Recruiting Roundup: Class of 2010

Dylan Burkhardt

The 2009 class is in the books and I’m sure the Michigan staff will be excited to take this season’s momentum onto the recruiting trail. Right now there are technically two scholarships available but I would expect Michigan to take three in the class once everything works out. The biggest needs are at the wing and power forward positions — the debate would be what to do with the third scholarship.

High school seasons are pretty much in the book and that means it’s time for AAU ball. Kids like to put recruiting on the back-burner during their high-school season but AAU ball is all about recruiting. Things typically start to pick up and stock rises and falls quickly. The frustrating thing for Michigan is that a lot of the kids on the board are looking to make fall decisions rather than spring or summer.

Here is a quick run-down of who is on the board and how their high school seasons wrapped up. The list really hasn’t changed much since when I posted the 2010 hot-board a while back (will be updated soon). The main additions are Prather, Dragicevich, Payne, and Oliver. The three “firm offers” are Will Regan, Trey Zeigler, and Casey Prather but there is plenty of serious interest up and down the list. For more on every kid make sure to click through their category pages on the sidebar. You can find some video as well as the weekly recruiting wraps there.

Will Regan (6-foot-8, Nichols, NY)

Will ReganWill Regan has emerged as Michigan’s premiere big-man target. The junior had a huge year for the Nichols School and he seemed to produce night in and night out. Nichols’ season came to a disappointing end against Canisius in the Manhattan Cup final but it there is no doubt that Regan is blowing up.

Michigan has been in good position with Regan for a long time. Academics are important to Regan and Michigan certainly fits the bill. A spring decision seemed imminent but several new schools including Villanova have started to show interest. Regardless, Regan has an offer and Michigan is in very good position.

Trey Zeigler (6-foot-5, Mount Pleasant, MI)

Trey ZeiglerTrey Zeigler appears to have been the #1 wing forward on Michigan’s board for a long time. He is the son of a college coach and possesses all the tools including athleticism, basketball IQ, and shooting. Zeigler was named to the Class A all-state team and averaged 24 points and nine rebounds per game while shooting 48% from behind the arc.

Zeigler’s recruitment has been a bit of a roller-coaster in terms of speculation but the Zeigler family appears to have been true to their word in terms of time frame and plan. They have consistently stated that they want to take their time and not rush to a decision. The “big four” for Trey were Michigan, Michigan State, CMU, and UCLA but UCLA isn’t getting as much play of late. This will definitely be the recruitment to watch over the summer and you can bet that the rumors will be flying in every direction.

Casey Prather (6-foot-5, Jackson Northside, TN)

Casey PratherIt’s hard to call Casey Prather anything but an athletic freak. The 6-foot-5 swingman was a finalist for Mr. Basketball in Tennessee as a junior and is garnering interest from high-majors across the country. Prather averaged 24.4 points and 11 rebounds per game but lost to Mr. Basketball award to Josh Jenkins who averaged over 40 points per game.

The odds of landing Prather are probably long but it appears there is some sincere interest. Vanderbilt appears to be the local school to watch out for but big dogs like UNC and Wake Forest have been in to watch Prather play.

Moses Morgan (6-foot-5, Palo Verde, NV)

Moses is a skilled wing forward from Nevada whose Palo Verde team fell just short of a state championship. Morgan appears to have bounds of talent but sometimes isn’t quite assertive enough on the offensive end. Commenter Ken in Vegas was at the game and produced this report.

Moses has been big on Michigan since he visited in the fall and his recruitment doesn’t seem to have moved much over the school year. Things should start moving a little more quickly over the summer AAU period.

Tim Hardaway Jr. (6-foot-5, Miami Palmetto, FL)

Hardaway Jr. is a wing guard from Palmetto High School in Miami. The son of NBA-star Tim Hardaway Jr., the three-star prospect visited Michigan this winter for the Duke game and Michigan appears to be in a pretty good spot. Hardaway has also received interest from Kansas State, Miami, Virginia Tech, and Florida State in recent months.

Alex Dragicevich (6-foot-6, Glenbrook North, IL)

Dragicevich is a 6-foot-6 wing forward from Glenbrook North was named second-team All-State in Illinois. His Glenbrook North team finished 11th in the final Chicago Tribune rankings. Glenbrook North fell just short of the state finals when they lost to Waukegan in the class-A super sectional.

Alex can shoot it and also has length at the wing but he might not be as good of an athlete as Prather and Zeigler. Alex’s recruitment is definitely one to watch this summer.

Ray McCallum (6-foot-3, Detroit Country Day)

McCallum is one of the top players in the state of Michigan and one of the top point guards in the country. He made it to Ann Arbor for a game with his Country Day teammates but it appears that Kansas is leading his recruitment. Detroit Country Day fell short of their ultimate goal, a state title, but they still had a dominant year. McCallum was not the one to blame; he had 30 points in the defeat before fouling out. One thing is certain, the Mr. Basketball race next year will be something else with Keith Appling, Ray McCallum, and Trey Zeigler.

Devin Oliver (6-foot-5, Kalamazoo Central, MI)

Oliver is a smooth wing forward from Kalamazoo Central that reminds me a little bit of Lester Abram. Watching him play in the state championship game I must say that I was impressed. He can score the ball in a number of ways — he shot the jump shot, got to the hole, and worked the offensive glass. Oliver certainly needs to add some muscle to his frame but you can see why coaches have taken notice. The optimal situation would be one in which Michigan can bring Devin in on the Kalamazoo Promise which would essentially allow them to add Devin without using up a scholarship.

Evan Smotrycz (6-foot-9, New Hampton, NH)

Smotrycz is a skilled big man from New Hampton, a school that plays in the same league as Blake McLimans’ Worcester team. It appears that Michigan’s interest in Evan is on the rise ($) and this recent ESPN scouting report would start to explain why:

Smotrycz has the ability to score in a variety of ways. He can connect on jumpers from beyond 3-point range as well as score in the paint. Smotrycz has an effortless jumper and does a good job of getting his legs involved on the shot, which gives him the ability to connect from deep on his jumper. When he applies himself, he has the ability to cause match-up problems by taking bigger frontcourt players out on the perimeter with his shooting ability in addition to taking smaller defenders down to the block when he gets the opportunity to do so. Smotrycz also has very good vision and passing skills. He plays an unselfish brand of basketball at times, he plays little too unselfishly and does not look to exploit his advantage in terms of scoring the basketball. Smotrycz also has problems when he faces more athletic frontcourt players and tries to guard them. As long as he does not try to over-extend himself and maintains a high level of aggressiveness, Smotrycz can develop into an excellent frontcourt player on the next level. He just has to continue to work to overcome his tendency to disappear, which he should not do given his immense amount of talent.

Smotrycz is definitely an intriguing prospect but I’m not sure that he would be the answer in terms of someone that can bang in the post. He is averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds per game in a tough league so he’ll definitely be one to watch over the summer.

Allen Payne (6-foot-6, Winton Woods, OH)

The Ohio-native appears to be slipping down the Michigan list, he seems to have had a solid season but his name just hasn’t received much play. Payne appears to be very interested in Michigan and at 6-foot-6 he can basically do it all. I think he’d qualify as a plan-B guy at this point.

Cameron Ayers (6-foot-3, Germantown Academy, PA)

Cameron is another guy that appears to be slipping down Michigan’s list. Ayers had a solid season but the Michigan talk seems to be at a bit of a standstill. I’m sure there is still interest but he appears to be a guy to keep an eye out for rather than stay glued to.

  • UMDC

    haha, that’s the beauty of anecdotal evidence, Dylan. There is no definition of what constitutes “a big name” player or quality recruiting class. It’s all subjectivity and inconsistency masquerading as “evidence.”

    It’s what makes the internet great!

    I’m in agreement with the majority of people.

    I think that one could pick an all-star team just from mid-major schools and win an national championship.

    What that suggests to me is that there is enough talent out there that flies under the radar for a team to draw from and build a competitive team at the highest levels. That team then mixes in a couple 4 star (or maybe even a 5 star once a decade) guys and BOOM that team does good!

  • Giddings

    Dave, that is true that Manny and Deshawn are big name players, but let’s not overstate the difference between them and Morris/Vogrich. Based on rankings, Manny was the #12 SG in his class and Deshawn the #9 SF. Darius is the #15 PG for 2009 and Matt is the #19 SG. And again, these guys came to Michigan despite a disastrous 10-22 season and a 10-year tournament drought.

    Ben, did you watch the Oklahoma game? Without Anthony, that game likely would have been a blowout. He doesn’t get much playing time but when he does get in there, he certainly gives it his all. How about that rebound and putback over the Griffins in the 2nd half? I know people love to criticize him when he is cold and can’t hit the three-ball, but he’s shown potential. One could argue that we wouldn’t have beaten UCLA without Ant’s backdoor passes (most notably the one to Deshawn, of course).

    Plus, the kid has represented this team with so much class off the court. Remember the story about him giving BTT tickets to the young fan, and then meeting him after the game? I think with athletic scholarships you have to consider how the player represents Michigan both on and off the court.

  • JDS

    How good is this Oliver kid from Kzoo? I see rivals doesn’t have a ‘star count’ for him, but it says he’s good in every catergory…have recruiters just not anaylyzed him yet?

  • raiderfan

    JDS, if next to a players name it says NR, then that means he has not been scouted yet and there is no ranking available at the time. Typically players who are scouted later, will end up being a 3 star or lower. Every once in a while a player is from an area that gets no publicity and doesn’t get noticed until late in the recruiting process and jumps up to the 4 or 5 star level, but that is very rare. If they are good enough to recieve an early evaluation, the player normally recieves a higher ranking, 4 star or 5 star. Don’t get to caught up in the whole ranking process though, remember that Marquise Gray from Michigan State was once a 5 star player.

  • JDS

    Thanks for the clarification. The whole star thing is just funny though, b/c even though Novak had really positive comments on his recruiting pages, he was either NR or had zero stars. Seems like Oliver is in the same boat, hopefully as another diamond in the rough as JB can snag him…esp w/o using a scholarhship

  • Sam

    Everyone that is ripping on Beilein’s 2008 recruiting class, consider this: Beilein had basically one full year to recruit that class. Usually by an athlete’s junior season, they have good ties with a couple schools and are down to a fairly short list. Obviously, Beilein’s first priority had to be in getting Grady, Manny, and Legion to stay (although we all know how that last one worked out). In the end, he basically had less than a full year to form ties with players and get them to commit. Considering he got three three-star players that fit his system well, I would say he did a pretty good job. This 2009 class is also very respectable considering the mild success we had last season. Give him some time and I’m sure he will get some quality players that also fit his system.

  • Ben

    I’m Sure Anthony Wright is a Wonderful person off the court and I’m sure he is a great teammate, but having 2 good games the whole year just doesn’t cut it and there is a reason why he doesn’t see the court very much, he just isn’t that good. I’m sorry but I don’t like his game and we could use another scholarship for someone that will help us. But I hope I’m wrong and he improves his game over the summer

  • Dave

    people can say what they want……..without better talent michigan will maybe compete for a big ten title every once in a while and will definitely never compete for a national championship thats for sure……..yeah its true that wake, ucla, duke and all these other schools have big name players and didnt win their conference, but at the end to the day those are the teams that have the real chance at winning national titles……….keep in mind that michigan used to get the best players in the country to go their…..i cant help it that looking at the teams that win national titles and looking at our team that we will never be competing for titles……..but most of you guys for some reason are all smiles for some reason……….look at the best teams in the country and look at the players that they recruit………that means i win this debate every time… cant argue with me about this…..because the teams that are truly the best in the country have the best most highly rated players

  • Dave

    as for other things i have previously said…… (lubick, bryd) didnt come to michigan because they thought it was a risky move because they havent been to the tournament in a long time and things of that nature…… these kids cant use that as an excuse

  • Brick

    It sounds like Smotrycz may have received an offer. I’m wondering what this means for this recruiting class and Regan in particular. I wonder if we would take both. I kind of figured that Regan was going to commit and Smotrycz would be a backup plan. Maybe this is a bird in the hand type situation unless JB sees Smotrycz as a WF and Regan as more of a post player.

  • Ben

    were going to end up losing out on the better recruits again….

  • Bob

    Look. Beilein will be able to get Michigan into the tourney more times than not. It’s just if you are a stickler for banners I think we may be dissapointed. He finishes in the middle of the pac in the Big East and Big Ten so far in his career. He has made a sweet sixteen and an elite eight with like no highly ranked players. He was like a half away from a final four at WVU.

    I still think Tret goes to CMU.

  • Jim

    Dave, you might be right about Lubick, but look where he is now, a Geaorgetown commit that perhaps at the time seemed safe. But look now GT turned out to be a bottom tier team in the Big East even with a top 5 recruit in Greg Monroe.

  • JDS

    “Seems like Oliver is in the same boat, hopefully as another diamond in the rough as JB can snag him…esp w/o using a scholarhship”. Devin Oliver is a huge diamond in the rough – hopefully JB sees it in him. I believe he is Manny’s replacement.

    He is a late bloomer physically (Dylan is correct about him needing to add muscle) – he has grown about 5-6″ in the last 18 months and is probably not done growing at 6’5″. He is a true Beilein type player plus he can put it on the floor like Manny only with much better handles. He was a PG his freshman year before he started growing so he is an excellent passer and plays very unselfishly – a little too unselfish IMO, he needs to look to score more (although he had plenty of others on his team this year to defer to – Doug Anderson, etal).

    He led his team Kazoo Central (Class A state runnersup to Pershing)in scoring and rebounding this year and had several games with 5+ assists, multiple steals, and blocked shots. He had a very quiet 21/9/4 blocks in the state championship game (quiet given Applings 49). Look for him next year to really take over his team’s leadership – he has tremendous upside potential.

    He is playing AAU this summer (he did last year also) and interest in him is going to go sky high – JB needs to be on top of him right now. His AAU team played in Vegas last summer and Johnny Dawkins (yes the Dukey) from Stanford has been chasing him for months – Devin is also a straight A student. Because of all the exposure from the state tournament, in the last week he received first time calls from several more schools – including Big 10 scholls. He is a must get for the 2010 class.

  • Dave

    there is obviously going to be great, highly rated kids going to schools that dont do that well, but im just saying that to win national championships you are going to need way better talent than what michigan has, because its just not possible to win national championships by basing a system around shooting 3s…… need more versatility and the higher rated kids obviously will have the most to offer in terms of everything you need to win……..beilein needs to consistently pull in kids like deshawn and manny every year and i dont think that being able to do that right now and being able to do that every year is that much to ask and expect