New BBall Offer - 2020 F Carlos Johnson

Submitted by matt D on January 21st, 2019 at 7:07 PM


matt D

January 21st, 2019 at 7:24 PM ^

As we all know there are 3 components to recruiting under Coach Beilein - basketball skill/talent, off the court personality/academic standing and desire to be at Michigan.

Carlos is an outstanding young man based on my interactions with him and from everything I can gather from other sources. He's an honor student and a humble kid with integrity.

On the court, he has a non-stop motor and rebounds at a high level. In terms of skill, I think he has some work to do. He's a below average/average shooter, doesn't have the ballhandling ability to be a shot-creator within the half-court offense and is an average athlete. However, he is an extremely good passer with excellent vision.

Physically, he's nowhere near the listed 6'6-6'7. He measured in at 6'4.5 (with shoes) at the 2018 Nike Elite 100 with a 6'7.5 wingspan.

My short take is this - he has the skill of a PF/4 in the body of a SG/2-3. The recent comparison I can think of is Kevin Easley (never received an offer despite really wanting one). Carlos is a man amongst boys in high school based on superior strength and motor, but I do have concerns about his game translating to the next level.

One thing I've learned through all the years of scouting is never discount motor. Motor/rebounding consistently translates from level to level even if the various skill facets do not.


January 21st, 2019 at 8:43 PM ^

I always appreciate your assessments-you pick up on critical, difference-making traits. I understand your concern with translating to the next level...but as you note, the "howevers" in this regard are huge. To me, "Scooby's" basketball IQ jumps off the screen. I believe he would do very well in a Beilein offense because there is surely a place for a PF/4 skill set at the 2/3 slot. I have seen some outstanding passing from this kid-that declares that, here, he is exceptionally skilled. So he took over the game against Saginaw-scored 39...tells me the kid has a couple extra gears in him. 

Otherwise, the 2020 recruit offer list is dead on for Coach Beilein. But Kessler remains the "monster" of this class for Michigan. 

matt D

January 21st, 2019 at 9:02 PM ^

I think the issue is that the PF spot under Coach Belien is a catch and shoot/stand in the corner role.....that is not something Johnson excels at currently. In short, I don’t think Johnson’s projected position will allow him to showcase his passing skills to the extent that his utility is diminished a bit because he’s not going to have the ball in his hands.


January 21st, 2019 at 9:59 PM ^

I was thinking more about him playing the two and his ability to take his defender to the hoop-more from power than PGs and 2s are not typically physically strong-and he uses his body well. There are many times in this game where being "atypical" is a good thing. 

Clips are so limited...does he have the quickness to defend at the 1/2? And if he can defend a 1 I could see his offensive skill set possibly translating there???...the kid sure sees the court!

matt D

January 21st, 2019 at 7:29 PM ^

In terms of raw talent/isolation ability, Dave is probably more talented than anyone on the roster. However with that ability comes risk of bad shots and TOs, something Coach Beilein simply will not toleration. His strategy, for better or worse, often translates to playing not to lose rather than playing to win to a certain extent. Once Dave is able to be efficient within the confines of a structured offense I think we'll see is PT increase.


January 22nd, 2019 at 2:29 PM ^

I hope so, but I haven't seen it yet.  In his limited playing time thusfar, he has been shoot first, and has gone to the step-back jumper almost every time without success--and often off by alot.  It worries me that he may be Brundige-like, and that his strength and step-back allowed him to dominate in HS, but won't translate to college.  The argument over who is better between DeJulius and Loyer may end up being neither.

yossarians tree

January 22nd, 2019 at 3:01 PM ^

DeJulius has so far gotten zero important minutes, so I'm not sure what you're basing this assessment off of. Garbage time means absolutely nothing.The fact that he hasn't played can simply be because he is behind two guys with more experience and of them eats 35 minutes a game and is All Big Ten level. Not unusual at all for a Beilein point guard to take a year to feel comfortable in the system.


January 23rd, 2019 at 3:39 PM ^

Name me a Beilein point guard who couldn't get off the bench his first year.  X is probably the closest example and he played consistent minutes by this point in the season.  It's not like climbing past Brooks should be that hard.

Plus the eye test.  Even with his limited minutes and struggles, you can see Johns's skills and upside.  I'll wager Castleton ends up a bigger contributor than DeJulius.

And as an aside, his nemesis Loyer looks like he will have a Nairns-level career.

matt D

January 21st, 2019 at 7:51 PM ^

As someone that watches the NBA a great deal, I think both Iggy and Poole are likely gone by 2020. Iggy doesn't appear to be someone that has a great fit in the NBA unless he proves to be a very good shooter, but he's not going to increase his stock by staying at Michigan. Poole definitely has some Brad Beal qualities to his game, minus the athleticism and quick-twitch explosion.

A guy I think does have some NBA potential, and this may surprise some folks, is Livers. Versatile defender that can knock down shots in the Josh Hart mold. Essentially a guy with enough mobility to check a 2-3 while having the size and strength to wall-up on a 4, and the ability to knock down shots from distance.


January 21st, 2019 at 8:54 PM ^

The kid does everything he is asked-and quite well. He is coming off the bench because of his great flexibility to pretty much do it all. This has to be an interesting call for Beilein...especially as the need for another shooter seems to be growing. I wonder if/how much they are looking at Livers and Johns together at the 3 and practice.


January 21st, 2019 at 9:39 PM ^

I honestly don't understand this offer. I've watched 3-4 of his highlight videos and haven't been overly impressed. He's short for his position, doesn't seem to have any stand out skills or shooting, and seems to just bully poor competition. I feel like at this point we should be aiming higher than him, but I guess I'll trust the coaching staff


January 21st, 2019 at 9:54 PM ^

I don't see the fit either, but maybe this is like the Jamal Cain offer where he's never really prioritized? 2020 looks like it's going to be a 5 man class assuming Poole and Iggy leave early so maybe Beilein sees a kid he likes but doesn't know where he plays yet and takes a chance on him. At this point I think we just have to trust him. 


January 21st, 2019 at 10:11 PM ^

I have been away from Michigan HS basketball for a long time but back in the day taking over a game and scoring 39 against Saginaw would not have been considered bullying "poor competition". This kid may not be a physical high flyer but he really knows how to play the game...and he makes his teammates better...that's worth a whole lot.


January 22nd, 2019 at 7:55 AM ^

The nuances of playing the game of basketball well are likely greater than the sum of all other sports. I have a friend/teammate who was in the class behind me who is in the Indiana HS Basketball Hall of Fame. He averaged around 25 ppg for his 4 years of HS play. He was 6'2", slow-footed and maybe had a 12" vertical-seriously. He did have very quick hands and 4 sets of eyes...he was within range when he crossed the half-court line and was also a rebound and assist machine. He averaged over 30 points and 16 rebounds pg his junior and senior years-just looked it up (would have likely been at least 35ppg if the 3pt shot had been in effect). The way Dean played the game was undefinable-totally uncanny...and he was a riot to play with!!!  This is why I declare that basketball is unequivocally the best game to play. 

Just because "Scooby's" athleticism/physical skill set doesn't jump off the screen doesn't mean he can't play at Michigan. 



January 22nd, 2019 at 9:24 AM ^

It's exciting yet frustrating that we have to plan for the unknown regularly.  Poole, Iggy, Livers, etc., there's a good chance none of these guys see their senior year.  Meanwhile MSU is #3 in Kenpom with a team that has zero NBA prospects and will all be back next year.  I know I shouldn't complain, but makes life tough on Coach B!

matt D

January 22nd, 2019 at 9:44 AM ^

Absent generational recruiting classes (Duke this year), I think the best way of consistently winning basketball games at the college level is via 2nd rd prospects (much like we have this year). It allows sustainability because guys aren't leaving after 1 year. High floor guys that don't necessarily have the physical profile and/or athleticism/specialty skill to cut it in the NBA. A guy like DJ Wilson, for example, is probably not the kind of HS prospect that is good for a program that doesn't recruit at an elite level. From a return value standpoint it works like this - DJ eats up 2 years of a scholarship, doesn't produce at all, has 7-10 good games in a Michigan uniform, then bolts for the NBA. Low floor/high ceiling guys aren't a recipe for success as it relates to sustainability.


January 22nd, 2019 at 10:29 AM ^

Random question for you mattD since you seem to still be checking this thread. Are you not a huge Beilein fan? I know you probably respect his coaching chops. I just get this impression (and I could be totally off base here) that it rubs you the wrong way that Beilein sticks (usually...not all the time) to recruiting only kids with good grades, good families, and a desire to be at Michigan.