Scouting Jon Horford vs. Jackson


We haven’t put together a formal announcement but Calvin is going to be helping out a little bit around here. Last night he made it out to check out Jon Horford in action versus Jackson.  Here’s his report and we should hopefully have video up later this weekend. A commenter, Sam, also made it out to the game and here are his thoughts if you are looking for a second opinion. -Dylan

Yesterday I took a trip to Jackson to watch Michigan recruit Jon Horford and Grand Ledge take on Jackson High. For a nice primer on Jon Horford from Dylan, take a look at this post after a game against Lansing Eastern.

Horford’s stat line against Jackson: 27 points, 21 rebounds, five assists and eight blocks. Despite Horford’s monster numbers, Grand Ledge lost the game, 65-64.

The first thing you have to say about Horford, and something Dylan mentioned, is that there isn’t much of a “wow” factor. He’s extremely skinny (think a taller Manny Harris, but with slimmer shoulders), which means there aren’t any points in the game when he can just move somebody out of his way. Every offensive move is a finesse move–which isn’t to say they’re bad moves, that’s just the kind of player he is. He has a nice quick drop step and he knows how to use his pivot foot in that way that seems like it should be traveling but definitely isn’t and it’s just a good move. He has great touch around the basket and is an exceptional finisher given his frame. He is also a very, very good passer. Horford was double-teamed almost every time he touched the ball, and he almost always found the open man. Very good instincts on offense.

Unfortunately, he isn’t great at positioning himself for rebounds, which means he ends up with a lot of boards just by being taller than everyone else, which was the case tonight. Impressive rebounding numbers, not necessarily impressive rebounds.

In this game, Horford really took it to Jackson but was held down by his lackluster teammates. There isn’t a guard on Grand Ledge who can truly handle the ball and there aren’t many guys who can shoot it, either. Horford was left to do most of the work, and he got it done. The funny thing about his numbers? If it’s possible to have a “quiet” 27 points, Horford found a way to do it. I was filming and my buddy was keeping stats, and at first I thought there was no way Jon had 27. But when I thought about it, it made sense.

His points were exclusively from the inside. He didn’t take a jumpshot the entire game, but he took a lot of free throws and made most of them.

I really liked how he protected the basket down low. He really worked hard on defense, and while Grand Ledge lost, there’s only so much one guy can do on that end. It’s not like anybody was going after him like LaDontae Henton was in Lansing, but he still did a nice job protecting the hoop, especially on help defense.

One other thing I think bears mentioning: Horford seems like a great teammate. His team isn’t great, but he didn’t seem to get down on anybody. He generally kept his composure even when they were making an entry pass look like advanced calculus.

Overall, the kid is one raw player. He’s very good as a prospect.  He needs to fill out, but once he does he’s athletic enough to make a difference. My feeling is Beilein can’t wait to get his hands on Horford.  He’s just his kind of project.

We should have video from the game up and running soon. Note: Horford had a nice alley-oop jam at the very beginning of the game. Unfortunately, you won’t see it because yours truly didn’t press the “record” button until about 3 minutes into the game. Very sorry.

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  • Andy

    Encouraging for sure. I’ve always been of the opinion that talent eventually wins out, and it sounds like he has good inherent ability. Sign him up! As much as it kills me to say, we really need to look at MSU and copy their S&C program. Get this guy to look like Al Horford when he’s 21, not Courtney Sims.

  • fresh

    i saw the one game against lansing high and his legs were really big usually meaning that he will be able to pack on pounds, manny doesnt have the frame to put on mass, the point is horford can and will prolly gain 25 lbs easily within the next couple years

  • Evan

    I believe Ben Cronin is done his career so that would open up the possibility of getting Horford and Zeigler. From what i hear from you Horford sounds like he can be a very good post man when he hits the weight room. I am ver excited about both Zeigler and Horford and I hope jb can do his best to get them. Dylan is there any news on Zeigler havent heard much about him lately?

  • ryan

    From the sounds of it Horford and Zeigler are both waiting til April? when is signing day?

  • Evan

    I think April 14th not positive though

  • JimC

    From WikiAnswers (is that reliable?):

    Regular signing period is 4/14/10 through 5/19/10

  • Yup it’s April 14th. Recruits can sign April 14, 2010 through May 19, 2010.

    Here’s the official site:

    Players also don’t technically have to sign a letter of intent and can prolong their decisions past May 19th if their heart truly desires.

  • michigan hoops 4eva

    So Horford is a project player, that’s alright but who’s going to step up at the post positions next year?

  • ryan

    i read that Zeigler was supposed to go to the OSU game. Anyone know if he was there?

  • Evan

    i think horford will be ready for next year i hear he already gained 25 pounds and that puts him at like 215 hes gonna keep getting stronger and i thinks hes gonna start next year and be pretty good

  • Horford might be a project but right now we really have one five man on the roster: Jordan Morgan. There are minutes in the front court so you know that if Horford comes in and competes, he has a shot at playing time.

  • fresh

    horford needs to add like 15-20 lbs in his upper body bad if he wants to play next year way to small to play in the big ten right now

  • Tweeter

    Kinda sounds like Horford is a Juwan Johnson type. Is that an apt comparison?

  • Colby

    I like the sounds of Horford but if he cannot contribute right away would then what does that do for us? We will be taller next year with 3 guys over 6-8, our lack of guys who can take it to the rim bothers me without Manny. Taking another wing if we could get Trey would not bother me at all and then hopefully getting Amir or Plumlee in 2011. Half the reason we are shooting bad is because the other team does not have to worry about getting beat on the dribble and can stay right up on guys.

  • AG2

    Ohio is a strong recruiting base and Matta tends to get at kids early. I like the sound of Michigan being bigger next season with Morgan and McLimans getting playing time but if Horford is a project Beilein hasn’t hesitated in the past to redshirt guys for the long term good of the program.

  • michigan hoops 4eva

    I looked at Al Horford’s rivals profile, and he was 211 pounds coming out of high school, and now he weighs 245 pounds. Maybe Jon, who weighs 185 pounds currently, can take a few pointers from his brother to beef up.

  • Just got the tape… Will hopefully have the video up this weekend.

  • Tweeter

    Anyone see the end of the WVU/L’ville? The officials missed not one but two out of bounds calls in the final twenty seconds. Dont know what I would do if I was a L’ville fan right now.

  • Andy

    Per the discussion about the future of the 5 position, I went back and watched the two Jordan Morgan videos that Dylan has up on the recruit video tab. I have to say I was impressed and am considerably more excited about him than I was in the past. It seems like he’s been committed forever and then with the injury this year and everything, he has kind of just been this name that is out there. From the video, he is big and well filled out, but impressively nimble and seemed to have good soft hands. Obviously he won’t be a senior DeShawn Sims, but I think the post is going to be in better position than we thought next year.

  • other steve

    man would it be nice to have both horford and zeigler come to UM next year. do you think beilein landing one or both influences manny to stay for his senior year? if he gets zeigler then manny might think they have a legit chance next year…

    All I know is that it would be nice to have those two come into the fold and have manny stay…

  • other steve

    as for the ohio state recruiting class my god! they are loaded. and it probably wont happen but what if evan turner buford and diebler all stay? jesus they would have to be a preseason top 5. Probably would have to be considered the best team in the big ten next year if that happens (which probably won’t).

  • Evan

    i think the only way we get zeigler to u of m is if manny goes because zeigler just wants the playing time and zeigler wants better stats

  • I’m really optimistic about Horford. I lived in the DR for three months and learned a little about his brother, who seems to have been a lot like Jon size-wise at this stage. Hope that Beilein seals the deal w. this young man.

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