Incoming: Class of 2009

Dylan Burkhardt

This year’s incoming class will arrive on campus at the end of the month. The first sign that basketball will eventually be back. Of the four incoming freshmen, Blake Mclimans is the mystery man. There wasn’t a lot of media coverage of Blake or the Worcester program more than an occasional box score. I stumbled across this McLimans video from WIVB and figured it was worth posting because we have barely seen many pictures of Blake, nonetheless hear him speak.

The first hurdle for the freshmen class is Beilein’s camp. I would expect the entire incoming class to participate in the Elite and Team camps similar to last year. A team of Darius Morris, Matt Vogrich, Blake McLimans, Jordan Morgan, Eso Akunne, and Josh Bartelstein should give other teams a run for their money. It will also be a chance for people to see the a few of the freshmen for the first time.

  • Tom Too

    Great video. I think you will see totally different mechanics on that shot after JB gets a hold of it….seems to shoot it from the chin instead of from the forehead or higher. He probably got away with that lower shot in HS….

  • That shot is also from his senior year in high school, not last year.

  • W3

    Needs to get on the Darius Morris workout plan

  • Bluebufoon

    For those that remember the Worcester Academy video of Blake McLimans from earlier this year, though it was a small sample size, Blake looked to be a player with a world of potential. 6-10 big men, who nail perimeter jumpers, plus are willing to mix it up defensively and have great timeing as a shotblocker, those are skills U-M can/ will utilize.

    It will be interesting to see how much weight McLimans ha put on this last year at Prep School and how much additional weight and
    strength he adds before the up-coming season. I’d love to read an exit interview from Coach Oreilly at Worcester Academy on how Blake progressed over this past season ?

  • Tom Too

    There is also the answer to those who might have thought he would suit up for the UM Baseball Team.

  • Bluebufoon

    Evan Smotrycz still playing well, this week at the Rumble in the Bronx
    tournament in New York.

  • Kenny

    little doubt that Blake will red-shirt next season.

  • FL Wolve

    So what happened with Blake this season? I know he didn’t even start on his HS team which is not a huge issue because he did play on a very talented team. But is it true that eventually he was removed from the rotation entirely? I was extremely excited when he committed but I have seriously tempered my enthusiasm based upon the year he just had. Considering he had trouble breaking his HS team’s rotation, I agree that he will likely redshirt this season.

    I was hoping he would have a Smote kind of breakthough season but that apparently did not happen.

  • KJay

    What remains intriguing about McLimans is that he’s tall, can shoot, and has a standout volleyball background, which means he’s got the tools (vertical jump, timing) to be a good shotblocker. What he appears to sorely lack is the type of body to compete at the high D1 level. Hopefully his frame is such that a year of working out with college trainers will allow him to pack on some muscle. Still think he has the potential to be a contributor, and hopefully the reports about him being a competitor and having a good work ethic will translate into a big improvement now that he’s focusing solely on basketball.

    If Cronin is healthy, a 4/5 mix of Sims, Gibson, Morgan and Cronin is more than adequate, and still a big step up from last season, suggesting redshirting is probably the right step for McLimans. What I’m not sure about is whether the fact he did a prep year means that he’s a bit older and wouldn’t want to redshirt now. Anybody know how old he is?

  • Tom Too

    KJay – You are correct regarding out front court rotation…big step from last season. I am still thinking we will come out of the gate slowly with Morris running the show and semi-big minutes??? for Morgan and Cronin.

  • Mitchigan

    I know Big Ben is loved already by us Michigan fans and we’ve seen and read some stuff about him already, but I just found this old video about him I’d never seen before, showing us a preview of our potential bigman for this year. Hopefully his footwork gets better, but really seems like one of the most likable guys and is a true Michigan Man already. Go Blue!

  • Bluebufoon

    I don’t see the advantage to red-shirting McLimans ? He is being brought in to help replace D. Sims for after next season. Let him get his feet wet, at least in mop-up situations. Give him a taste and lets see how he responds to the competition ? I realize Blake needs to get bigger and stronger but realistically U-M doesn’t have a comparable
    back-up this up-coming season for Sims and thie will be the perfect opportunity to break McLimans in gradually. I like that scenario rather than throwing both Smotrycz and McLimans to the Wolves in 2010/2011.

  • Kenny

    Bluebufoon, I do not agree with you, it is no reason to burn one year of eligibility when Blake is clearly not ready to compete in Big Ten. With Cronin coming out of injury, and Gibson/Wright continue the trend of improvement shown towards the end of last season. We will be fine with our front court rotation without McLimans. Depend on the situation, even Morgan may or may not get into the rotation. Beilein develops player well and values senior leadership, McLimans will be much more valuable when he is a fifth year senior than a true freshman, and this applies to Jordan Morgan too.