Novak To Michigan, Cassity Visiting, Watts MIA?

Dylan Burkhardt

Zack Novak committed to Michigan according to Rivals and Scout. For more info on Novak check here for old reports. Also I did not see Justin Watts at the game and don’t think he was there but I am not 100% sure. Jordan Morgan was definetely in the house though.

Zack Novak video (#32 red): Sectionals (vs Merrillville), and vs Crown Point.

The latest on Kyle Cassity from

“I’m going up on an official visit to Michigan and coming back on Tuesday,” Cassity said. “I had a good time (at the state tournament). It didn’t come out the way we wanted it too, but it was certainly a time I will always remember,” he added.

According to Cassity, Michigan has not extended a scholarship offer yet, but some experts are speculating that Michigan has not been candid about their plan to offer the 6-5 wing on the visit. “There is no scholarship offer yet,” affirmed Cassity. “I’m excited to get up and check stuff out. They are in the Big Ten, the coach seems like a nice guy, and distance isn’t real bad.”

  • BenAA

    3 solid in-coming players. I am hopeful.

  • KSmith24

    FYI – Chris Balas reported that Watts was indeed at the game. Hopefully we can rope him in too – he’d be a great get.

  • Kevin

    I read that Novak is quite the baseball player too. Would it be possible for him to get a baseball scholly and play hoops too? (Thus saving hoops a scholly?)

  • Ky fox

    What is novak bringing 2 the table?? Can anyone tell me?? I dont kno too much about him!
    we jus need players! Every1 is still so young and we need to hone our skills. Once again we need a few guys you can stretch the court! No one on this team can shoot the ball! Stu, cronin, and i guess now novak will have to provide that for next year! Lets hope we get WATTS!

  • Novak was a 27ppg scorer (top 5 in the state) in reportedly a good conference in Indiana. He was a 40% three point shooter and had a very productive high school career. He lacked many major offers but was getting more recruiting play of late. Big solid kid at 6-4/6-5 and 215-220. His HS runs an offense very similar to Beilein’s as well apparently. When we are shooting 35% as a team I’ll take as many scorers as we can.

  • Kevin: I don’t know how that would work. I don’t think baseball would want to waste the scholarship (do they even have a full set of full rides?) and I think he would have to be on a hoops scholly for it to be his primary sport.

  • Kevin

    I read that Coach Mahoney was there when he committed on Friday. I don’t know the rules regarding dual sport athletes and scholarships, but thought I’d ask the question. Baseball may not have many scholarships either, but if it’s good wouldn’t they be willing to use one? From what I’ve read, it sounds as though Novak is a winner and may turn out to be a steal. I’m surprised that more big schools haven’t been going after him though, given his scoring average, level of competition and strong character/GPA.

  • ky fox

    Thanks for the info dylan! It scared me at first! I thought for a minute that we were getting the short kid from west MI! eeeeek! Well that sounds promising then. Indiana is a darn good place to get shooters, and really all around ball players! I still really hope Watts is still on the table! We need all the help we can get to get this team back in the winning mode next year! We are not far off. With the additions of some shooters, and the monstrosity in Big Ben, as well as the guy I keep forgetting about in Perry, we should make some noise next year! How loud we will be im not quite sure….a lot of that I think will depend on how our returnees progress! Everyone needs to get stronger with the ball. Grady needs to SLOW DOWN! he needs to let the game come to him. He tends to get “out of control” I mean theres times when he needs to push the fast break and times when he needs to recognize theres nothing there and back it out! I do have to remind myself that he is still a freshman! But lets hope he makes some strides for next year!
    Deyshawn played a ton better! If JB can get that kind of play out of him consistantly then we should be dangerous. The commentater put it best he reminded us that guys like thad, and painter, and some of these guyz have been at theyre respected universities for 2- 3 years. its JB’s 1st! On top of having a debilitated team! basically 5 quality players! Painter has a whole bench to work with! GO BLUE!

  • If you are referring to Brad Redford as “that short kid from West MI”… Well he won Mr Basketball and he’s pretty damn good. Kid can stroke it like not many others on the high school level.

  • Giddings

    It will be very interesting to see if we get a 4th commit from an ’08 prospect… looking at the scholarship breakdown, that would leave only one more “open” schollie for an ’09 kid, and I don’t like that scenario at all. Who would get it? Darius Morris seems to be the most realistic talented guy with sincere interest, but if it goes to him, then what do we do in the ’09-’10 season when both Ekpe, DeShawn, and Zack are gone? Our bigs would consist of Cronin and Morgan… and that’s it. No one else over 6’6″. That’s scary. (Ok, I guess Eric Puls would still be around…)

    So the question is, could we see more defections from current players? And if so, who? I really don’t see any real “candidates”…

  • Giddings

    Oops, I meant the ’10-’11 season.

  • The candidates would be Grady and Wright. I don’t think they have any desire to transfer at this point but by the numbers it would be one of them or a freshman who doesn’t get enough run.

    Brown and Morris really intrigue me in 09 and I would love to take both of them.

  • For ’10 we will have the three ships.

    Optimal would be to have
    08: Cronin
    09: Morgan + One More (Brown?)
    10: Take two (three ‘ships available)

    The crunch in 09 could hurt that though you are right. We will have to see, 10-11 is a LONG way away.

    I think Wright’s minutes in the future might be at the PF too.

  • BL

    KEVIN- Coach mahoney is a basketball MALONEY is the baseball coach just to clear that up. Also baseball only gets 11.7 scholarships (as far as i know) and RARELY does a player get a full ride. the chances of novak getting help that way is a no go.

    I like the pick up…i know many aren’t excited or maybe question it some but those same people get mad when redford and kool werent offered…this could be the same type of situation with indiana people today. Scorers score. Ill take a shooter over an athlete everyday. Need to get the cali boys on board for 09 now…(morris and brown)!

  • ky fox

    I agree with rounding out this year with novak! We got a big, and two damn good shooters! Lets take a breath and see what it looks like on the court next year. 09 I think you are rite dylan we need to hit morris hard, he would provide size, athletecism, and a good stroke from deep! who knos he could be a high profile guy come next year! I mean real high! we have jordan morgan locked up, and I agree in getting Brown! I like the looks of this kid! I look at him and I immedieatley think MISMATCH! We need to do something with Z gib tho. can he play the 4??

  • Kevin

    Thanks BL for clearing that up! Just wishful thinking in hopes of saving a basketball scholly :)

  • Socal Fan

    Trust me on this one you want Andy Brown. My team(just a fan) played Mater Dei(Andy Brown’s team) in the playoffs this year and I can honestly tell you he might not get the hype of the Wear Twins, who go to the same school, but he may be better than them. He’s a great perimeter defender, surprisingly for his size and he can shoot the 3, drive, and finish inside. He should be your main 09 target. Lock him up now before everyone picks up on the incoming hype.

  • Thanks Socal Fan. Brown and Darius Morris (also from Cali) seem to be the top targets on our 09 board. We need a PF and we need a PG.

  • Ky fox

    Brown would be HUGE! Just the type of player JB is looking for! This is a guy I think could put us way over the edge!I mean barring every1 stays, 2009 season could be special!

  • Ky fox

    I want Duke @ crisler!! We could take them next year!

  • ky fox

    Watched the clip of novak! Looks like he might need to slim down just a touch. Maybe shed just a bit of that babyfat! Looks like hes got a smooth stroke tho! Wasnt aware that hes a southpaw! He even has a little driving ability! As long as the guy can hit from deeep.thats all i care about!

  • BenAA

    Lets get too carried away here. Lets walk before we run, ky. :)

  • AC

    I’m not concerned about the future scholarship breakdown like most fans are. At this point I think we’re offering and signing whoever we can for next year. The team just does not have enough depth or talent (not a surprise since we lost 8 scholarship players plus one recruit from last year). If they keep playing as poorly as this year the coaches won’t be around to worry about scholarships in 2010.

    The reality is that Shephard, Coleman, and Lee’s minutes need to go elsewhere. And while I’m hopeful that Wright and Grady will improve significantly next year right now there isn’t anyone to replace them when they struggle. If Perry were eligible to start the season I don’t think you’d see this late push to sign two “mid-level” prospects. Right now we just need help – any way we can get it.

    As for freeing up other scholarships, I’m also not a fan of telling a good guy like Gibson that he isn’t welcome back. Let’s just see how it plays out. Who would have thought that Morris, Smith, Baker, and Price would have all vacated scholarships this year? I have a vivid memory of all the suddenly available scholarships during the Fisher and Ellerbe eras, so I’m sure it will all work out somehow.

  • ky fox

    eeeasy there benaa! Haha im just being overly optimistic! Did u catch the clip of novak??

  • ky fox

    well i think fans should have a fair amount of concern about who we are getting! I mean lee and them guys have 2 play! And thats what im saying about quality depth with the three guys coming in! They might not be awesome players but they will contribute…mark my words! And they fit beileins program! If you look at most of his recruits from west va they were all 3 stars….his son and i think even gansey were 2 stars! It wasnt until pittsnogle and desean butler did jb grab two 4 stars! As far as not having a coach in 2010 i mean we are not UNC here! Lets give jb some time to bring in some players! Aamaker didnt know what the hell he was doing!! He would bring in decent..decent recruits, and then they would progressivley become worse as theyre careers went on!! I am confident that jb will bring UM to a very high level! He will win! Our guys this year would just run out of gas! On top of being 80% freshmen!

  • Bluebufoon

    These video clips Of Zack Novak aren’t much to go on but I didn’t see a Big Ten caliber athlete, nor do I think he can guard Big Ten caliber wing players, nor did I see a guy who can handle the basketball well enough to beat people off of the dribble.

    What are Novak’s measurables ?? How tall and what is his weight ??

    Has anyone heard the rumor being spread by Detroitbry that Beilein is planning on running off
    Kelvin Grady ??

  • I have seen Novak listed anywhere from 6-4 to 6-5 and 210 to 220. So probably somewhere in the middle of those.

    I don’t think Bry has said Beilein is planning on running Grady off and frankly at this point it wouldn’t make sense because he’s really one of the only point guards on the roster.

  • Steve


    No one thought Gansey, Alexander, or Ruoff were Big East caliber athletes either… and a team with those three would absolutely run Michigan (and most BigTen schools) off the court.

    This is a new era for Michigan Basketball… one where players actually get better.

    And what is “Big Ten Caliber” athlete. One that can dunk with authority? One that gets great elevation, but bricks jump shots?

    This system makes it easy to get open looks, all you gotta do is hit them. I am skeptical about his defensive abilities though, did not look very quick.

  • Bluebufoon


    If you go back several pages earlier on the Victors Board that is exactly what Detroitbry
    said, that Coach Beilein was planning on running off Kelvin Grady to use that scholarship for 2009.

    FYI I like Grady and think he will be more productive the further he goes in his career.


    I’m not looking for a team filled with world classed athletes but players have to be able to defend, handle the basketball and have enough quickness to get open.

    Novak is nowhere near the athlete Manny Harris is,
    yet Harris struggled all day getting free from
    Purdue’s tight man-to-man defense. So quickness is
    a key component to playing basketball at the Big Ten level.

  • NVE

    The state of U-M hoops recruiting is getting a lot of play today on the heels of the Novak commitment and the crappy end to the regular season. The general tenor feels overly positive/negative, as is usually the case. I see further evidence to suggest this team plays in the NIT next year, and competes for an NCAA the year after that.

    To the overly negative – what exactly are you expecting in terms of ’08 recruiting? All 4 star and 5 star prospects have been off the board for nearly a year, so middling 2-3 star prospects are all that’s left. There were 3 losses off the roster this season, so the need to recruit from that dwindling pool is heightened. Novak sounds like the perfect type of recruit to take from that pool – a shooter who already has a grasp of the offense. He may prove to be a liability defensively, but this is a kid who should be giving us 10-15 minutes/game next year while he develops.

    To the overly positive – what exactly are you expecting in terms of immediate production? We’re waaaay below the available scholarship count this year and are now talking steps to put together a full roster of (hopefully) capable Big Ten caliber players. That said, Cronin/Douglass/Novak/LLP are not the type of guys to turn a program around overnight. Of the guys on the ’08 hot board, Novak and Cassity are the most lightly recruited – one committed and the other may commit soon. Fuller, Watts, and Ebuka all have more high major offers, but we look unlikely to land any of the 3.

    This year was a big disappointment…I looked back at the schedule/results from the past 5 years and 07-08 was the worst. Yes, we played a tough schedule, but there were losses to every bottom feeder Big Ten team and zero big wins. The tangible evidence – wins – was not there all season. With a full roster next year, and more experience, we have to get back to our beloved NIT.

  • ky fox

    Some very good stuff mentioned here latley! I to like Grady. I think by next year he will posses a more well rounded skill package. I actually do not think he has that bad of a stroke from threeland either, just needs to be honed in! Jb will cut down on the turnovers, and if we could get Grady to utilize his speed a little better(dribble, drive, dish) could open up a lot more open shots for guys like manny, douglass, novak, Dshawn, Awright. Grady just needs polishing by Jb and he will be good! As far as Novak is concerned I think he will lose a ton of weight and probably get a little quicker! I think Jb will like to see ZN play at 6’5″ and around 210, and I wouldnt imagine anymore than that! Although it deffinitley doesnt look like ZN has a whole lot of athletesiscm, if he could just get quicker. That would really aid in getting him more open looks! Like Ive said before as long as when he is passed to and hes open he makes a lot more shots than he misses then thatd be fine by me! What Im really intrigued by is big ole Benny Cronin. What is this cat going to look like when he steps out on the court come Oct.?

  • ky fox

    I have to somewhat agree with NVE. We cannot expect a ton of production from this team this year, you just cant. there are too many variables that equate to an unsuccessfull season!
    2.ABSOLUTLEY NO depth
    3.A brand new coach
    4.A brand new system!(although I think people make it sound like its brain surgery, and they overhype the fact that its just different. John Thompson’s system is a little different but he seems to still reel very good players into his program year after year, as well as good athletes!)
    5.Having a couple players that might not quite suit the style of play!
    All these things are not in our favor, but with a year or two you will see the tide change. Jb gets a few guys in here that can light it up from deep, counter that with a whole lot of player development(a trait that was non-existant the past 4 or 5 years) and I dont kno about you but we have a dangerous little team on our hands! I think the bottom line is that the dude knows how to coach and hes proven it time and time again! Lets get excited about it and enjoy all the news and speculation as we ride the Beilein wave back to the promise land!! GO BLUE! I wanna give a shout out to Trik Turner as well!

  • TrikTurner44

    I agree with some of the things said today. I do have some diss agreements though. You look at 5 star prospects in the last 5-10 years, they either leave from high school or go after one year of college. So with that being said it is not such a bad thing to snag a one, two, three or four satrs. And listen JB will work with 2 or 3 star prospects ALL DAY LONG. (Richmond/West Virginia). He had one 4 star player in 4 years(K.Pitt). This is his first year and was somewhat late this year in recruting the big name players. Next year he has many big time players targeted. And jordan morgan by next year will be a 3-4 star. They will be a much improved team by next year, with 4-5 players coming in next year. He had no depth and players who had no idea how to play in JB’s system. Basketball is not like football by next year this team will GET IT. You could tell look at the end of this season. I do think nit is most likely gonna happen but like LLP’s dad said they will win some games next season and if they can play big ten teams in the upper level twice(msu/indiana) and snag one at that will help. By year three we WILL BE DANCIN. GO BLUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ky fox

    “I LIKE IT”!(in a Will Ferrel tone of voice!)”I LIKE IT”

  • Bluebufoon

    I emailed Indiana Basketball News about Zack Novak here was their response:

    “Great shooter to 25′ , rugged physically and great anticipator who perfectly positions his body in all situations. He will be a very good player for Michigan…

  • Nice bluebufoon, thanks for the post.

  • Socal Fan

    I’m telling you though, Andy Brown will be a 4 if not a 5 star by this summer. People just haven’t picked up on it yet. Now is the time for michigan to strike and get a verbal from him. He’s been a behind the scenes type guy his entire career, tell him that he’s gonna be the star(which he would, he’d be the 2nd best player on the team THIS YEAR minus Manny).

  • AC

    For those of you concerned about the signing of Novak, look at it this way….

    He basically takes the scholarship that would have gone to K’len Morrie the next three years. He’s taller and bigger than Morris was so he can fill a need at the 3 immediately. At this point Colemane isn’t a Big Ten player and he’s started most of the year! Shephard is a Big Ten athlete without much basketball skill and he’s a contributor.

    Novak will be asked to play 10-15 minutes, make open jumpers, keep the D honest for Manny and Sims, and not totally suck on D.

  • AC

    I took a quick stab at guessing how the minutes will be split next season and compared them to this season. I’m assuming that Cronin is ready for college and actually passes Gibson on the depth chart.

    1 Grady 24.3 22.0
    2 Harris 32.9 30.0
    3 Wright 17.9 18.0
    4 Sims 28.0 28.0
    5 Udoh 26.1 28.0
    Gibson 13.8 10.0
    Coleman 23.5 N/A
    Shepherd 11.9 5.0
    Lee 11.6 5.0
    Merritt 11.0 N/A
    Perry N/A 20.0
    Cronin N/A 15.0
    Douglas N/A 10.0
    Novak N/A 10.0
    201.0 201.0

  • AC

    Darn – that formatting of my last post didn’t work. You can still read it, but it looked much better before I hit “submit”. Sorry about that.

    My general thinking was that Udoh-Sims-Harris-Grady-Wright stay about the same. Shepherd, Lee, and Gibson give up a few minutes each. Coleman and Merrit’s minutes are gone. The newcomers eat up what’s left.

    If you look player for player I think that’s a definite improvement. I’d like to think NIT, just outside the NCAA bubble.

  • Ky Fox

    Well the fact of the matter is, is that Amaker would recruit guys because he heard they were good. Amaker couldnt judge talent or judge a kids potential, and even if he could judge potential he couldnt ever get it out of the kid, the kid would get worse(NO PROGRESSION/DEVELOPMENT) JB is like night and day compared to Amaker. Jb takes a kids strengths and what hes good at(say shooting) and makes him great at it! He makes kids soo much better at whatever they are good at and still improves what they are not good at! Look at how much harder this team plays this year! the reason I have high hopes for next year is because we were in every single game this year with the exception of goergetown, duke, and butler, and kind of msu. We never really ever got blown out! and we played hard right up to the end! thats a sign of a good coach! Beilein will get his shooters, but hes also going to get his 4 and possible 5 star recruits, and guys that are athletic as well….just look at the last couple west Va’ teams!

  • Ky Fox

    Yeah im really looking forward to see exactly how much LLP will play! hopefully he is a pleasant suprise!

  • Ky Fox

    I would like to see A wright add a demension to his game! I mean hes a fairly good sized guy and all he can do is shoot!?!? I like dylans idea of going something like this

    SG-Douglass/LLP(LLP will start as soon as big ten starts)
    C-Udoh/Cronin=15 min

    I would think a lineup like that would really open things up! Because then youll have 1 thru 4 who can somewhat extend the defense. And you will have some quality depth at each position! We really wont skip a beat when douglass, manny, or sims comes out! I mean theyre backups just bring a different dimension to the team….But everyone should be shooting a ton better in addition!