Michigan interest a ‘dream come true’ for Duncan Robinson

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John Beilein kicked the tires throughout the July evaluation period in search of a shooter to add to Michigan’s 2015-16 roster. He might have finally found one  in the most unlikely of places: Williams College. Williams is the top liberal arts college in the United States according to US News and World Reports and has just 2,052 undergraduates.

Duncan Robinson was the NCAA Division III Freshman of the Year and a 4th Team All-American last season. He averaged 17 points and six rebounds per game and led Williams within a buzzer-beater of the Division III National Championship. Thanks to a strange sequence of events, his next college game might be played in front of 13,000 fans, not the 2,681 that watched his final game at Williams.

The dominoes started to fall when Robinson’s coach at Williams, Mike Maker, beat out Beilein’s son, Patrick, for the head coaching job at Marist on June 17th. Maker was Beilein’s assistant at West Virginia from 2005-07 and the two remain close. One of Maker’s first moves after being hired at Marist was to hire CJ Lee, Beilein’s former point guard and staffer. Maker and Beilein’s relationship also led to the discovery of Maker’s former star: Duncan Robinson.

“I really enjoyed Williams and when I found out my coach was leaving,” Robinson said. “I have a great relationship with (Maker), it was sad but at the same time I’m happy for him because he has to do what he has to do for his family. After that I was just kind of looking at my options and I got some positive feedback so I’m just kind of going with it right now.”

Robinson received interest from across the country, but two schools are standing out above the rest: a top liberal arts college and a top public university.

“A whole bunch of schools that reached out,” Robinson said. “No other Big Ten schools, but a couple of ACC schools, Big 12, and then a lot of lower-conference and mid-majors. I’ve kind of narrowed it down to two. I’m going to take a visit to Davidson (this weekend) and I’m going to take a visit to Michigan (Monday).”

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medwad19cut-3[1]The summer live period ended on Sunday as the final of three July evaluation periods wrapped up across the country. College coaches will spend much of the next month recalibrating their recruiting boards and sending out additional offers and setting up visits. For Michigan, that process even involves a Division III transfer.

Prospects across the country will also retool their lists as they receive more and less interest from certain schools. After a long month of July, it’s clear that Michigan head coach John Beilein has prioritized 2016 big man Jon Teske.

Teske was offered a scholarship on June 15th and has camped at Michigan twice – for College Practice and Team Camp – and the Wolverines had a coach at almost every game he played this summer. Beilein has been sure to check in on him during every period, despite the fact that Teske hasn’t always played in the highest-profile tournaments or events each weekend.

There aren’t many serious big man targets on Michigan’s board and Teske appears to be near the top of Beilein’s list. The attention and scholarship offer from Michigan thus far has stood out to Teske.

“That was really exciting,” Teske said at AAU Nationals when asked about the Michigan offer. “It’s a big time school. I really like the coaches up there and I really enjoy it up there. “

Ohio State has also offered Teske a scholarship and it appears that the Buckeyes and Wolverines are out in front. Dayton and Miami (FL) have also offered scholarships while Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin have all inquired. Teske plans to schedule some additional visits this fall, but hasn’t set any dates or locations.

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Video: Duncan Robinson Freshman Highlights

Michigan has started recruiting Division III transfer Duncan Robinson after the 6-foot-7 wing was named the Division III Rookie of the Year.  Robinson played for one of John Beilein’s former assistant coaches, new Marist head coach Mike Maker, and elements of Beilein’s offense are obvious in his freshman year highlight video.

RELATEDDivision III transfer Duncan Robinson will visit Michigan

Report: Division III transfer Duncan Robinson will visit Michigan

John Beilein might look to a transfer to help fill out his recruiting board. TheWolverine is reporting that Michigan will host 6-foot-7 wing Duncan Robinson for a visit this week.

Robinson averaged 17.1 points and 6.5 rebounds per game while shooting 45.3% from three-point range during his freshman year at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Robinson was named D3Hoops.com Rookie of the Year and was selected as a 4th team All-American. Williams lost in the Division III Naitonal Championship by 2 points. Duncan scored a combined 47 points in the D3 Final Four.

Robinson played for Mike Maker, who was hired by Marist this offseason, and who was a former assistant coach for John Beilein.

“We’re never done (recruiting), we’ll look at this last one that we might have and be very judicious with it,” Beilein said in May. “We’ll see where (recruiting) goes, because (the last scholarship) could be coming into ’15 right away, or ’16.”

The New England Recruiting Report raved about Robinson after his final year at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.

“A year ago he was a relative unknown coming out of Governor’s Academy. One year, two inches, and 20 pounds of muscle later now he’s a NEPSAC finals MVP and a huge steal for Williams College,” NERR wrote. “While the masses are wondering how a sharp-shooting six-foot-seven forward could have slipped through the scholarship cracks, the reality is that he jumped through, spurning scholarship offers for the top ranked liberal arts school and one of the most storied Division III basketball programs in the country.”

Michigan also has offers outstanding to Jalen Coleman, Eric Davis and Jalen Brunson in the class of 2015. The Wolverines’ projected scholarship breakdown for future classes can be found here.

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USA Basketball

USA Basketball announced 17 finalists for the USA Basketball U17 team on Saturday and five-star forward T.J. Leaf was lucky enough to make the first cut.

Despite playing high profile AAU basketball for years, Leaf admitted that the competition level at USA Training Camp is some of the best that he’s faced.

“It’s definitely better, it’s kind of the best of the best and everyone’s competition to make the team so it raises the intensity a lot as well,” Leaf said by phone on Saturday. “So it’s definitely more competitive (than anything else this summer).”

Don’t expect the competition to slow down. Leaf made the cut to 17, but a final cut to 12 is expected early this week. The final selected team will practice in Colorado until August 1st before traveling to Doha, Qatar for additional practice and Dubai for the U17 World Championships, which begin on August 8th.

“To represent all of the USA from our age group would be a great honor,” Leaf said. “It’s already just a blessing being here.”

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Jordan Morgan signs with Virtus Roma

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Dustin Johnston

Jordan Morgan will continue his professional career in Italy. The former Michigan big man signed a contract with Virtus Roma of the Italian Serie A today.

“I’m lucky to start my career as a professional team with a historic and prestigious as Virtus, in a lovely city like Rome,” Morgan told Virtus Roma’s website (translated from Italian). “I’m excited for the team we’re putting together, I can not wait to meet my new teammates and to take the court.”

Morgan averaged 6.4 points and five rebounds per game as a fifth-year senior while anchoring Michigan’s defensive back line. The 6-foot-8 big man played in the NBA Summer League with the Minnesota Timberwolves, averaging 6 points and three rebounds per game in three games of action.

Virtus Roma also signed former Syracuse guard Brandon Triche and former Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim. Roma plays in the top division of Italian basketball and will also participate in the second-level of European competition, the EuroCup, this season.

Morgan is the fourth member of Michigan’s 2013-14 team to continue his professional career as Nik Stauskas was drafted by the Sacramento Kings, Mitch McGary by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Glenn Robinson III by the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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