Weekend Roundup (8-10-09)

Dylan Burkhardt

Latest on Casey Prather

pratherpicNorth Carolina recently landed a commitment from PJ Hairston, a top 20 wing forward in the class of 2011, and it appears that they may be slowing down their recruitment of Casey Prather. Speculation around NC circles, including this thread on Inside Carolina, makes it pretty clear that Casey has fallen off the UNC radar and is very unlikely to receive an offer. UNC is in a position where they can pick and choose who they offer out of the very best of the best, so this is definitely not a knock on Prather’s game.

This is definitely good news for Michigan and everyone else that is recruiting Prather. The list sans-UNC includes Kentucky, Florida, Memphis, Michigan, Clemson and Vanderbilt. The only other school that hasn’t offered at this point is Kentucky.

Meet Josh Bartelstein

MGoBlue posted their next incoming freshman feature, this time it’s Josh Bartelstein. The article goes into detail about Bartelstein’s decision to attend U-M as a walk-on rather than take a scholarship at San Diego. CJ Lee and Dave Merritt were instrumental in this decision:

While on his recruiting trip, the Wolverine co-captains sat down with Bartelstein and talked to him about how they both decided to come back for a fifth year because they knew they would have a chance to contribute and bring Michigan back to the NCAA Tournament — a promise in which Merritt and Lee were able to deliver. That is when Bartelstein started to think.

Here is some fresh Bartelstein video from his time at Exeter from UMGoVideo.com.

Adidas Nations

trey-ray-adidasTrey Zeigler helped the Team USA 2010 team to a championship with an 85-83 win at the adidas Nations tournament near Dallas, Texas. There are no stats from Zeigler listed for the championship game but he did score 16 points and grab four rebounds against the USA 2011 team earlier in the tournament. Ray McCallum is pictured from an earlier adidas Nations event but over the weekend he was at the Nike Global Challenge in Oregon.

Big Ten Coaches

beileinNCAA Wisconsin UNLV Basketball izzo

Judging by my post last week, there is plenty of talent returning to the Big Ten. This recent Rivals article on the best X’s and O’s coaches in the game makes it clear that there is no need to worry about coaches not getting the most out of their talent. John Beilein is Jason King’s selection:

I’ll go with Michigan’s John Beilein. I can’t remember the last time I saw a bigger coaching mismatch than Beilein vs. Clemson’s Oliver Purnell in last season’s NCAA tournament. Michigan had two good players in Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims, but otherwise the Wolverines had no business hanging with a bigger, quicker and stronger Clemson team. Beilein, though, won the game by simply outcoaching his counterpart on the sideline. Clemson was confused and rarely got off a quality shot. The other thing I like about Beilein, and I realize this is off-topic, is that he runs his program the right way. There are always rumors about coaches cutting corners and bending the rules, but none of them ever involve Beilein — who has as good a reputation as anyone in the business.

Three of the four Rivals analysts selected a Big Ten coach as their #1 guy (Izzo, Ryan, and Beilein) and Matt Painter also received a mention. There is certainly no shortage of coaching talent in the conference.

Robert Traylor

Michael Rosenberg put together a great feature on Robert Traylor and the struggles that he’s gone through. The story isn’t necessarily new, it’s that familiar tragedy of the athlete who underachieved and will probably never make it back to the top.

Traylor is on a quest to make it back to the NBA, where he hasn’t played since 2005, and despite looking incredibly fit at 298 pounds I don’t think he’ll ever get the chance to play in the league again. He just has too much baggage to get back into the league at this point. It is still great to see that Traylor is making strides to get his life back together and realizes the mistakes he’s made.

The story profiles Traylor’s past, his struggles growing up dealing with his mother’s crack addiction, why he took money from Ed Martin (along with Mateen Cleaves), his money laundering charges, as well as the fateful night when Maurice Taylor’s Ford Explorer rolled on M-14.

Plenty of these topics are sore subjects with Michigan fans, and for some very good reasons, however it is hard not to have at least a little bit of sympathy for what Traylor has been through and personally I can’t not root for him.

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  • SteinerBlue

    That’s great news. Now if we can just get him on campus for a visit……

  • Giddings

    The Tractor piece was definitely interesting. I never knew that Traylor was the only one to pay back Ed Martin, and I’m sure the bit about Mateen taking money will definitely catch some people’s eyes… although I doubt anything will come out of it.

  • GregGoBlue

    Bartelstein has such a great attitude. He has accepted his role as a walk on with no misconceptions. His highlights are also very impressive. Having a kid like this on the team does wonders for cohesion and will make practices that much more intense. It’s easy to see why Beilein offered Bartelstein a preferred walk-on spot. It’s great to see that Beilein is building a program with not just high-quality athletes, but high quality people as well.

  • jim

    i agree with you greg, he highlights look great and he will do wonders for our program. the exact kind of kind we need

  • Jimmy

    2011 Top 50 big man Marshall Plummee on campus today. Call me crazy but I have a good feeling about Plummee. My dream recruiting classes are:

    2010: Hardaway, Smotrycz, Zeigler (although I’d gladly take Prather too, Zeigler being instate makes him more attractive to me)

    2011*: Kearney, Brundidge, Gibson, Plummee

    *assuming Manny leaves early. If we have the type of season I expect I expect Manny to leave, and rightfully so.

    If we decide not to give Ant a 5th year we could potentially bring in another highly rater player in the ’11 class, but I expect it to go to Eso or Bartlestein.

  • Alyzen

    As was mentioned the last time Dylan posted some Bartelstein highlights, his shot looks so weird — he gets very little elevation when he shoots, and it sometimes seems like the shot is coming off his palm. But he gets it off quickly, and seems to put it in, so whatever works.

  • jim

    dylan you think you could get so more info on the kid and his family its a cool story maybe reach out to josh

  • gpsimms

    Jimmy, we don’t have room for that many players. If Manny leaves early, it only opens up a 2010 spot.

    2011 still only has 3 openings, and one of those will likely by filled by someone we haven’t picked up yet for 2010.

    That means if we sign one more this year, we can only sign two 2011.

  • Jimmy

    But if Manny leaves it’ll open up a third scholarship for 2011 and if Wright isn’t renewed that makes four. So anywhere between 2-4 scholarships available in ’11, in which case I’d rank my personal priorities as
    1. Kearney (WF)
    2. Plummee (F/C)
    3. Brundidge (G)
    4. Gibson (F)

  • Dave

    the plumlee visit seemed to come out of no where which is something that usually leads to a commitment it seems……..now this probably wont be the case but it reminded me of the vogrich scenario a bit……nonetheless very enjoyable and it would be a huge commitment……..beilein is doing big things and i doubted him heavily in this aspect, its a matter of time before he starts landing whoever he wants…….very glad to see him putting in the work here……..sorry jb for doubting you

  • The Plumlees definitely have great respect for Beilein. Miles (I think, the middle brother) also visited Ann Arbor with his entire family.

    I’m not sure about the scholarship situation at Duke (where the other two play). But Marshall is definitely a high end talent who would be tailor made for Beilein’s system.

  • Tom Too

    If Plumlee’s Family has ALREADY been on campus and knows JB already, then this is HUGE news that he is visiting AA. Bigger than if he didn’t know much about UM and wanted to come up and check things out.

  • gpsimms

    Manny was already gone for 2011. Even if he stayed in 2010, he would still be gone in ’11. The scholarship count already accounts for him being gone in 2011.

  • Also guys — I’ll have a links post tonight… Was really busy today at work but there’s some good stuff out there.

  • Bluebufoon

    Jimmy– if U-M uses one additional scholarship on the class for 2010,
    hopefully Zeigler or Prather, that will leave U-M only two additional scholarships for the class of 2011, btw that factors in Manny leaving early and Wright leaving early or graduating on time, Michigan has only three scholarships left for the basketball recruiting classes of 2010 and 2011.

    Men’s basketball gets 13 scholarships. Women’s 15.

  • Kenny

    It is nice to know that beilein is going after some of the best big man for 2011; an early commitment will be huge for the program.

  • Dave

    another huge commitment like that, if it were to happen, you would think would trigger some of the instate big names to start to commit…..hes pulling in talent, its a great school with great tradition, in an extremely talented league where you are going to get plenty of exposure what more do you need

  • Tom Too

    I wouldn’t look at the floodgates opening up if he gets a key commit or two, but it is a process that will continue to evolve until we look up and see all the commits in the future being top 100. Although, I can see JB slipping in sleepers every now and then just to show people that he can still spot diamonds-in-the-rough.