born an raised in EL and his father a former player at MSU. I can't really speak to his Xs and Os knowledge simply because he's never been a head coach, but he is tremendous recruiter that does great as a skill developer with bigs..........see the proof with DJ, Teske and Wagner.

3) Chicago is problematic for Michigan to a certain extent, in particular kids playing for Mac Irvin. Meanstreets no so much

4) I don't think Mo declaring is a lock at all. He's not an NBA rotation player IMO because he can't defend any single position. A 6'10 ish prospect that can't defend in space, doesn't offer rim protection and isn very poor as a post defender is just hard to hide on defense.

5) Yes

6) Already addressed as you pointed out

7) One and dones fit anywhere in my opinion, because their talent level is such that development/knowing the system is essentially moot considering they are superior to their peers from an athletic and skillset standpoint. Case in point is Marvin Bagley.............he's essentially a 20/10 garbage man that is physically/athletically superior to anyone on the court and he will dominate accordingly. In other words they don't need to know the system in order to produce at a higher level than experienced players.

All Day

April 5th, 2018 at 11:03 AM ^

Also, Chicago hasn't produced much elite talent recently. This year they had two high level recruits, but you have to deal with Irivn and Smith. Only 1 of those guys was an All American. In 2017 the city had 0 kids in IL's top 13 players. The 2019 class has nothing in it. 


April 4th, 2018 at 9:19 AM ^

Very unlikely we have that many spots open. 

Technically, we have 0 right now. 

In the 2019 season, we'll have:

Seniors - Teske, Watson, Simpson, Matthews

Juniors - Davis, Poole, Livers, Brooks

Sophomores - Nunez, Iggy, Johns, Castleton, DeJulius

I expect at least one transfer from that group and Matthews to potentially leave early. If Poole has a Stauskas like jump, maybe him too. 

But I expect we will, max, take 2 recruits in 2019. 


April 4th, 2018 at 9:19 AM ^

Matt, how many openings can we possibly have for '19?   No seniors.  Matthews will probably go pro.  Transfer maybe?   Won't be more than 2 openings?   


April 4th, 2018 at 9:29 AM ^

Are we going after any centers in 2019? Teske will be a senior, Davis a RS junior and Castleton a sophomore. 

I really like Castleton and think he's Moe 2.0 if he reaches his potential, but after Teske graduates, 5 position seems a little dicey. I think Davis willd develop into a solid backup, but I don't see his ceiling being much higher than that. 

matt D

April 4th, 2018 at 9:36 AM ^

and I think a lot depends on Wagner's decision in addition to potential attrition. Once the staff has clarity on those items then focusing on bigs and the correlating class will come into focus more with the live evaluation periods right around the corner.


April 4th, 2018 at 9:38 PM ^

I dont think it really depends on Wagner for the '19 class, he will be gone either way. I dont see them taking another center in the '19 class unless one of Teske, Davis, or Castleton is gone. You take one in the '20 class so that you have 5th year Davis, 3rd year Castleton and freshman center to be named later. That would be ideal I think, but recruiting can change quickly.


April 4th, 2018 at 11:48 AM ^

I know Moe did grow. But Franz grew a few inches from the last I had check his profile. He was 6'4"/6'5" and now he's 6'7"/6'8". I don't know enough about human growth and genetics to determine if he has the potential for another growth spurt or not. But we already have 3 guys that are 6'5"-6'8" that project to the 3/4, plus Nunez will be a wing as well. That's four players at the 3/4 position within two classes. Plus we are looking at more athletic options in Weems and Williamson. 


April 4th, 2018 at 12:56 PM ^

Nowhere did I say or infer that it's a bad thing. At the 1/2 positions, JB wants high quality ball handling and distribution skills. At the 3/4, he wants shooting and length and versatility. We will already have 4 wings in the 17&18 classes. I think Franz' game is pretty much the same as Livers, Iggy and Johns except that they're all superior to him in most areas. Nunez is more of just a shooter, but he's 6'5" with length as well. If he develops his dribble, maybe he could be a 2 but I'm not seeing that yet. If we're going to add another wing, I want a slightly different skillset than what we'll already have. I want a more athletic player. Your argument defeats itself when you talk about versatility. JB's system is flexible. But it can't be flexible if you have 4 players with nearly identical skill sets and physical profiles. 


April 4th, 2018 at 10:48 AM ^

Hey Matt, always good to see a post from you.


How many guys do you think Beilein is willing to take in the 2019 class given that there's no open scholarships right now barring transfers? I love the '19 targets we have and it would be a shame to only be able to take one. Any order for which prospects you personally think Beilein should prioritize?

matt D

April 4th, 2018 at 3:50 PM ^

but having consistent dialogue with Tyrese, I can tell you he's a GREAT kid. Well spoken, humble and just a great all around person. Comes from a great family.

He's in superb academic standing, that I can tell you factually. The fact that Stanford has offered backs that up as well.

Additionally, the fact the Tyrese and his family took an unoffical to Michigan last summer on their own dime conveys legit interest.


April 5th, 2018 at 9:06 AM ^

I'm intrigued by Tyrese Maxey. I find it interesting that he is yet another coach's kid from an intact family, and also that he has a Stanford offer. Does the way Simpson has developed, along with MAAR, and also that they were coach's kids, impact him and his family positively?

You commented elsewhere that the talent level of the elite kids (top 10 - 20) is so much higher, they can play instantly. How does the position play in? Specifically, does the point guard have so much more responsibility in directing the offense (and defense) that the learning curve is steeper and harder? I suppose since Maxey's dad is a coach, he (along with Tyrese) could fully understand what Beilein is teaching kids at Michigan.

And that raises another question. How well does Michigan's system translate to the NBA? You would think, looking at Trey Burke, that it translates well. But I don't know how much of Burke's success was due to learning AFTER Michigan, and how much came from learning DURING his time at Michigan. If kids know that being at Michigan isn't just making time, but actually preparing them for the next level, that would be a big plus.

I hate to get my hopes up. Between Bamba, and before him Kennard, it seems that Michigan is often the number 2 choice. (Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.) Still, if some kids with elite talent choose to go to Michigan, it could make the different between Michigan this year, and what Nova was able to achieve.

matt D

April 5th, 2018 at 9:25 AM ^

With respect to development of Simpson/MAAR/etc.............I just don't think it matters all that much in the specific context of elite HS guards. If we're being candid Tyrese Maxey as a junior in HS is a better offensive player than a sophomore Simpson right now to put it in perspective. Sure, development means something, but I think the bigger appeal should be, and hopefully it is, that elite guard prospects have tangible proof that Coach Beilien allows his guards to control the game, shoot with volume from the perimeter and run a ton of ballscreens where they have a chance to showcase their respective skillsets. For shooters this is a very good thing, at least with respect to half court offense. For great athletes that like to get up an down the floor at a fast pace, I can see as to where Coach Beilein's methodical approach and hatred for TOs could potentially be a downer. The truth is you have to live with TOs when you play at a fast pace, its just the nature of the game when using a more aggressive approach. I don't know that Coach Beilein will tolerate that, and those sort of prospects know that as well. So its a double edged sword.


How well does Michigan's system translate to the NBA - I don't necessarily think we can frame the question in that exact manner without accounting for size/athleticism...........its just such a huge component at the NBA level. The speed of the game at the NBA level is WAY faster in relation to the college game. Trey Burke was an elite, top 5 player at the college level........he will never come close to that at the NBA level because he simply doesn't have the requisite size/athletic ability to generate space against athletes of that caliber. That, in a nutshell, is the difference between college and the college skilled prospects generally have enough time to execute decisions/dispay their respective skills because the opposition is relatively equal. In the NBA a lot of non-athletes are forced to play at a speed that isn't necessarily comfortable, at which point they don't have time to execute decisions/plays in the same manner as they did in college.

EQ RC Blue

April 4th, 2018 at 11:19 AM ^

For years, MattD was on the UMHoops forum calling Beilein "mediocre" and "boring," saying that 2013 was a fluke, that Michigan should fire him and would never be more than a bubble team, and denying that Beilein was at any disadvantage for being clean in recruiting.  I guess you've changed your mind?

EQ RC Blue

April 4th, 2018 at 12:37 PM ^

... that he hasn't posted there lately.  Here are just a few excerpts from MattD from a legendary thread over there that was basically MattD crowing that he was right all along that Beilein wasn't a very good coach:

"I think a lot of what you think of JB is based on standards - for those that are ok with being a perennial bubble/bubble plus team, JB is great." 

"Its ok to have a gimmick system provided the team is winning, but once the elite talent leaves, the gimmick systems tend to go very bad, very quick."

"Being blunt, I don't think there's any way in hell JB is a top 10 coach."

"So sick of some folks acting like we have to cheat to get better recruiting."

"I can personally tell you that some kids simply don't want to play for a soft coach..........and that is the perception of John Beilein."

"True question...............does anyone really care if a coach is nice guy? I could give 2 f$^ks less. Was Bobby Knight a nice guy? Is Jim Harbaugh considered a nice guy? The answer is no.................a coach has a singular job, and that is winning. I don't care if John Beilein is Time Magazine 'Man of The Year'............all I care about is the product on the court and the independent variables that contribute to that product. Right now, I don't like much, if anything, about John Beilein as a coach."

"Have to disagree with you on UM being fun to watch under JB, I don't find his style of play to be fun at all. Honestly, I think its a very boring style of play."

Here's the thread just in case anyone wants to read the whole thing: