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Date Title Body
07/20/2018 - 8:53am Can’t offer an educated…

Can’t offer an educated evaluation on him, as I haven’t seen him live. 

07/18/2018 - 10:38pm Of the 2019 prospects that…

Of the 2019 prospects that aren't currently in the radar, here's a few that I think would be a good fit for us based on need and talent:

 

Tre Mann

Khalil Whitney

Isaiah Wong

James Bishop

ReJean Ellis

Dahmir Bishop

07/18/2018 - 8:40pm For me, he's #140, and that…

For me, he's #140, and that was a generous ranking to be candid.

His rankings are all over the place elsewhere, as ESPN has him a generic 3 star/76 rating, Rivals has him #112 and 247 has him at #55. The 247 composite is useless at this point in my opinion, as an aggregate ranking from only 3 sites is vulnerable to heavy influence from outliers (247 is the outlier here).

Crowley has the look and feel of a prospect that was far ahead of his peers as an underclassmen from a size and athleticism perspective, especially considering he plays HS ball in Mississippi. However, that simply wasn't enough to cut it against legit competition absent elite athleticism, for which Crowley does not have.

In terms of the potential fit at Michigan, I just don't see it. Crowley needs space to excel on the offensive end...……...in simple terms an uptempo style of play is where he's effective. Michigan simply does not get out in transition with any sort of volume. Under Coach Beilein, we're an extremely methodical team that runs sets that often see us take shots with under 12 seconds left on the shot clock. That isn't the type of system that Crowley projects well to in my opinion.

07/18/2018 - 5:47pm I don’t evaluate based on…

I don’t evaluate based on highlight clips against low-level comp or settings where defense is not played, such as the clip above.

With regard to Crowley specifically, I’ve watched him live numerous occasions this Spring/Summer on the EYBL circuit for Woods Elite. And it’s my opinion that he’s not very skilled and isn’t a great fit at UM. If that ‘doesn’t hold water’ for you I respect your opinion, but I think if you examine his game from a statistical standpoint (against legit comp) it will lend support to my evaluation. 

07/18/2018 - 1:13pm I've viewed Crowley…

I've viewed Crowley extensively this Spring/Summer and I don't think he's a very good fit for what we need (isolation scorer), nor am I a big fan of his game.

Crowley is the opposite of what we generally recruit, in that he's a good athlete that isn't very skilled. He doesn't shoot the ball particularly well and does not have the ability to create shots off the dribble at the next level as of right now.

I can definitely see some defensive potential there though as a guy that can defend 2 and perhaps 3 positions at some point in his career.

07/14/2018 - 5:14pm The biggest need on the…

The biggest need on the roster is an isolation player that can create off the dribble and score when the offense breaks down. It was definitely a sore spot last year without doubt. I think Poole has some tools to work with in that regard, but obviously the jury is still out.

Jaden McDaniels is the obvious choice, but he's going to be a tough pull but we do have family connections. I think Williamson will develop into that eventually, but he's another tough pull from Texas.

It is very possible we end up with a kid that isn't on the radar as of right now.

07/14/2018 - 4:31pm A kid that I would be at the…

A kid that I would be at the top of my PG list based on talent and fit would be Tre Mann out of Florida. Kid is literally Trey Burke plus 2-3 inches. Doubt we get involved this late in the game, but that would be my ideal pickup at PG.

At the wing, McDaniels would be my first choice followed by Sam Williamson.

07/14/2018 - 4:17pm Beverly - not a PG by any…

Beverly - not a PG by any stretch of the imagination. He's essentially a SF in the body of a CG. I personally don't see a great fit there and I imagine the staff feels the same...…...hence no offer.

Watts - his father wants him at Michigan, but his surrounding camp does not. As of now, I think Watts lands somewhere else for a variety of reasons and I'll leave it at that.

Anthony - do it all PG that probably lands somewhere else because Duke, Kentucky and others are involved.

07/14/2018 - 3:50pm I'm probably in the great…

I'm probably in the great minority here, but I don't see Carton as a huge loss.

DJ is a very good prospect, but I don't necessarily think he would've been a great fit at Michigan. A 5'10-5'11 PG/CG with an average shot in an offensive system that is almost entirely half-court (as opposed to heavy usage of transition) just doesn't seem to be an ideal fit.

Frankly, I think Carton probably made a good decision to go elsewhere based on fit and depth chart. And I also think Michigan will be just fine without DJ for the identical reasons.

 

06/25/2018 - 5:41pm As an avid Laker fan, I can…

As an avid Laker fan, I can attest to Pete's (Laker Film Room) work and the corresponding quality. He is the equivalent of Brian and co. (and frankly held in higher regard by Laker fans) for the Laker community.

The general feeling among casual Laker fans with Mo is slight disappointment, he's not a big name and so he doesn't create buzz in a town that's all about being buzzworthy. He has some obvious holes in his game based on lack of athleticism and defense.

Among the more educated Laker fans (and there is a large contingent), Mo is viewed as a backup center that will should be able to carve out a decent role as a stretch 5 and have a decent career. This segment of the fan base can see his utility based on desired roster construction, but realizes he's not a starter-quality player as he's one-dimensional to a large degree. This segment also gives the Laker scouting department the benefit of the doubt based on their 5 year draft history, which is superb.

My take - I think Mo is a good fit based on team personnel and areas that require improvement, at least on the offensive end. Wagner can provide floor spacing for shot creators such as Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Julius Randle. Of course we all know the desired roster includes Lebron and/or Paul George and/or Kawhi Leonard...………….and Mo is the perfect fit to go along side those guys. That said, I don't think Wagner will ever be a starting center on a good team. Its nearly impossible to be a starting center in the league without providing rim protection and the ability to switch on the perimeter absent ELITE offense. We're basically talking DeMarcus Cousins and Mo isn't anywhere near that level.

I think Mo is somewhere between an extremely poor man's version of Brook Lopez (can stretch the floor from distance, but he doesn't provide the rim protection or post offense of Lopez while being 3-4 inches shorter) and Channing Frye (stretches the floor, similar size, but Mo is better in transition and can attack a closeout off the dribble).

06/22/2018 - 2:19pm Watts reminds me a bit of a…

Watts reminds me a bit of a less athletic Taylor Battle (former Penn State star), in that he's a high-volume scorer that can win a game by himself or shoot you out of game by himself.

06/22/2018 - 12:46pm Prototype size for a PG is…

Prototype size for a PG is the 6'4-6'5 range (I.E. Lonzo Ball), but a legit 6'2 is acceptable. Carton measured in at sub 6' without shoes at USA trials.

 

06/22/2018 - 11:57am Jaden was not on campus…

Jaden was not on campus yesterday.

06/22/2018 - 11:56am I've not spoken to Carton in…

I've not spoken to Carton in a few months, but from things I'm gathering Michigan makes up part of his functional top 3, but Duke is now entering the mix.

Jaden isn't even thinking about visits at this point, his recruitment is likely to a Spring decision. I think that bodes well for us assuming another successful year on the court.

06/22/2018 - 10:28am IF is the operative word, I…

IF is the operative word, I'm not 100% sold that either will come at this point. While the positive talk is focused on his ability to stretch the floor from distance and provide driving lanes for guys like Ingram and Ball (potentially Lebron, PG, Kawhi), the bigger concern in  my opinion is defense. Mo simply isn't capable of defending the perimeter in the league on switches and you better believe opposing coaches are going to pick on him relentlessly. He's also a poor post defender that doesn't offer rim protection. To be candid, you simply can't hide him on defense at this point.

So for me it boils down to whether his offense can compensate for his defense. I think in a bench role matching up against second string opposing centers, he has the potential to be a net plus if he's surrounded by the right personnel.

06/22/2018 - 9:26am As an avid Laker fan, I don…

As an avid Laker fan, I don't necessarily like the pick in a vacuum. However, considering desired roster construction (I.E. the potential to add Lebron and/or PG and/or Kawhi), I very much understand adding Mo as a floor spacing//off-ball shooter.

06/21/2018 - 5:16pm For clarification purposes,…

For clarification purposes, Jaden McDaniels is currently in class at Federal Way HS. Classes don’t let out until tomorrow. 

06/21/2018 - 5:05pm Appears as though this may…

Appears as though this may be a mistake. Three well connected sources in addition to a very well connected source have informed me Jaden is not on campus currently.

06/20/2018 - 1:50pm Zeb differs from the others…

Zeb differs from the others in that he's not a sub 6' guard............he's a legit 6'2ish, so there is more flexibility there.

06/13/2018 - 2:14pm I agree with and disagree…

I agree with and disagree with (to a certain extent) the sentiment that Michigan has an NBA similar offense.

Michigan absolutely has an NBA type offense in terms of running multiple ball screens with perimeter based players having high-usage accordingly. Michigan also does a great job with weak-side action to mitigate the possibility of helpside defense...........very much NBAish in nature 

Where I disagree with Michigan having an NBA type offense is with respect to pace...............simply put we're very methodical and downright slow running our actions while being a low volume transition team.

For some prospects the lack of open-court basketball is a turn-off, and those are typically the elite athletes that thrive the most in those situations.

The NBA is becoming an increasingly fast league where half-court sets simply aren't utilized all that much.

06/13/2018 - 1:42pm SDSU doesn't appear to be a…

SDSU doesn't appear to be a big factor at this point.

06/13/2018 - 11:34am Comfort is certainly a plus,…

Comfort is certainly a plus, but the bigger factor is the ability to showcase translatable skill at his position for NBA purposes. I can't think of any other school in the country that will allow him to do that better than Michigan.

06/13/2018 - 11:18am I think Michigan's biggest…

I think Michigan's biggest advantage is the 'proof is in the pudding' argument. We've let DJ Wilson and Mo Wagner play perimeter-based games and being candid about it, McDaniels has far more talent than either Wilson or Wagner at the same stage. Don't think its hard for Jaden to envision himself playing a perimeter role in Ann Arbor.

To answer your other question, I don't think there's any doubt McDaniels is likely a one and done. His upside is off the charts.............he measured in at 6'9 without shoes at the USA trials. Take that in conjunction with his skillset and athleticism and he has the look of a prototype SF at the NBA level.

06/13/2018 - 11:11am Not even in person, just a…

Not even in person, just a phone call.

06/13/2018 - 11:11am He's in no rush and I think…

He's in no rush and I think that bodes well for Michigan. With the returning roster and incoming class, its likely we have a strong season. Probably looking at a Spring decision as of right now

06/04/2018 - 11:16am Didn’t Take it That Way

I further clarified, that for me, height does indeed matter irrelevant of wingspan based on ability to get off clean jumpshots, in particular for perimeter prospects.

And honestly, I just don’t think wingspan matters all that much, at least on the offensive end.

06/04/2018 - 10:43am Agreed To a Certain Extent

with the caveat that all else is equal.......but often that’s not the case. I’m going with the guy that is athletic and can absorb contact regardless of an extra 2 inches on his arms.

Also I do think head height matters. In the context of taking jumpshots, it’s extremely difficult to knock down shots if you cannot see because a defender’s hand is still in your face even when elevating.

All that said, Carton is athletic and can absorb contact at the college level in terms of finishing. I think he may be hindered a bit as a jumpshooter off the bounce though if he can’t get good separation.

06/04/2018 - 10:16am What I Can Reveal Publicly

and what I know privately are distinct at times. That said, I’d say we have a reasonable shot as of right now and make up part of his informal top 5. He’s not looking to decide any time soon so that may work in our favor assuming Coach Beilein is back and we make another deep run with Matthews back in the fold:

I know there was some concern that national outlets weren’t necessarily confirming my report/piece on Jaden with respect to Michigan being a legit option. Well he did an interview with Rivals over the weekend and what I’ve known for a while is now making its way to the mainstream outlets.

https://basketballrecruiting.rivals.com/news/usa-basketball-jaden-mcdan…

06/04/2018 - 10:08am Don’t Necessarily Agree

I think athleticism and ability to absorb contact are much more critical, at least in the context of finishing at the rim.

06/04/2018 - 10:05am I’m Not Big on Wingspan

in general as it relates to non-shotblockers because I don’t think it functionally helps all that much. I like to use Brandon Ingram as the example, he has ridiculous length but is a sub-par finisher. The reason being he can’t finish on the way down/absorb contact and still maintain elevation irrelevant of that wingspan.

For shotblockers the length allows them to functionally block shots without jumping all that high because they’re at a disadvantage that way because they are reacting to a shot as opposed to jumping simultaneously.

06/04/2018 - 9:46am Measurements

Carton only measured at 5’10.5 without shoes........and that was my reluctance in granting him a fifth star in my rankings. That said, he has legit explosion and can compete with elite prospects from an athletic standpoint. Would love to have him.

Watts measured at 6’1 without shoes, a bit small for a combo/shooting guard.

McDaniels came in at 6’9 without shoes.......which is absolutely insane given his skillset.

05/31/2018 - 3:47pm Combination of All

the intersection of productivity, projection, upside and translation to the next level are my criteria for rankings..............in the context of direct comparison to members of the same class.

05/31/2018 - 2:14pm I Wouldn't Be Very Confident

while I haven't spoken to RJ direct (I've spoken to those associated with him), the consensus seems to be that he may jump straight to the NBA should the one and done rule change be implemented.

05/31/2018 - 12:12pm Weems>Wilson

Slightly better skillset, but considerably better athlete and exponentially better defender.

05/31/2018 - 11:59am We’re in The Mix

and make up part of his informal top 5. Coach Beilein has been keeping contact the last few weeks and of course it doesn’t hurt that Juwan Howard is his cousin. He’s been very receptive to Michigan and the next few months will be telling in terms of how things develop. He’s a take regardless of Jalen Wilson.

05/31/2018 - 11:51am Would Be Top 8

and perhaps top 3 in the country

05/31/2018 - 11:45am Haven’t Talked with Josh

or his camp direct, so I’m not in a position to speak intelligently on his interest level

05/26/2018 - 11:47pm McDaniels is Still a Take

per a very reliable source as of tonight. Take it FWIW

05/22/2018 - 10:08am Can't Fault DJ

for leaving in retrospect. Was he ready for the NBA from a physical/athletic/skillset standpoint..........not a chance. But the reality is this - its a business decision and if a prospect is looking at guaranteed money/contract via a 1st round pick, you simply cannot turn that down.

All that to say, you simply cannot anticipate how long a recruit should be in Ann Arbor. The truth is that coaches have to proceed as if every single recruit has the potential to leave after a year or two in order to account for all possible scenarios. I think Coach Beilein has done a good job of adjusting to that over the last few years.

05/21/2018 - 4:41pm I Heard DePaul

from a very reliable source yesterday, but I haven't talked to Romeo/his camp personally in the last few days so I'm not 100% sold.

05/21/2018 - 4:32pm No to Watts

assuming Wilson and Carton are in the mix. At that point you'd have a shot creating guard that you need so Watts would be out of the picture. I'd assume you'd go best available talent.............which Jaden McDaniels most certainly is.

05/21/2018 - 4:31pm Its just he nature of recruiting

generally when a prospect sets a commitment date shortly after a visit, that is a sign of good things. Additional visits give said prospect the opportunity to be blown away by others and the Michigan vibes are further removed.

05/21/2018 - 4:28pm Weems>Wilson

in terms of overall skill. Weems has a better handle and a slightly better jumpshot. Better finisher due to athleticism as well. Both very good playmakers/passers for wings. Not a huge discrepancy in skill by any means...............but the athletic gap is sizeable for sure.

05/21/2018 - 3:45pm Bullish Probably Isn't the Correct Term

for my evaluation on him. Jalen is a good, not great prospect. I would absolutely love to pull him in, he's a day 1 producer that will likely give the program 2-3 years of production. That said, I projected him about a month ago as a 40-60 type prospect on this very board when he was a top 25/5star composite type. Since then he's fallen to #29 and I predict that slide will continue.

That isn't to say he isn't a very good nab if we do end up landing him, I'm simply saying he's not an elite prospect/#1 option type. He'd probably be last/or near last oN my board for the wings we're on.............but that is an extremely impressive board with no bad options.

As far as Coach B prioritizing, you have to understand his process. He doesn't necessarily prioritize based on talent, but rather who reciprocates interest.............its the old 'breaking through doors to play at Michigan' approach

05/21/2018 - 3:07pm To a Certain Extent

its possible. The first thing you look at is 'does this prospect have NBA measurables and athleticism' since this is what the NBA values. To that extent it is possible to sort of project on a very limited basis. Marcus Bingham is a kid that comes to mind with a similar return value to where he's probably only going to give you a year of production before bolting but will likely need 2 years of development before being a solid contributor.

05/21/2018 - 2:32pm Yes and No

Its rare that a prospect crosses the intersection of athleticism/skill/productivity/motor/upside such as a Jaden McDaniels type............and when you do those are the likely one and dones.

I do value athleticism a ton.............but that athleticism can be mitigated or enhanced by motor. Case in point is Glenn Robinson. NBA athlete hands-down, but how often did he utlize that athletic advantage in a half-court setting? Not much. There is a distinction between open court athletes that make great highlights, but don't do much funtionally on a possession by possession basis........and athletes such as a Russell Westbrook that use that advantage on nearly every possession to impose their will on the game.

Personally, I loved Bluiett as a prospect, thought he was a perfect college prospect without necessarily being an NBA prospect. Another guy I absolutely loved a few years ago (and I was the perhaps the only that was that high on him) was Donnie Tillman............and I turned out to be right because he had a nice skill package in addition to a non-stop motor. Greg Elliott is another good athlete with a superb motor.

To answer your question with regard to the Pitino/Beilein question - I'd recruit a mixture of both. I'd likely stay away from guys that aren't great athletes and don't have the skillsets to make contributions as underclassmen (Eli Brooks likely wouldn't be on my radar, for example). I'd also stay away from guys that are decent athletes without motor, while lacking any sort of translatable skill (Ibi Watson, for example). I really like Brandon Johns and Iggy types for college............guys with college ready frames that are going to be day 1 producers, but not necessarily NBA guys. Reason being is what I call my 'return value' model. Essentially, those guys give you 2-3 years of production to match the 2-3 years that you invested in terms of recruiting them, without having to spend 2-3 years in terms of development before they can produce.

Guys like DJ Wilson represent the gray area. He gives you 8-12 good games before bolting for the league and you had to invest 2 years of development before he was playable. Is that really a good return value? Yes and no. From a production standpoint, no it isn't. From a long term standpoint it probably is, because as a coach you can point to that as an example of development that resulted in a 1st round pick. That said, I'd probably tend to stay away from those types personally because I don't think a guy like DJ will be good enough in the NBA to be noteworthy for future recruiting.

05/21/2018 - 1:20pm Correct

Carton>Simpson in terms of shooting. Is he a candidate to shoot 40% from distance at the next level? Probably not, but if he can be 35% + that makes him a tough player to guard considering his ability to drive the ball and finish or create for others.

05/21/2018 - 1:19pm Wilson and Carton

are still the presumptive favorites at this point, as they've both included Michigan on their final lists. Both have made visits to Ann Arbor and Coach Beilein has personally watched both several times during the April live evaluation periods. I will say though, the longer that either of them take, I don't believe it favors Michigan.

05/18/2018 - 1:21pm I'm a Stickler on True Heights

and Romeo measured in at 6'4 without shoes at the 2016 Nike Elite 100 and 6'5 without shoes at USA training camp a few months back. Those are consistent measurements and accurate based on my eye test as well. With shoes he's 6'6 - 6'6.5.

05/17/2018 - 8:09pm Measurements

6’5 without shoes and 6’9 wingspan for Weems. He’s likely done growing in my opinion