I recently got a chance to chat with Pat Ackerman, a 6-11 big from Worcester Academy, Blake McLimans’ old school. Ackerman’s stock has been on the rise this summer and he’s already picked up a few Big Ten offers. Michigan has taken an interest in him and he plans to try to visit in the fall. Here’s what Pat had to say.
Describe your game. I’m definitely more of a defensive player and a rebounder. I block shots, change a lot of shots and I like to rebound. Also I like to get out and get a lot of my buckets in transition running the floor, getting ahead of guys. I’m more of a post-up, I don’t step out as much as I used to. I can shoot the mid-range but I’m more of a post-up player.
What offers do you have? The offers I have right now are St. Bonaventure, Siena, Bucknell, Penn State, Minnesota, Ole Miss and those are the only ones I can think of right now.
What have you heard from Michigan? They just told me they’re really interested in me and they want me to come for a visit and all that. They said they’re going to come out when we start our fall workouts and come visit with me and all that.
How did AAU go? I think I played really well. My team in general, we just had a great summer. I thought I played really well, apparently a lot of other people do to because I’ve been hearing from a lot of schools since I got back, but I think it was just a great summer overall.
Do you have the schools that have offered you ranked? No, honestly I really haven’t. Right now, I’m still hearing from a lot of different schools. It’s still pretty early and I’m just taking everything as it comes and just listening to what everyone has to say. I’m sure in the next couple of weeks I’ll sit down and really go over this and think it all over.
When are you coming to visit Michigan? I’m hoping to make all my visits in the fall. I haven’t committed to any visits yet but definitely all my visits I’m hoping to make in the fall and hopefully have a decision made by then, too.
So that’s the timeframe for commitment? I’m really hoping to before the season, just to take that pressure off before my senior year, but like I’ve told everyone else, if the right school doesn’t come along before then, then so be it. I’m not going to rush and make a decision just to get it out of the way, but I’m definitely looking to before the season.
What do you think of Michigan’s new coaching staff? I think they’re great. I talked to coach Beilein last week and coach Meyer and I think they’re great guys. I actually know one of the kids on the team right now, Blake McLimans, he went to school with me two years ago and everything I’ve heard from him–he never has anything bad to say, he loves it. From what I’ve heard, they’re great guys.
Does having Blake at Michigan influence your decision at all? Not really, I don’t think it influences it either way. It definitely helps to be able to get an honest answer from somebody I know as opposed to if I go to a school and I don’t know any of the players and I’m asking them what the school’s like, I feel like some guys would just tell me what they want me to hear as opposed to an honest answer.
How would you fit into Michigan’s offense? I think I could definitely help with my length and all that. When I’ve seen them play they have a lot of long guys and athletic guys, and I feel like I could fit into that because that’s what I try to bring: the use of my length and athleticism. So I definitely feel like I could fit in and help them.
Anything you’re focused on improving about your game right now? Right now I’m just trying to get a lot stronger and bigger. I feel like if I can do that and bulk up that will just help the rest of my game greatly. I’ll be able to finish a lot better and D guys up a lot easier.
What ultimately goes into your decision? First and foremost is the academics. That’s important not just to me but to my family too. I want to go somewhere where I’m going to get a great education and be challenged that way. But obviously basketball is very important because I’m going to be spending most of my time in college doing this. I just want to go somewhere where I can be happy. It’s like my mom says, if I blow out my knee first day of practice and I never play again I want to be happy where I am for the next for years.