Recruiting Notes: Who's Next?

Dylan Burkhardt
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Now that Darius Morris is Blue, it’s time to refocus on the rest of the recruits on the board.

Givon Crump (SF/PF 2009). Givon Crump appears to be climbing Michigan’s recruiting board quickly. This article is from early July when Crump played very well at the RBK All American camp but I missed it then.

Crump’s father, Gino Crump, advised Arizona Preps that he received a phone call from Michigan Head Coach John Beilein immediately following the game, advising him that his son has climbed the recruiting ladder with their coaching staff significantly. While Crump has already received an official offer from the Wolverines, he could become their top recruit in the very near future.

From the same camp, the NBE Basketball Report had this scouting report on Crump:

Based on Crump’s performance against Team Rajon Rondo on Wednesday, one might draw the conclusion that Crump is one of the best shooters in the country. You would be right. Crump,a 6-foot-7 wing, has an unbelievable shooting stroke from anywhere on the court; he also has a high release which makes it unblockable. He can shoot it from deep, well behind the three-point lane. Crump also moves well without the ball, trying to get open for shots. He runs the pick-and-pop extremely well, but can also cut to the basket for open finishes in the lane. He has a good vertical leap, but does not rely on his athleticism like some other players do.

It is looking more and more like Crump is the main target on the board now that Darius verballed. We all know Beilein’s eyes light up when he sees anyone with an “unbelievable shooting stroke”. The next step with Crump is to get him on campus, a fall football Saturday visit would be nice. (Update: Here are Crump’s junior year HS stats)

Kelly Olynyk (SF/PF 2009). Beilein appears to be looking north of the border at Kelly Olynyk from Kamloop, BC.  Olynyk is a forward who is “one year from graduating” (I believe this would put him in the class of 09 but I know there have been some odd issues in Canadian high school eligibility) and missed most of his junior year with a broken arm from playing football. According to the Kamloop News, Olynyk recently got a call from John Beilein’s staff:

Earlier this week, the University of Michigan Wolverines gave him a call. It came on the heels of talks with the San Diego Toreros and the Gonzaga Bulldogs, as well as a few other programs.

Olynyk sounds like a guard who has grown into a forward and college coaches want him on the wing instead of in the backcourt. This reminds me a little bit of a guy like Robin Benzing who had more of a guard skill set in a bigger body. It has been pretty well established that Beilein values ball skills before anything else even in his forwards.

“It’s been tiring, but it’s fun,” Olynyk said. “It’s a good experience, with the travel and the games against international competition.”

In the past, Olynyk has played mostly guard for the Titans. Considering he’s still growing, his NCAA suitors are hoping to move him up to forward. “They want me to play more of a wing position,” Olynyk said. “This season, I want to play more wing. But we’ll see what we have to do to get the job done.”

USBasket lists his height at 6’8 but the Kamloop article mentions that he is “approaching 6’10”.  I would leave Olynyk on the watch list until we hear more but he is worth mentioning.

Baylor, Wall, and Udoh. The #1 player in the class of 2009, point guard John Wall is set to commit to Baylor this week. Of course Wall’s AAU coach Dwon Clifton was hired as Directory of Player Development on Thursday. Not that the hire has been made Wall “expected to announce his college decision early next week according to Brian Clifton, the director of D-One Sports and Dwon Clifton’s older brother”.

Baylor was apparently not the only school that had a job offer from Clifton, according to Rivals:

Dwon Clifton was offered coaching positions by other Big 12 schools as well as schools in the Big East and SEC.

The rumors were so strong in Vegas that Wall (and Clifton) were headed to Oklahoma State that Rivals’ Jerry Meyer claims it may have been a “smoke screen” to take attention away from Baylor hiring Clifton.

This kind of practice is far too common, just last year Texas A&M hired DeAndre Jordan’s AAU coach Byron Smith. His coaching experience includes coaching the Houston Swoosh AAU Program and interim head coach of the Harlem Globetrotters. This has been common practice for a long time, Steve Fisher hired Perry Watson because he was Jalen Rose’s high school coach.

The reason this story caught my eye is because Baylor is involved. Ekpe Udoh recently transferred to Baylor in a decision that left many Michigan fans scratching their heads. It was also pretty clear that Mitch Malone, Ekpe’s former AAU coach was the driving force in his selection.

Malone takes offense to AAU coaches being called “street agents and thugs”:

“For some reason, people think we’re street agents and thugs,” said Mitch Malone of the Texas Bluechips. “We’re not thugs. The main group of guys who have done this for years have families and deeply care about the kids in their program.”

However it’s hard to ignore that this wasn’t the cleanest situation and that Baylor has little to no problem with doing what ever it takes to land a recruit. And not just the transfer happening at all but the fact that Ekpe didn’t goto Arkansas (where coach Pelphrey loves Snoop Dogg) or seemingly natural fits of Oklahoma State (closest to home) or Oklahoma (Ekpe’s best freind from high school).

So while I don’t think we will see Malone hired at Baylor anytime soon, it is clear that Malone ran Ekpe’s re-recruitment and that Baylor will “play the game” with anyone. But at this point all you can do is shake your head but the whole ordeal still leaves a dirty taste in my mouth. The Wall commitment just makes it a little more clear what kind of things were going on behind the scenes.

Roger Franklin (SF 2009). Roger was named one of the top 15 players in Vegas by the NY Daily News. USAToday has an article with a mention of Franklin and Arizona but also mentions that Roger is a long way from a decision.

More on recruiting after the break.

Lubick. Dre’s Blog: Will UM + Morris = Lubick? ($) Hopefully Dre’s math is accurate. First Lubick (PF 2010) quotes since Morris’ commitment I believe.

More Notes.Cody Larson

  • It was noted in the comments that Michigan is looking at a skilled combo forward from the Dakotas, the only guy that I could dig up is Cody Larson (SF/PF 2010). Larson is actually the only 2010 basketball recruit from North or South Dakota that is listed on Rivals.
  • Raymond Cowels (SG 2009) committed to Santa Clara.
  • Ben Simons (SF 2009) mention, his coach is “shocked (Michigan coach John) Beilein hasn’t offered him”.
  • Marcus Jordan (SG 2009) still lists Michigan ($).
  • There will be a hot board update this week. If you look at it now 75% of people have committed somewhere or are off the list for whatever reason.

  • Reality Man

    Great Stuff Dylan..Thank You very much.

  • Jay

    Thats not new at all..look at Michael Beasley coach getting the job at K State. I believe one of the coaches on the staff for Oregon has ties to Detroit AAU(ie: the reason for the Detroit presence on that team)..Dejaun Wagner commited to Memphis cause his dad was hired to the staff, if only Louisville (his fathers school). Its a dirty game

  • It’s certainly not new but there are some schools who play the game a lot more than others. Baylor appears to be one of them and I think we experienced a lot of that first hand with Ekp. But hey, Ekpe has got himself a point guard to play with :-).

  • Merlin

    Sad to see Baylor involved in these shenanigans with their recent history.

  • Andrew

    I don’t think it should be considered a shady practice. Coaches have huge expectations to win, and most of the time, it’s unrealistic. There’s so much pressure on them to win and win fast that they may have to revert to actions that may or may not be considered ethical. Coaches are trying to get their program to the top as fast as they can and the easiest way to do that is by getting top recruits, and hiring people close to them is a shortcut. I think these practices are just a result of the flawed system.

  • doogie

    agreed great point, this practice mostly impacts all of the hardworking coaches waiting to get a break, instead AAU coaches are being hired because they are close to a kid.

  • Not to mention you are hiring a guy for one recruit for one year.

  • Brick

    Dylan,

    How many more kids do you think we will take for ’09? Do you think JB would take 2 more and leave just 2 for ’10?

    Also, what is your best guess at who we land? I get the feeling Crump and Franklin are offered and we will take the first to commit. If we get one of them I think we can be very picky with who else we offer.

    I like the Canadian kid. He was a 6’3″ guard a few years ago.

  • I think we take one more for 09 but that’s pure speculation.

    I think Franklin is a huge long shot.

    I like the sound of the Canadian kid too but don’t know how good he really is. Haven’t heard of him until today.

  • aaron

    i would be ecstatic with crump, sounds like a very skilled wing, with athleticism and size

  • AC

    Dylan –

    One request, even if it might sound silly. Can you be sure to mention the recruit’s class at the beginning of any posts about them? For those of us who keep a casual eye on basketball recruiting but don’t know it in-and-out it gets really confusing when names are thrown around but we have no idea if they’re for 2009 or 2010.

    Maybe when you mention their name you can put (SG, 2010) or something right after it.

  • Will do. Just added them to my post. I’ll get the hot board done and that might help as well.

  • Great update. The college basketball recruiting shadiness goes way beyond anything I think that we outsiders can imagine. Any time you are trying to lure 14 and 15 year olds to commit to your school things get sketchy. Not Michael Jackson sketchy, but sketchy nonetheless.

  • taylor

    What makes this Baylor thing even more shady is the position of the aau coach. Director of player development isnt even a real college position, this isnt the nba no college team should have a director of player development. Him being named to that position is a joke.