Blake McLimans to Michigan

Dylan Burkhardt
on foot ten big man Blake McLimans verbally committed to Michigan head coach John Beilein today. McLimans is a well regarded baseball prospect for most of his high school career with a high 80s to low 90s fastball (he also was a volleyball player). Blake decided to attend Worcester Academy this year for an extra year of school to focus on basketball. Well apparently it worked because John Beilein jumped in with a scholarship offer this weekend Blake has accepted it. McLimans made his official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend along with commitments Darius Morris and Jordan Morgan as well as other Michigan targets including junior Will Regan, Trey Zeigler, and Brandan Kearney.

McLimans had previously visited Siena, Hofstra, and Providence. He was also drawing recent interest from Boston College, Georgia Tech, and Connecticut. McLimans is rated a 3 star on his newly posted Rivals profile, and has no Scout or ESPN profile.

The scouting report on McLimans is that he is a versatile 6-10 big man who can play on the perimeter. He’s skinny but he can run the floor and hit the face up jumper but also has nice moves in the post. Blake is also reportedly a solid ball handler who can hit the occasional three point shot. There isn’t a lot of scouting information on him because as was mentioned he didn’t play AAU ball. But from the quick run down Blake appears to be a perfect Beilein big man.

Here is a report on McLimans’ senior season:

A three-year starter at Hamburg, McLimans will go down as one of the better players in the history of the program and one of its best ‘big men.’ At 6-feet, 9-inches, McLimans averaged a remarkable 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in leading the Bulldogs to a share of the regular season ECIC II title. He became Hamburg’s all-time blocked shots leader and also finished sixth on the school’s career scoring list with 889 points, as well as its fifth all-time leading rebounder. McLimans became a skillful inside presence who could also step outside to drain a jumper. Defensively, McLimans made it so that no inside shot was safe when he roamed under the basket. Hamburg’s offense ran through McLimans and when he got his touches, the Bulldogs were most successful.

“He got better and better every year and his work ethic was sound,” Hamburg head coach Pat Cauley said. “He was our most consistent player. We knew almost every game he would come up with a double-double. The other team also knew it and guarded against it, but he still delivered.”

It’s also worth noting that McLimans is getting quality coaching at Worcester Academy which is one of the top prep schools in the nation athletically and features up to 8 division one players.

In my opinion this is a great commitment and rounds out a very balanced 2009 recruiting class. McLimans explosion over the last month or so drawing lots of high major interest should calm some of the star-gazers doubts about a very good prospect, especially late in the game. In some senses McLimans replaces Nate Lubick, in others he replaces Robin Benzing.

The completed 2009 class:

  • Darius Morris – PG – 6’3″
  • Matt Vogrich – SG – 6’4″
  • Jordan Morgan – PF/C – 6’9″
  • Blake McLimans – PF – 6’10”

McLimans is the versatile big man that Beilein needs and while he is off the radar Beilein clearly saw something he liked. He went out to Worcester Academy a couple times in the last month or so to check him out and clearly has a good sense. While his game has some similarities to Lubick, the advantage with McLimans is that he is a 2009 recruit who will be able to come in and play next year, but he also is a year older than a typical 2009 recruit.

This is the last available scholarship in the 2009 class (scholarship breakdown) so it’s on to the class 2010. Will Regan is clearly a priority as well as Trey Zeigler. There are also other wings to keep an eye on including Moses Morgan, Isaiah Sykes and more. Now that the 2009 class is done, I’ll try to the get a 2010 hot board finalized as soon as possible.

One other note, if I’m John Beilein I think I would keep recruiting Angus Brandt just in case there are any departures or transfers. With Brandt’s expected spring decision I feel like this only makes sense at this point. This doesn’t mean I necesarily expect departures but after last year I think it’s better safe than sorry.

  • Rob

    Outstanding! Just think next season how much DEPTH we will have. For the first time in memory, we will NOT have walk-ons in the two-deep. Hooray!

    If this was MSU, it would be a ho hum class, but for Michigan at this point in time, it’s outstanding and every recruit makes sense, with real potential upsides and/or fits to the Beilein system (Vogrich and McLimans).

    Great all-around PG, a athletic, versatile SHOOTER, a banger and wide-body to do dirty work in paint and a European-style big man that will fit the Beilein system PERFECTLY and can shoot it.

    What’s there not to like?????? Regan and Ziegler/Morgan in 2010 and this program will be rolling! 2010 is the year Michigan basketball will be back nationally and with a VENGEANCE!

    Go Blue!

  • Personally I just can’t wait for November 6th.

  • At this point with basketball I’m just going to take it one year at a time. Beilein has worked hard to bring in recruits for next year and Rob is right, 2010 should be when we are back to at least national respectability, but we need to focus on developing everything we’ve got now so the momentum from these last few months isn’t squandered. I have a feeling that Beilein won’t let that happen.

  • umdcbball

    Excellent!! Welcome, Blake!!

  • Fantastic, a pretty solid class. We averaged out just above 3 stars, which is better than the norm.

  • ummbbfan

    With the addition of another big what does this do to Morgan? I am not sure I would be very happy about this if I were him.

  • Morgan and McLimans have drastically different games. I wouldn’t think this would do anything with Morgan and I would fully expect him to sign during the upcoming early signing period.

  • romatt

    Matt Vogrich is the best player in this class. He is the perfect player for Beilein from top to bottom.

  • Jimmy

    Great class by any standards, but especially based on what we need and what we’re used to.

    McLimans has the benefit of practicing against 7 other D-1 players and thats a major advantage. He’ll be ready to play from day one. Beilein is really coming through. We’ll be in the tourney by 09-10 at the latest.

  • Jimmy, not to mention that the NEPSAC class A is a hell of a league and he’ll be playing good competition.

  • Bluebufoon

    Wow- Coach Beilein replenished the roster in two short years. I don’t know what the ceiling for line-up will be but as was already noted next year U-M will have a full compliment of players to work with and I would bet next year Michigan run of missing the NCAA
    Tournament falls for sure. The embarrassment of the last 12-15 years is over– Go Blue !!!

  • josh

    Jordan is that kind of kid IMO. He wants to come here along with Darius to turn this program back to what it was, and he will do anything to make that happen. Very similar kids to Manny and Deshawn. I love this class. I like this class just as much as when we had Legion, manny, and Grady. But as we know about Legion. Ugh, wonder how he is doing.

  • Jacques Auef

    One thing is for sure. This kid will need a lot of time with the new UM Bball S&C coach.

  • Good story @ Scouts.

  • Definitely a very solid class for Michigan. This also makes a good case that attending a prep school can help an athlete like McLimans improve his game enough to play at a good D1 school.

  • Bluebufoon

    Scout article states McLiman is 212 pounds and an ideal weight for him at college is 235 pounds– it will be interesting to see how much weight McLimans puts on in the next calender year and prior to next season. I’m guessing 15 pounds would be a realistic goal — does that sound right ?

  • Finally! I never thought I’d see the day but I got a feeling that our Basketball team is going to take over where football left off. This may be an average class but its getting closer to where we ought to be. But the thing that gets me excited is we finally have some SIZE on our team. Looking forward to putting maize and blue hoops back where it belongs – in the NCAA. Sweet 16 is definitely doable. LETS GO BLUE!

  • BL11

    I have heard Webb from GBW and 1050 talk about eso akunne (sp?) and his possible walk on a FEW times now….is there any info on this kid? I haven’t seen anything. Thanks.

  • BL11: Eso is a good player at Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard. He’s a 6-3 guard with good size. Richard went to the state title game last year as well I believe.

  • romatt

    I know Eso, and around late September Coach Beilein offered him a preferred walk-on spot. Eso has offers from Central and Oakland, but he is looking for a bigger offer. If he doesnt get one he is ours.

  • Kenny

    Any chance that he McLiman might register early.

  • Korry

    Blake is my cousin, and I have been playing ball with him for years now. He is such a competitor and trust me, you found a diamond in the rough with this one… He is VERY coachable, and is a perfect fit for Beiliens system. I can not wait to be at the games to watch him and the maize and blue succeed once again!!!

  • Bluebufoon

    How thin is your cousin ? Is he on a special program to bulk up for next year ? Can’t imagine he can play in the Big Ten unless he gets considerably bigger and stronger ? How big is Blake’s father — weight ? Go Blue !!!

  • Korry

    All good questions, my uncle is a big dude but I was not around when he was Blakes age and now he is a mature older gentleman so not a fair comparison. Blake is a hard worker and is very coachable, his size will improve because of it.

  • Bluebufoon

    Thanks — for the info. Glad your cousin is blue. It’ll be fun to see how he progresses at Worcester Acaemy and then next year at U-M.

  • Korry

    No prob, I am excited as I have been a Michigan fan my whole life, well since Robinson, Rice and then the Fab 5. So I will be there to watch over the next 4 years. And yes, I agree it will be fun to watch. See, with Blake, Beilein can mold him to whatever kind of player he wants. Now that Blake is focused on Basketball, the sky is the limit! Why not make it as a Wolverine!

  • Emily

    Blake is a GREAT player. He is going to do awesome at Michigan! I believe in him!!!!!!!

  • Ben

    Everyone in hamburg knows that the offense at hamburg never ran through, around or near blake mclimans… he just happned to get in the way of me doin my thang.

  • Lindsay

    Dear Blake,

    I am emily’s roommate… wanted to say congrats, thats awesome dude!!

  • Lindsay

    oh ya and ps-i think your sexy ;]

  • Lindsay

    ps that was emily, not Lindsay

  • Kyle

    blakers you look really hot in that i actually mean hot in a toasty way..anywayysss congrats!!!
    love you!!=]]

  • Thaddeus Keane

    Blake is the real deal! I went up against him in practice every day and he would dominate me so bad, he made me want to cry and quit basketball. He will tear it up at Michigan!!

  • Liz

    S-I-N-K sink it blake sink it…..blake is hot!(crazy arm motion) remember it and ull make all ure free throws!! good luck buddy im soo happy for u!!

  • Liz

    ps. blake is a really good dancer too.

  • Ben

    You are also pretty bad though keane so the domination, crying and quiting basketball parts of your comment happened vs everyone who guarded you… burn

  • Megan

    Blaker I decided to join the commenting are going to do great!! I’m proud of ya! =] and ZK don’t be discouraged buddy

  • Kaitlin L

    YAY BLAKE!! you will do amazing at UM. go blue!

  • hi
    good luck

  • Jake L.

    Eso Akunne is the most valuable player in michigan. He is a special player he can dribble and shoot like a guard and he is 6’3 and thick like a big man. Not even all the 7 foot players from ranked 8 in the nation country day could stop him. Eso is going to michigan forsure he already comitted as a preferred walkon.

  • dokiefadinfleshyeye

    Yo …. gont ball with Evan S and form this weird little duke look frontline at michiogan! Lol you cold but Jordan Morgan better tho homie!

  • Ashley

    I think Blake is a all around good athlete…and that takes you farther than just being a good basketball player. He is coachable, driven, and self motivated, idk what else you could ask for in a Freshman player. He will succeed with good coaching and a good team morale, and he will get just that at Michigan. He may be skinny, but i can assure you…when Blakes hot on his sick 3 point shot, you cant touch him. Skies the limit… 716<3 GO BLUE!!!!