2012 Q&A: Sean Sheldon

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I recently got a chance to chat with Sean Sheldon, a 2012 big man out of Traverse City.  Sean is a versatile big man whose recruitment started really picking up at the end of this summer.  Sheldon also really impressed at Michigan’s elite camp.  Here’s what Sean had to say:

Describe your game. I like to think of myself as a really versatile player.  I can play any position from the 3 to the 5, really.  I can go beyond the arc and knock down the 3 or take my defender off the dribble from beyond the arc also.  The thing I’m more well-known for is squaring up from the post, but I can also take guys with my back to the basket.  So I think a lot of schools are looking at me for my versatility.

Who has offered you? Western Michigan, Miami (OH), Lehigh and Wright State.

There are some bigger schools who have shown interest in you, though. That’s Penn State, of course U of M, USC, Providence, Notre Dame.  Those are probably some of the bigger schools along with Wisconsin and Indiana.

What have you and coach Beilein been talking about as far as an offer? Coach Beilein said that they’re at the stage right now where they have to decide to offer their final scholarship for 2012 to a big man or a guard.  I talked to him yesterday on the phone and he said they still hadn’t decided, but I’m definitely in the mix.  So I’m hoping for an offer from them.

If Michigan were to offer, where would they rank? They’d definitely be one of the top choices, it really depends.  It’d be between a lot of Big Ten schools and stuff.  It’d be between them and Penn State and USC and stuff like that.  But they’d definitely be a top choice.

How did AAU go for you this year? It went really well.  I played with the 17U’s the whole AAU circuit and we made it to the semifinals down at Spiece, we made it to the finals in Kansas City, and we got second place out of the 84 teams that were there.  It was a lot of fun.

Any timeframe for commitment? Yes.  I will be making a decision at the end of my junior season, if not before then.

How did you like your unofficial visit to Michigan for the UMass game? I had been down there for the two previous elite camps and I came down for the football game and it was a lot of fun.  Got to hang out with the coaches and the players and got to see what the atmosphere was like, especially on a game day, so it was fun.

What do you think of Michigan’s new staff? I like all the coaches a lot.  I really like coach Alexander, I worked with him a lot during Elite camp he was one of my coaches when we were working in the post and I really liked his intensity and how he gets after it.  I liked coach Jordan and coach Meyer and of course coach Beilein.  I just had a great time with all of them.

What do you like about Michigan? Just their style of play, that they’re looking for a versatile big man.  They want a 4 man like myself who can get out on the 3-point line and knock down the shot but also can get in there in the post and score down there also.

How do you think you would fit in to Michigan’s offense? I look at myself as a versatile 4 for coach Beilein.  I can get out on the wing and take people off the dribble, so I really look at myself as a 4 man for Michigan, but I can get out and do stuff a 3 would do, also.

Any part of your game you’re focused on improving right now? Right now I’m working on my wing skills, working on my ballhandling, along with 3-point shooting.  And of course in the weight room I’m working three days per week trying to put on strength.

Any player people compare you to? Last year my high school coaches were comparing me to Gordon Hayward , where I had the size and similar play style to him, but I think I go down more in the post than he did, but I can get out on the wing and score proficiently, as well.

Any other visits planned? I had a visit at Wright State today, and I will be at the University of Dayton tomorrow.  I think I’m planning on coming down to Michigan again in a couple weeks, coach Beilein mentioned that, so I’ll be down there for sure during the season also.  I’m flying to Penn State for a visit on October 23rd and earlier in October Ill be in North Carolina for a couple visits.

What ultimately goes into your decision? First and foremost it’s the academics.  I want a good foundation for after my playing days are over, so definitely academics.  The coaches, the program and how I fit in.  What it’s going to be like when I come in there, what the minutes are going to be like during my sophomore and junior season, and then location.  Michigan would be a great fit for all those.  They’re four hours from my house, and the line of work I want to go into, they place a lot of graduates in that field.

  • FLWolve

    I like our chances with Sheldon should we decide to offer.

  • Colby

    Any word on visitors at todays game? Thanks

  • Sean seems like a point by point total fit. I like the in-state element. Here’s hoping.

  • Grey

    Sheldon doesnt seem very highly rated. Does anyone know what star rating he is? And if he is ranked in the top 150?

  • Anyone who has seen him play against Jalen Reynolds, Matt Costello, Percy Gibson, Austin Burgett, some dude from Team Philly whose name I don’t know but was a 6-8 dunking stud, AJ Hammons, Travis Carroll, Donnie Hale … knows he’s as top 150 player.

  • GrandChamp

    Have to be very selective with our last scholarship.

  • Jordan Hare, Zach Price as well … I think most “scouts” probably saw him in the spring and the general consensus was a mid-major lock, see how he develops. He has, but it was mostly the college coaches watching in July. One mid-major coach who was either at, or had an assistant at, every game Sheldon played in July so saw all the ups and downs but still came away impressed, concluded sadly concluded he was going to end up “too good” for their level.

  • GregGoBlue

    great info, SBell. Thanks!

  • Bluebufoon

    Pure speculation on my part, but it sounds like Sheldon’s scholarship offer will be determined by what happens with the recruitment of 2011 prospects Dom Pointer and Amir Williams. If Pointer chooses U-M, that would negate Williams and probably open up the 2012 scholarship for a
    front-court player. But if Pointer goes elsewhere, say West Virginia, then Shelden, will probably have to wait on what happpens with Amir Williams.

  • georgeesq.

    JMO, but I don’t think that Beilein will wait on Williams if he is sold on Sheldon.

  • Bluebufoon

    Williams is now deciding in November and his recruitment will be wrapped up in the next month, that’s not that far down the road. I hope there is room for Sheldon but Williams brings a lot of positives that are too hard for U-M basketball to ignore. The next few weeks should be exciting to see what happens with these last two scholarships.

    Not to take a shot at Mike Jackson but this new coaching staff is making noise not only in the current class but for 2012 and 2013.
    I realize Rome wasn’t built in a day but U-M basketball recruiting
    has really improved over the last few months.

  • GregGoBlue

    Agreed BlueBufoon. It seems like this new staff has landed more impressive commitments in a very short amount of time.

    Speaking of which, have we cooled on Javontae Hawkins? I haven’t heard his name mentioned much on the recruiting trail, and with schollies dwindling our “#1 wing prospect” from day one seems to be on the back burner…

  • georgeesq.

    Numbers game re: Hawkins. Offer is still good, but it’s first come, first served.

  • Yeah, offer definitely dependent on which way last ’11 scholarship goes. Got offer from Toledo today apparently.

  • JBlair52

    Is Sheldon capable of playing the “5” spot for Beilein?

    I’ve been under the impression that if we get a “big” that it would be a “5”

    Whether or not they redshirt, we’ve got a lot of potential “4” guys in Smotrycz, Christian, Horford, and Robinson.

  • MHoops1

    I’m not completely convinced that the only factor in a Sheldon offer is who else, if anyone, signs in ’11. That ddidn’t impact a Costello offer–if they were convinced that Sheldon was a priority target, I’m guessing they’d have offered already. The truth is that they have 4 freshman eligible bigs, plus Christian, who can play the 4, plus Robinson III, who may grow into that spot, so the need is for someone they think is better than what they have, rather than simply someone who is a post. That could be Sheldon, or it could be the Willms kid from Canada (now Detroit Consortium)…or it could be no one, if they really like Horford’s development. Of course, getting Amir Williams would create a numbers issue which would preclude a Sheldon offer, but even if they get Pointer, or no one else this fall, I’d be somewhat surprised if Sheldon, or any other ’12 big currently on the horizon, gets an offer before they’ve watched them all play and develop this winter. I could be wrong, and this is not based on any inside knowledge–just on watching Beilein over the past 3 1/2 years, and analyzing what has happened when he has waited on making offers to kids he has watched–but that’s my take.

  • Penn State going up to TC on Tuesday.