Tim Hardaway Jr. is a Michigan Wolverine

Dylan Burkhardt
hardawayjrMiami Palmetto guard Tim Hardaway Jr. verbally committed to Michigan after being officially offered by head coach John Beilein. Hardaway Jr. came to Ann Arbor to earn his offer and he got it done. The clinic that he put on Sunday ($) in the championship at Michigan’s team camp was probably what locked up his offer. It took Hardaway a while to warm up at camp but in the end Coach Beilein was impressed enough to extend an offer.

Hardaway is a 6-foot-4 lanky shooting guard with excellent length who is a great three point shooter. He’s not as athletic as Casey Prather and his offensive game isn’t as refined as Trey Zeigler’s but there is no doubt that he is the best shooter of the bunch.

Michigan had been in the drivers seat in Hardaway’s recruitment for a while. Other suitors included Minnesota and Kansas State:

Minnesota and Kansas State have both offered, while Florida, South Carolina, Kansas State, Northwestern and Florida State

ESPN rates Hardaway at 93/100, which is good for the #28 shooting guard in the country and the 93rd ranked prospect in the class of 2010. Rivals and Scout both Hardaway as a 3-star prospect. Rivals also has a couple premium video clips ($) from the AAU circuit this summer.

hardaway-visit2 hardawayjr-pic

Hardaway has played well early on on the AAU circuit this spring and summer. Hardaway was named to the all-tournament team at the Bob Gibbons TOC event. He also impressed ESPN scouts at the Nike Memorial Day Classic:

May, 2009: Hardaway, who has obvious basketball bloodlines, displayed high-level ballhandling and passing ability at both guard positions. He is an excellent athlete who uses his quickness and length to his advantage. He showed he is a threat from 3 if the defender backs off. He was very good in transition pushing the ball up the floor and is a great finisher at the rim. He had a good feel for using ball screens and also could create off the dribble. He was able to get into the paint for a midrange jump shot and did a nice job drawing the defense and kicking out to an open teammate. Defensively, he is a smart, fundamentally sound player who understands angles and has above-average lateral quickness. He still has upside and is developing some point guard skills. As his body continues to mature, Hardaway should blossom into an excellent college player.

Hardaway might not have the type of superstar potential that Trey Zeigler and Casey Prather have but I like this commitment a lot. Hardaway has the length to play at the top of the 1-3-1 zone and he has the shooting ability to play in John Beilein’s offense. I think right now he projects a little more to the two guard position rather than the three but he definitely has the potential to play both. The biggest knock on Tim right now is his handle, I would think his dad could help coach him up there though.

Scholarship Situation

A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush and this situation still gives Michigan a clear opportunity to land Zeigler or Prather.

Hardaway’s commitment leaves one scholarship remaining for the class of 2010 (see the updated scholarship breakdown for information about future classes). The two main candidates for that last spot in the class of 2010 are clear: Trey Zeigler and Casey Prather. This becomes a first come first serve situation for the last scholarship.

Taking Hardaway makes a lot of sense because if you wait too long for Casey and Trey then you risk being left empty handed. The staff has done an exceptional job recruiting Casey and Trey but acan happen in recruiting. Prather has consistently talked about visiting, the next step is to make that happen. Zeigler didn’t make it to Ann Arbor this week because of illness and his dad’s CMU camp being scheduled at the same time but he still plans to take a few visits and then decide in early Fall.

The class of 2011 is where the scholarship situation gets interesting. Assuming Michigan’s class of 2010 consists of Smotrycz, Hardaway Jr., and one more player that leaves only two scholarships in the class of 2011. I think Michigan needs at least one big man in the class of 2011, so that leaves only one spot for a guard or wing. At this point Michigan has offered Brandan Kearney (G/WF), Patrick Lucas-Perry (PG), Carlton Brundidge (G), and Amir Williams (C). With the crunch on scholarships in 2011, it will be interesting to see if a 2011 kid decides to accelerate their timeframe before it’s too late.

  • Kenny

    Dylan, thanks for breaking the news. And welcome, Tim.

  • Go Blue Wolverine broke the news. I had the story ready last night after hearing the positive whispers coming out of Ann Arbor but of course the story broke while I was at lunch.

    It’s a good get, and puts Michigan is a comfortable situation.

  • Giddings

    Welcome Mr. Hardaway!

  • Suavdaddy

    I didn’t think PLP had a schollie offer. Could be wrong tho.

  • gpsimms

    I like the idea of waiting out til the end for Zeigler/Prather…it seems like we are in good enough position with Kearney and Brundridge that we can afford to come up empty and still be ok.

    That said, 2010 could be a tough year if Manny leaves and we don’t get Zeigler/Prather.

  • gpsimms

    Right, and congrats and welcome to Tim. Great get. Also, his dad was one of my childhood favorites. It was always great to hear how Hardaway (the older) talked about how impressive Beilein was.

  • gooter9

    Rivals reporting it now too. Welcome Tim! Come on down Trey.

  • AC1997

    Looking ahead to open scholarships in the next two years I tend to agree with your assessment Dylan.

    2010 – Scoring wing is priority #1

    2011 – Big man priority #1, guard priority #2

    But let’s assume another scholarship becomes available for 2010 (Manny goes to NBA, someone gets hurt, someone transfers, etc.). What would you do with it?

    More specifically, when do you recruit another point guard? LLP and Stu can play some back-up point and I still wonder if Grady would come back to the team after football season is done, but it seems really thin after Darius. I wonder if you would sign a lesser PG prospect in

  • Michigan will most likely take at the most one more in 2010, even if Manny leaves.

    It wouldn’t make sense to take another unless they are a big time prospect because that would leave only one in 2011.

  • Killer crossovers, all day. BOOM!

  • Ken in Vegas

    I love it! Hardaway brings great potential and enthusiasm for Michigan. Beilein can mold him into an excellent wing. He also brings good name recognition which will help in recruiting and overall publicity. People love following namesakes, including myself. I still like watching guys like Luke Walton on the court even though he isn’t great and even though I’m not a fan of his father. I can’t explain it.

    Hopefully, we still go after Trey Zeigler, but if not, I’m still very happy with this 2 man class and think that we are really starting to recruit well as a team.

  • Kenny

    the conflicting reports on Tim Jr.’s ballhandling skill really puzzles me. ESPN raves about his ballhandling and passing skill (hopefully not mistaken him with his father) but W3 was much less impressed. Add to the puzzle is that his daddy was one of the best in this category and sells instructional videos on TV, and it also makes wonder if W3 is right, how much room of improvement is left in Jr.?

  • In talking with people who saw him play this weekend. Ball handling is definitely a weakness. The people I talked to were generally impressed with his overall game. And Beilein was certainly impressed or he wouldn’t have offered.

  • UMDC

    Welcome Tim! Excited to have you join us!

  • Benjamin

    2011…Manny will be gone and depending on how well Ant Wright shoots this year…we may have another schollie.

    So, maybe we take 3 in 2011. And, hopefully one of those is Kearney!

  • Anthony Wright and Manny Harris will be gone in 2011 regardless. So that won’t open another scholarship.

  • Adam

    I don’t want to rain on the parade, from everything I’ve read and seen this is a good ‘get’ but I won’t be satisfied until I see the signed LOI. Maybe just a feeling on my part but I want this thing set in stone.

  • I don’t see why this wouldn’t be solid? Hardaway has talked about Michigan being #1 for quite some time, came all the way to Ann Arbor to prove himself and get an offer, and committed within 24 hours of getting the offer. Why worry?

  • South Florida Maize Rage

    Agreed Dylan. No reason to believe he isn’t solid. The conflicting reports about his ballhandling worry me but I think he’ll be OK. An exciting day for the Wolverines.

  • CLB

    So, what is Hardaway’s relation to Penny Hardaway?

  • CLB: He is Tim Hardaway’s son. No relation to Penny.

  • andrew

    @ CLB, Tim Hardaway Sr also had THE SICKEST crossover…

  • Dave

    the kid’s dad was great………ballhandling can be taught and learned just like anything else……..come next year at this time it should be very interestng to see how far he has come along…..remember this kid is probably like 16 right now…..give him a couple years and it will be fun to see what happens

  • Old Style

    I agree with gpsimms. Go for Zeigler/Prather and if that doesn’t work out sit on the Scholarship for a year as the next year’s talent looks strong.

  • Dave

    there is no reason not to go after zeigler/prather because they would play the 2 or 3 and hardaway would play the other position and vice versa…….etc. a class of zeigler/hardaway/smotrycz sounds real solid………its to bad that zeigler couldnt make it to the camp couuld have helped things there perhaps

  • Dave

    i would like to see what happens with prather as well

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  • PeteM

    I noticed rankings from Rivals and Espn, but not Scout. Dylan, do you know how they have him ranked?

  • He’s also a three star. Let me throw that in there.

  • Dave

    is jr’s game really just him as being a shooter………..or can we believe espn’s newest take on him

  • davidb

    Excellent get! i agree with old style & gpsimms wait out trey & casey, if we come up snake-eyes, bank the schollie for 2011. Welcome Tim and Go Blue!

  • Paul

    Yes! A good get! Was hoping for Tim. Like you guy’s say, Trey or Casey or save the spot for next year. Fantastic news!

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  • Evan

    Since Ben Cronin is done we probably will get Horford and maybe Trey Zeigler. I would think at this point that Horford is more a key than Trey right now.