MBB (1990-Present): Recruits that left you wanting more

Submitted by Ghost of BCook… on April 3rd, 2014 at 12:01 PM

Seth's front pager (Link, here:  http://mgoblog.com/content/hokepoints-beilein-vs-all-time-recent-guys ) where he opined on recent Michigan basketball coaches included a component highlighting the future NBA players each coach recruited. 

That piece led me to thinking - there were a ton of great recruits that came in with hype and expectations that didn't end up having the impact many expected.  Some are more obvious than others - Jerod Ward being the #1 national recruit in 1994 for example.  But who are the guys you really thought would have brought about the current Basketball Rennaisance on an expedited time table? 

Talking strictly about recruits that were thought to have NBA potential - this is not your time to throw out Avery Queen/Dommanic Ingerson references. 

My choice: Albert White.  I saw this guy in High School while he was playing for Inkster and he was an unstopable scoring machine.  His senior season at Inkster High, White averaged 31 points, 15.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.7 steals and 3.0 blocks.  He was a McDonald's All-American when that used to mean "virtual lock for NBA stardom".  While he was "ok" as a freshman at UM (9.0 ppg/4.7 rpg), he wound up being jettisoned by Fisher and transferring to Missouri for a variety of reasons (relationship with Fisher, ties to Martin, etc).  At Missouri his stats were very good, but mostly empty - and he never even got a sniff in the NBA.   

Who you got?


Ghost of BCook…

April 3rd, 2014 at 12:09 PM ^

Amaker's player development can certainly be questioned, but outside of Lavell Blanchard, Amaker wasn't exactly bringing in the world's most sought after guys.  He did get more than his fair share of "2nd tier" players like Lester Abram, Bernard Robinson, etc - and did virtually nothing with them though - so I think your criticism is fair. 


April 3rd, 2014 at 12:35 PM ^

It's funny that Lester Abram came to mind really, because when I think about the stats he could put up when he was healthy (significant portions of his junior and senior years were lost to injury, as I recall) combined with some the players that he might have around him under someone like Beilein (possibly some of the same ones, as you mention), that would have made for something special perhaps. As it is, of course, he's still on the Top 20 lists among Wolverines in a few categories, I believe, which still isn't bad at all. 


April 3rd, 2014 at 12:53 PM ^

Amaker didn't bring in either Blanchard or Bernard Robinson - those were Ellerbe recruits.  But he did sign Daniel Horton, Dion Harris, Chris Hunter, Lester Abram, Courtney Sims, Brent Petway, DeShawn Sims, Manny Harris . . . all top 100 guys.  Recruiting really wasn't his problem.  Player development, much moreso.



April 3rd, 2014 at 1:05 PM ^

(Horton, Les, Graham, Hunter, Courtney, Dion, Petway) but then his recruiting really dropped off.  That led to a non-existent bench.  If he'd just hit on another of his point guard targets I feel sure he would have broken through.  Amaker wasn't great at teaching fundamentals(Watching Michigan's turnovers in the era would surely turn Beilein's hair white) and when Horton was injured or suspended or getting a breather there was just nobody to put in for him.


April 3rd, 2014 at 12:10 PM ^

Definitely has to be Epke Udoh for me.  That man could've been a great Wolverine.  We all kind of knew that he had that potential, but no one truly believed how close he was to accomplishing that until he blew up in a big way at Baylor.


April 3rd, 2014 at 12:11 PM ^

I gotta say, I remember being pretty excited about Kevin Gaines, Jamal Crawford, and Maurice Searight.  They had a lot of hype.  Were any left after their sophomore season?  There was so much young talent on that team that all seemed to dissolve away.


April 3rd, 2014 at 12:18 PM ^

Ben Cronin.  Moreso because we were getting obliterated on the boards with a freshman Zack Novak.  Glad J-mo stepped into the center position, when injuries ended his career.  


April 3rd, 2014 at 12:31 PM ^

declares for the draft he will probably be my answer.  The tourney run was amazing with him in the lineup but if all we get from our most heralded recruit since Chris Webber is like 3/4th of a season I will be somewhat disappointed.

Other than that, probably Courtney Sims.  The guy actually seemed to regress every year he played for Michigan.

Young John Beilein

April 3rd, 2014 at 12:43 PM ^

I think the run to the title game is enough of a contribution for Mitch.  Obviously he flashed some dominant potential during that time, and we want to see that over the course of a season.  But  without him we have no chance at all against Kansas and Syracuse.  Plus he's been awesome on the bench during his injury.

Agreed about Courtney Sims.  He was huge and pretty skilled but just never asserted himself.

Young John Beilein

April 3rd, 2014 at 2:09 PM ^

You say six games like it could be six non-conference games at the start of the season.  Those were games that many Michigan fans will remember until they succumb to senility.

Also, much of his recruiting hype was severely dampened by the time he entered college fresh off of being the sixth man on his high school/ basketball academy team.  Sure, he just had to regain the form that made him the #2 overall recruit previously, but a lot of guys never do.

Finally, don't downplay the importance of the sweet benchmob GIFs.