Transfer Watch: Cole Huff, Byron Wesley interested in Michigan

ren0402spthuff[1]Byron Wesley Pac 12 Basketball Tournament EJN2wm_i2eTl[1]

Michigan is pursuing a number of class of 2014 prospects, and will host two on campus this weekend, but the Wolverines continue to be mentioned with transfers as well.

John Beilein was open to the idea of adding a transfer when he met with the media last week.

“I would be open to transfers,” Beilein said. “At Canisius and Richmond and West Virginia, transfers were really important to us. If we have openings and there are transfers who fit who we are, we would be open to that.”

Two transfers from the West Coast, Cole Huff and Byron Wesley, have mentioned that they are interested in Michigan.

Cole Huff, a 6-foot-8, 205 pound forward from Nevada just finished his sophomore year. He will have two years of eligibility after sitting out next season. Huff averaged 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game as a sophomore, while shooting 50% on twos and 40% on threes (with close to a 50-50 distribution).

According to Huff’s AAU coach, Dayton, Iowa, Creighton, Vanderbilt and Michigan are the “schools he’s most interested in”. Huff has releases to  Creighton, Dayton, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska, but no visits have been set at this point. Originally barred from transferring anywhere on the West coast, Huff now also has a release to any West coast schools that aren’t in the Mountain West Conference.

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Report: Aubrey Dawkins to visit Michigan this weekend

AYBRYDAWKINS_200_6_14[1]Class of 2014 guard Aubrey Dawkins is set to visit Michigan this weekend, according to a report by Sam Webb.

Dawkins will join Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman on Michigan’s campus this weekend as the Wolverines look to add to their 2014 class. Michigan has two open scholarships in the class of 2014 after Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III opted to enter the NBA Draft after their sophomore seasons.

Dawkins is a 6-foot-4 guard from Palo Alto, California and the son of Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins. He attended the New Hampton School in Hampton, NH last year.

Dawkins also has a scholarship offer from Dayton.

Here are highlights of Dawkins in action this season at New Hampton.

Notebook: Caris LeVert invited to Kevin Durant Skills Academy

Michigan 84, Indiana 80-26
Dustin Johnston

Wednesday night’s Michigan basketball banquet was a time for celebrating the past year’s accomplishments, as well as the team’s individual awards. But after all of the festivities, the media got to speak briefly with Caris LeVert. After closing the book on the 2013-2014 season, it was time to look ahead.

LeVert let on that he was invited to the Kevin Durant Skill Academy, which takes place in June.

“Yeah definitely (it will be cool to go to Durant’s camp),” LeVert said at the banquet. “When I got the invitation I was excited. That’s definitely a big thing for me.”

One of the reasons it’s so big is because of the similarities between LeVert’s and Durant’s games. While LeVert is shorter, he shares Durant’s lanky build as well as his offensive versatility. His teammates even went so far as to crown him with the nickname “Baby Durant” his freshman year.

LeVert was also asked about the NBA. The guard confirmed that he submitted his name to the Draft Advisory Board and examined his options, saying “we did the process.”

“Me, right now, obviously I’m coming back to school right now,” LeVert said. “That’s 100 percent. I’m coming back.”

LeVert is projected as a top-20 pick by both DraftExpress and in 2015.

The Pickerington, OH native took home two awards at the banquet: the Steve Grote Hustle Award and the Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player Award.

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Video: Spike Albrecht, Caris LeVert speak at Michigan banquet

Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert both spoke briefly with the media at the annual Michigan basketball banquet on Wednesday night. Albrecht talked about filling the leadership void next season with Jordan Morgan, Jon Horford, Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III leaving. LeVert talked about his own NBA evaluation process and confirmed that he is returning next season. You can watch both interviews using the embedded media players below.

Albrecht after the jump. [click to continue…]

Kentucky 75, Michigan 72-6
Dustin Johnston

Michigan doled out its team awards at the annual Michigan basketball banquet on Wednesday night. Nik Stauskas took home the MVP award and Jordan Morgan took home four separate awards on the night. Below you can read the full list of awards:

  • Bill Buntin Most Valuable Player Award: Nik Stauskas
  • Wayman Britt Outstanding Defensive Player Award: Jordan Morgan
  • Rudy Tomjanovich Most Improved Player Award: Caris LeVert
  • Steve Grote Hustle Award: Caris LeVert
  • Thad Garner Leadership Award: Jordan Morgan
  • Travis Conlan Sportsmanship Award: Spike Albrecht
  • Bodnar Award for Academic Achievement: Jordan Morgan
  • Gary Grant Award for Most Assists: Nik Stauskas
  • Loy Vaught Rebounding Award: Jordan Morgan
  • Award for Outstanding Free Throw Shooting: Nik Stauskas
  • Sixth Man Award: Zak Irvin
  • Iron Man Award: Glenn Robinson III

You can read the full press release after the jump.

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Michigan B1G Championship-6
Dustin Johnston

At the moment, Michigan is going after a number of 2014 prospects during this spring signing period. The Wolverines are pursuing Ryan Taylor, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and a host of other players in the hopes of shoring up anticipated vacancies in their roster.

Those vacancies are no longer anticipated — with the official announcement that Glenn Robinson III and Nik Stauskas are leaving school early to declare for the NBA draft, those roster spots are real and they are up for grabs.

This means the Michigan staff will be ramping up their recruitment of late 2014 targets even more. With past spring signees featuring the likes of Caris LeVert and Spike Albrecht, the Wolverines have a stellar track record when it comes to identifying under-the-radar talent. That being said, the relationships forged during these recruitments will necessarily be less certain that those formed over the course of months and even years, as is the case with most of Michigan’s already-signed 2014 recruits.

“There’s a window to try and evaluate as best you can in a short window,” Michigan assistant coach LaVall Jordan said on Tuesday during the press conference announcing that Stauskas and Robinson were turning pro. “It’s a process for us, to get to know families, to get to know kids, to get to know a player’s strengths and weaknesses, for them to get to know us. So now the window shrinks to get to go through that whole process. You try to be as thorough as you can in a short amount of time and make sure it’s the right fit. We’d rather have nobody than the wrong guy.”

Michigan’s assistant coaches always stress the importance of building relationships during the recruiting process — with recruits, their families, their coaches, and on and on. These forge bonds that simply aren’t there in recruitments that don’t last as long. So how do the coaches compensate for this difference? Rely on whom you know.

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