Making Sense of the 2010 Recruiting Class

Dylan Burkhardt
on
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The 2010 class has grown steadily throughout the winter and spring. Michigan has now signed four players for the class of 2010: Evan Smotrycz, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jon Horford, and Colton Christian. Jordan Morgan and Blake McLimans are also going to be freshmen this year after redshirting which brings the count  of new players to six.

The larger class has caused some alarm among Michigan fans who wonder “how will we ever sign all of those great players in the class of 2011? 2012? 2013? 2025?” On paper there is now only 1 scholarship remaining in the class of 2011 which means that Michigan could technically bring in only one more player alongside Carlton Brundidge. At this point I expect Michigan to continue recruiting with the intention that they will add two more to the class of 2011.

Ideally you want to have very balanced recruiting classes. In a perfect world you would use roughly 3 of your 13 scholarships every year. The fact that this plan overlooks, one that Beilein knows very well, is that there will be attrition in a recruiting class.

Beilein has never been afraid to use his scholarships. During Beilein’s five years at West Virginia he recruited 17 players and 5 of them left the program. He also didn’t hesitate to bring in large recruiting classes. His 2003 class featured 6 recruits and his 2006 class featured a whopping 7 recruits.

Beilein found plenty of diamonds in the rough. He plucked guys like Joe Alexander, Alex Ruoff, DaSean Butler, and Frank Young out of relative obscurity. But for every diamond in the rough there is a Jerrah Young, Tyler Relph, or Brad Byerson that ended up leaving the program. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it is something to keep in mind when looking at Beilein’s recruiting classes.

In short, I have no problem with the size of this class. Things like attrition tend to work themselves out. There are 13 slots on the roster but Beilein has made it clear that he likes to work with an 8 or 9 man rotation. That’s 4 or 5 unhappy players that want to make a difference but don’t get the opportunity.

Even with the Christian commitment I expect Michigan to add two more players to the class of 2011 if the situation arises where they could take two commitments. Marshall Plumlee, Amir Williams, Kevin Pangos (recent profile), and Eric Katenda all appear to be viable candidates at this point but it’s not like any of them are on the verge of committing and Michigan will have to turn them away. They will continue pounding the pavement and recruiting the kids that they want in the ‘11 class.

We constantly harped on the lack of size on last year’s roster and questioned whether Beilein would adjust his style of play to compensate. I don’t think Beilein ever planned on playing small ball but his hand was forced. His West Virginia teams were full of 6-foot-5 to 6-foot-8 swing men who could play inside and out. With the average height of Michigan’s six added players coming out at 6-foot-8, it’s clear that next year’s team will at least be longer and taller.

I have received a lot of inquiries about how I see next year’s roster or rotation coming together. It’s obviously very early in the summer and this is something we’ll probably discuss for some time but with a gun to my head I’d go with this:

  • One: Darius Morris
  • Two: Stu Douglass
  • Three: Zack Novak
  • Four: Evan Smotrycz
  • Five: Blake McLimans

I think you would see some versatility though. Evan Smotrycz and Zack Novak both have the ability to slide up or down a position. This should give Michigan the flexibility to play small, maybe with Novak and Smotrycz at the four and five, or play big, with Novak, Smotrycz, and Christian at the two, three, and four respectively. We don’t know how ready a lot of these freshmen will be at this level but some of them will have to play and we can only go based on the style of player they are reported to be.

Lucas-Perry (2), Vogrich (2-3), Hardaway (2-3), Morgan (5), Horford (5-4), and Christian (4-3) all have question marks but the competition is wide open so people will get their chances. In terms of getting a chance to see some of the young guys play together, the first opportunity will likely be during Michigan’s Team & Elite camps near the end of June.

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  • kainkitizen

    We all have talked about different game plans and lineups. What we really are talking about is, can the incoming freshman pick up the basic offense this summer during workouts and team scrimmages. So there isn't a huge drop of wait time for them. I'm pretty sure Coach Beilein has an idea who he will start with at the beginning. It could change during the Christmas break or before.

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  • champswest

    I don't think that anyone has a starting spot locked up, except Morris. I don't care how many years they have been starting. Beilein just fired 2 coaches, he wants to win now. He is going to go with the guys that give him the best chance to win. I think that he will favor the vets early for their experience and leadership, but will go with the hot hand later on. He has 5 or more guys that can play the 2/3 spots. We might all be surprised to see how much better Novak can score at the 2 position while being guarded by someone 6'3'' instead of 6'7″. The one thing that this team should have is versatility. It should be fun to see what this offense looks like with more length and athleticism.

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  • champswest

    I don't think that anyone has a starting spot locked up, except Morris. I don't care how many years they have been starting. Beilein just fired 2 coaches, he wants to win now. He is going to go with the guys that give him the best chance to win. I think that he will favor the vets early for their experience and leadership, but will go with the hot hand later on. He has 5 or more guys that can play the 2/3 spots. We might all be surprised to see how much better Novak can score at the 2 position while being guarded by someone 6'3'' instead of 6'7″. The one thing that this team should have is versatility. It should be fun to see what this offense looks like with more length and athleticism.

  • vellyvel

    we will be good this the rotation here and starting five

    morris
    stu
    hardaway
    smotrycz
    mclimans

    rotation will be with novak,morgan,cory person/red shirted last year,jordan dumars jr.,horford,vogrich lot of people will get playing time then we expect watch i guarentee…..and we need the freshman to play really good this year………now we have a lot of size with morgan,mclimans,horford,colton,smortycz………….and by the way we will beat state this year i just feel we have to much size for them right now plus we have a 6'3 point guard that will help we will shoot the three like we did last year….trust michigan will be back on track next year big nix to slow to run the floor with mclimans…..and the rest of the bigs….. and our football program will be back on top too…lol…….go blue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • breezy586

    You guys are forggeting about laval lucas-perry he is one the most talented and most experienced players on michigan, Ya he slacked off alittleb it last year thats because he was behind manny but now manny is gone and LLP has a chance to take over i honestly think LLP is the leader of this team. ur also forgetting about walk on phoenoms Corey Person and Eso akune also josh bartlestein next season will be very interesting i cant wait for tip off.

  • PeteM

    I’m wondering how this class is ranked in the Big Ten. It’s pretty easy to find rankings in football, but I don’t see as much of that in BB. Looking at star rankings, it appears that we’re clearly behind Illinois, MSU, Purdue and Ohio State — so at best we’re 5th in the B10. It looks like we’re also clearly ahead of Iowa, Indiana, Northwestern and Penn State, so at worst we’re 7th. That leaves Wisconsin and Minnesota – it looks to me that with Smotrycz we could argue that we have a better class than either of them, but I’m curious if anyone has seen any analysts’ appraisals

  • junderground

    I would say there is essentially no chance of any of those three happening.
    Stu may not even get enough minutes to verge on that, and his spot-up offensive game will never be good for 13 per game, and that would be true if he played for a small conference.
    Novak doesn't look to score enough to average more than 8, and while I'd like to see McLimans develop that much this season, I can't see it.
    Your comment is like so many on this forum: imagine the very best possible scenario in one's wildest dreams and predict it as a likelihood.

  • junderground

    Agreed. I think we'll see 4-5 different starting lineups in the pre-season schedule. It will be a mishmash and if they aren't successful it will stay that way all year, with B tinkering and trying to find something that works. Hopefully, he'll find that as early as possible.
    I'd imagine Stu and Novak will be somewhat likely to start the first game just because of their experience but I think Stu will face serious threats from Hardaway and maybe Vogrich and maybe Stu at an undefined position as one of the five instead of Stu. I also think that Novak will have to really produce to keep his starting job/coming off the bench but playing more than the starter role. It's anyone's guess what we could be seeing by late Feb–just about every scholly player can be considered a possibility.

  • Will

    if this team is to win, they'll have 7-8 guys between 6 and 12ppg, if things go well you'll see a squad where there's a different leading scorer every game and the young guys (Horford, Christian, Morgan, Hardaway, etc) will have their playing time determined by how much they hustle and how well they are doing right now. I don't think this team will find a solid rotation that Belein is happy with before the 2011-12 season. It's going to be hit and miss and we'll see flashes of the future from Smotz, Hardawy, Horford/Christian, Morgan and McLimans, but Zach, and Stu are what they are, role players having to be the focal players on a big ten team. The only way this team really puts it together is if Vogrich provides the shooting stroke and Belein realizes it's more important to have a pure shooter on the floor then someone who can play D. This team gets a lot of open shots, and Vogrich is the one guy who could excel in this offense.

  • Will

    if this team is to win, they'll have 7-8 guys between 6 and 12ppg, if things go well you'll see a squad where there's a different leading scorer every game and the young guys (Horford, Christian, Morgan, Hardaway, etc) will have their playing time determined by how much they hustle and how well they are doing right now. I don't think this team will find a solid rotation that Belein is happy with before the 2011-12 season. It's going to be hit and miss and we'll see flashes of the future from Smotz, Hardawy, Horford/Christian, Morgan and McLimans, but Zach, and Stu are what they are, role players having to be the focal players on a big ten team. The only way this team really puts it together is if Vogrich provides the shooting stroke and Belein realizes it's more important to have a pure shooter on the floor then someone who can play D. This team gets a lot of open shots, and Vogrich is the one guy who could excel in this offense.

  • SamGoBlue

    OK junderground, since you know everything that is going to happen next season, tell me who is going to score how many points next season. I am not being optimistic here, only logical. If Stu and Novak don't lead the team in scoring, who will? The only other person with even a chance to do so will be Morris, but his offensive game would have to be drastically improved if this is to be the case. Stu and Novak are our two most seasoned veterans now. They have played by far the most minutes out of anyone on the returning team and have shown offensive flashes. And despite what you call a “spot-up” offensive game, Stu will actually be one of a few guys that will need to create on offense if this team will have any success.

    Anyone who knows anything about basketball knows that it would be impossible for a team to go a whole season without someone averaging double digits and highly unlikely for only one player to do so. This is simply the most logical prediction for who will score. I may be going out a little bit on a limb with McLimans, but I really believe that he will be a pleasant surprise based on everthing I have seen and heard. I can't wait to hear your predictions.

  • SamGoBlue

    OK, so let me get this straight: our two most veteran players (including our team captain) are going to be on the hot seat as far as their starting job goes a couple of games into the season? I'm stunned. I can't believe I even wasted the time replying to your earlier comment. You accuse me of being overly optimistic. You, however, are clearly one of those people who put WAY too much pressure on the freshmen to perform early. Yes, I'm excited to see Hardaway as well, but to even hint that he would start early in the season is ludicrous. He was a consensus three star recruit and is going to be a true freshman in a difficult system. I would compare his game to Vogrich's, and we all know how much he did last year. Now I'm not saying that Vogrich will never be good, in fact I think he will develop very nicely, but to say that Hardaway will give Stu a run for his starting spot is flat out naive.

  • SamGoBlue

    Corey Person didn't redshirt last year, he is just a walk on and did not play. He redshirted the previous season I believe.

  • SamGoBlue

    OK junderground, since you know everything that is going to happen next season, tell me who is going to score how many points next season. I am not being optimistic here, only logical. If Stu and Novak don't lead the team in scoring, who will? The only other person with even a chance to do so will be Morris, but his offensive game would have to be drastically improved if this is to be the case. Stu and Novak are our two most seasoned veterans now. They have played by far the most minutes out of anyone on the returning team and have shown offensive flashes. And despite what you call a “spot-up” offensive game, Stu will actually be one of a few guys that will need to create on offense if this team will have any success.

    Anyone who knows anything about basketball knows that it would be impossible for a team to go a whole season without someone averaging double digits and highly unlikely for only one player to do so. This is simply the most logical prediction for who will score. I may be going out a little bit on a limb with McLimans, but I really believe that he will be a pleasant surprise based on everthing I have seen and heard. I can't wait to hear your predictions.

  • SamGoBlue

    OK, so let me get this straight: our two most veteran players (including our team captain) are going to be on the hot seat as far as their starting job goes a couple of games into the season? I'm stunned. I can't believe I even wasted the time replying to your earlier comment. You accuse me of being overly optimistic. You, however, are clearly one of those people who put WAY too much pressure on the freshmen to perform early. Yes, I'm excited to see Hardaway as well, but to even hint that he would start early in the season is ludicrous. He was a consensus three star recruit and is going to be a true freshman in a difficult system. I would compare his game to Vogrich's, and we all know how much he did last year. Now I'm not saying that Vogrich will never be good, in fact I think he will develop very nicely, but to say that Hardaway will give Stu a run for his starting spot is flat out naive.

  • SamGoBlue

    Corey Person didn't redshirt last year, he is just a walk on and did not play. He redshirted the previous season I believe.

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