A history on how Michigan Basketball used to recruit

Submitted by Maizen on March 31st, 2016 at 1:31 PM

Per Hoopscoop. Rankings began in 1983. For the purpose of this post I'm not including any signees outside the top 100. This should give a good overall view of basketball recruiting before the Amaker/Ellerbe years. I included Ellerbe's 1999 class to show that Michigan still had some cache' despite looming sanctions and atrocious facilities. Would be interested if anyone could find anything before 1983. I'm sure guys like Tarpley, McCormick, Hubbard, etc were all highly acclaimed coming out of high school.

1983: Antoine Joubert (#25 overall), Quincy Turner (#64 overall), Garde Thompson (#81 overall)

1984: Gary Grant (#11 overall)

1985: Glen Rice (#6 overall), Loy Vaught (#20 overall)

1986: Terry Mills (#2 overall), Rumeal Robinson (#5 overall)

1987: Sean Huggins (#12 overall), Kirk Taylor (#37 overall), Chris Seter (#52 overall)

1988: No Top 100 players

1989: Sam Mitchell (#42 overall), Tony Tolbert (#44 overall), Michael Talley (#64 overall)

1990: No Top 100 players

1991:Chris Webber (#1 overall), Juwan Howard (#3 overall), Jalen Rose (#6 overall), Jimmy King (#9 overall), Ray Jackson (#84 overall)

1992: No Top 100 players

1993: Bobby Crawford (#19 overall), Oliver St Jean, Makhtar Ndaiye

1994: Jerod Ward (#1 overall), Maceo Baston (#16 overall), Maurice Taylor (#18 overall), Willie Mitchell (#19 overall)

1995: Robert Traylor (#4 overall), Louis Bullock (#11 overall), Albert White (#16 overall)

Sidenote re: 1995. Kevin Garnett was the #1 ranked player and there were substantial rumors he would have come to Michigan if his coach and not "misplaced" his qualifying SAT score.

1996: No Top 100 players

1997: Brandon Smith (#63 overall)

1998: No Top 100 players 

1999: Lavell Blanchard (#6 overall), Kevin Gaines (#11 overall), Jamal Crawford (#46 overall), Leland Anderson (#83 overall)

McDonald's All Americans (Began in '79): Blanchard, Bullock, Grant, Higgins, Horton, Howard, Joubert, King, McCormick, Mills, Rellford, Robinson, Rose, Traylor, Turner, Ward, Webber.



March 31st, 2016 at 2:50 PM ^

Ed Martin gave gifts to high school players, not because he wanted them to go to Michigan but because he liked getting close to great athletes and he hoped they would return the favor when they became big time pros.  I'm not defending the pracice, just that it is not clear that it had ANY effect on any of the Fab 5 coming to Michigan.  That may not be true of the later guys though.


March 31st, 2016 at 3:53 PM ^

thats the part which burns my ass...Martin wasnt in it for Michigan, he was in it for personal ego...there were dozens of city kids who went to Duke, Iowa, NC et al but Michigan had the high profile, and biggest collection of studs, and got the examplehammer. Typical NCAA destroying a bridge in the country instead of managing the infrastructure... Is what it is, but it's always carried this UM cloud that is inaccurate.


March 31st, 2016 at 2:29 PM ^

Amen to that. There have been some pretty lean years in there for Michigan Basketball. We have it pretty good right now. This program has never been consistently elite, and sometimes not even consistently mediocre. Not saying it can't be consistently elite, but historically it never has been. Enjoy this fun brand of basketball while you can, because it could be much, much worse.


March 31st, 2016 at 2:50 PM ^

I look forward to watching how this teams gels next year. The potential is definitely there, especially with some of the young players, such as Wagner and MAAR.

uncle leo

March 31st, 2016 at 3:32 PM ^

"Yeah, we are okay, and it's OKAY!!"

Expect more from this program. Seeing them go from Final 4, Elite 8, to what they are now, is sad. Michigan is a major Big Ten program that has some good history. I have no clue why baksetball is constantly patted on the back and excused for average to below average play, but football has one bad season and the coach is "forced to retire," basically leading to a decade of crappy performance.



March 31st, 2016 at 3:18 PM ^

Between 1998 and 2008 or so, if you wanted to go see a home game against MSU, this is what you did:

1) Decide the morning of the game that you'd like to go,

2) Call a few friends to ask them if they wanted to join you (only to have all of them tell you no and a few ask you why you would want to waste your time),

3) Wander over to Crisler a half hour before tipoff,

4) Park your car 20 yards away from the concourse,

5) Buy cheap tickets on site,

6) Take your seat in a sea of green and white,

7) Watch Michigan lose by 30. 

Now THAT was basketball irrelevance.


March 31st, 2016 at 3:38 PM ^

I don't understand why anyone would point to the Fab Five era as something to aspire to.

It's embarrassing that one of the most notorious scandals in NCAA history occurred at Michigan. If you think that statement is overblown, just google "worst scandals NCAA history".

Michigan is better than that. 

Blue Bunny Friday

March 31st, 2016 at 6:12 PM ^

Because we know that you can't be the best at college basketball recruiting without making major sacrifices to your integrity, getting caught a second time would be a real bad look, and we're okay with the recent record (last two seasons notwithstanding, and it doesn't take much to think that that 'brief downturn' isn't the exception).  I could go on.


March 31st, 2016 at 11:06 PM ^

Villanova is having a great run this year.

However, Villanova's level of success under Wright is very similar to UM's under Beilein - except Wright has been at his post longer.

Until this year "nova was getting a reputation for choking in the tournament - since 2010, they lost in the first or second round 5 straight times. (missed tournament once).


NCAA tournament 11/15 years

2 Final Fours (still active in 1)

1 Elite Eight

2 Sweet 16

6 Lost first or second round


NCAA tournament 6/9 years

1 Championship Game

1 Elite Eight

4 Lost first or second round


March 31st, 2016 at 4:26 PM ^

Perry Watson "delivered" Rose and Webber.  Ed Martin was a "benevolent soul" who used to "help" Watson.  Until then, Michigan never had a class approaching the "Fab Five."  You can basically erase the Fab Five and post-Fab Five years when assessing recruiting.

Also, "handlers" have become much more of a factor in recruiting now.  If a kid has a handler who wants six figures for a seat at the table, Michigan is not going to "ante in."

Especially with instate rival Tom Izzo embracing the "dark side" to a point where he can outbid UK for a recruit, the only way Michigan is going to recruit top 25 players on a consistent basis is to cheat.  That isn't going to happen.  

Be happy that Beilein can get the results he does with a clean program and celebrate the occasional top 25 recruit who turns down good money to go to Michigan.