By Joe Stapleton | 2013-14 Season | Posted on April 17, 2014 at 7:26 am
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.”
By Joe Stapleton | 2013-14 Season | Posted on April 16, 2014 at 9:33 pm
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.
By Joe Stapleton | 2013-14 Season | Posted on April 16, 2014 at 8:27 pm
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
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.
By Joe Stapleton | NBA Draft | Posted on April 15, 2014 at 7:34 pm
It’s a good thing Tuesday afternoon’s press conference, during which Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III officially announced their intentions to leave school early and declare for the NBA draft, was televised on the Big Ten Network. Otherwise, Michigan fans might have missed out on a couple of agonizing musings by Robinson and Stauskas.
“It would be great if we all stayed just to see those types of opportunities and see what would happen if we all did (stay in school),” Robinson said during the press conference. “It’s crazy to think about. A lot of people want to see that happen, but unfortunately things didn’t work out that way.”
You could almost hear the collective yell of Michigan fans tuning in: “But things could have worked out that way!”
And then there was Nik Stauskas, unintentionally piling on.
“It’s tough because of the amount of success we’ve had during our two years at Michigan,” Stauskas said. “At the same time, imagine the kind of success we could have if we all decided to come back for a third year. You can’t help but think about what that would look like.”
No, if you watch Michigan basketball you really can’t help but think what a team featuring Robinson and Stauskas as juniors, along with Mitch McGary, would look like. That’s precisely what makes Tuesday’s announcement bittersweet. It is rewarding to see two players who have poured themselves into a program achieve their dreams. But along with the departures of Stauskas and Robinson comes the inevitable question of what could have been.