Class of 2011 Intro: Larry Nance Jr.

Dylan Burkhardt

Update: Make sure to check out our Q&A with Nance as well.
We mentioned Max Bielfeldt as a possible 2011 target on Monday with the caveat that there might be another 2011 prospect in the mix as well. After a little digging over the last 24 hours, we’ve discovered another name on the radar: Larry Nance Jr.

Nance is a 6-foot-7 four man from Revere High School in Richfield, OH. Ohio HS Hoops recently listed him as the #2 unsigned senior forward in Ohio and this tweet from High Major Scoop lists offers from Western Carolina, Toledo and Wofford and interest from Toledo, Kent St., Michigan, CMU, and Western Michigan.

According to MaxPreps, Nance is averaging 18 points, 10 rebounds, 3 steals, and 3 blocks per game. As you can see in the video above, Nance is more of a skinny do-it-all combo forward than Bielfeldt who is more of a back to the basket player. He does appear to have some athleticism but not nearly as much as his father, Larry Nance Sr., the 1984 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner.

Nance seems to fit the profile of what Michigan needs — a potential four man — a little more than Bielfeldt. Michigan appears to be casting a wide net for 2011 late bloomer types that are having productive season. Nance, who has reportedly grown significantly over the last two years, would fit the bill as a late bloomer. We’ll look to have more over the coming hours and days.

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  • tin mad dog

    I have to say that it would be awesome to have a team made up of all kids of former NBA players. I’m not sure how good they’d be but it would be damn cool

  • MGoYooper

    If he picks up an offer our Father-Son Invitational team will be beyond stacked!

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    This random OSU message board thread notes that Nance can “jump like heck” and grew 6 inches since his sophomore year.

  • JB

    He might be a good change of pace backing up Smotrycz at the 4 with his athleticism.

  • Brian W

    Larry Sr. was one of the more explosive dunkers and shot blockers in the NBA from what I remember. Nice to hear that he has the hops like pops. Larry Jr. could possibly still grow some more too. Seems like a good option.

  • ypsituckyboy

    Get. this. kid. His offensive game looks pretty darn good for a kid whose body is having to deal with a huge growth spurt. If his hand-eye coordination is that good after a six inch growth spurt, he’ll be solid when he has some time to settle down and pack on weight. Plus, it looks like his main weakness at this point is simply a lack of muscle. That can be remedied by a redshirt year. I think this kid could be the diamond in the rough that Beilein is looking for.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Similar to Coton Christian I don’t think you take a kid this late in 2011 and redshirt him. You are taking him because you think there could be some spot minutes off the bench and that you need depth right now and can’t wait.

      • Ben

        Good POint Dylan,

        Personally I think we should just bank this scholly for 2012 unless there is a instant impact kid out there.

      • ypsituckyboy

        Dylan, won’t Horford be a legit option at the 4 next year along with Smotrycz? Is your thinking that Horford at the 4 leaves no one backing up Morgan at the 5 i.e. Horford can’t be the only back-up for both the 4 and 5?

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          I think Horford needs to focus on becoming a better player at the five and getting big. Could he be able to play the four in some spots? Against a team like Minnesota with a lot of size? Maybe. But I don’t think it will be his primary function.

      • Kenny

        We have ZERO front court experience this year, therefore must add depth just in case. Horford burned his red-shirt because McLimans didn’t pane out. Now we know Morgan is reliable, Horford is upcoming and Smot can play 4 and 5, with the entire front court returning, we can take a project and don’t expect him to play immediately. Jordan Morgan shows us what a year can transform a player.
        There is no guarantee that we are able to get someone in 2012 that can make instant impact. Immediate high impact bigs like Sullinger are rare and hard to get and they don’t stay long, other “high potential” recruits like Nix, Roe and Payne never plays out.

  • Adam VO

    Here’s a website about Nance Jr. when I googled him. Take it for what it’s worth, but it says he has a Michigan offer.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      I tend to trust High Major Scoop, a respected prep/AAU basketball source, more than some Examiner article filled with exaggerations. Especially when they were both posted on the same date.

    • Kenny

      How we all missed this article which says that he has Michigan offered back in Jan 10th.

  • AG2

    As much as I can’t help but wonder if we can afford to take these kinds of big men recruits, we did just lose out on 2 big men recruits in our home state to Columbus. Until Beilein shakes the “he can’t get me into the NBA” stigma we’re going to have to look for underrated guys.

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Hmm. I’d say we lost out on one, considering we didn’t offer McDonald.

      And the “he can’t get me to the NBA”? Manny Harris is playing major minutes for the Cavs.

      The real reason Michigan is searching for “underrated” guys is that it is so late for 2011 kids. Most of them have already committed.

      • Ben

        I’m glad they did’nt offer MacDonald and I was suprised to see Ohio State offer him. Any footage of that kid he seemed slow and not that athletic but maybe he got better…

  • Dylan Burkhardt

    Also… Carlton Brundidge posted a triple double last night with 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists vs. Lake Orion.

    Trey Burke was close but two assists shy: 21 points (9 of 14 shooting) with 10 rebs and eight assists in a blowout win.

  • Kenny

    Another Jon Horford? son of a former NBA player, a high motor late bloomer with good fundamentals who needs another year to get ready for Big Ten physically. I like it as we can afford to red-shirt him. Beilein really gets the snowball rolling in recruiting kids from basketball families.

  • Alex

    It’s an interesting question. I feel like Beilein will only offer if he thinks Nance Jr. can have an impact next year. I trust Beilein.

  • bird

    I’m feeling a little upward mobility recently, especially with Sparty taking one in the mouth here a little. On the surface, this does not comport. The kid could be a diamond, though. I trust JB. Would preferred walk-on be in the discussion/would Sr. foot the bill to have his kid on a high major roster? If Nance gets a scholly for 2012, that leaves one slot, right? How would that readjust the focus there? Still another wing, I suppose. C’est la vie, Hare, McGary, Spicer, Harris, etc.?

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Here’s one thing… Michigan hasn’t run out of scholarships for years I want to say. Transfers and other things happen its a fact of life. Filling scholarships is generally a smart move in my opinion.

      However, I would like to see this aggressiveness during the summer, when more options are still in play rather than now when there isn’t much unsigned talent to go around.

      • Colby

        Great point Dylan, Beilein needs to get that one high end kid during the summer to make a commitment, come in and get rid of all the notions about his teams.

        Great job tracking down this info as well and is it safe to assume that there is probably another kid or two that the staff is looking at. We need kids that can come in and play right away but does it surprise you that Nance has an offer?

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Again – I do not think that Nance has an offer right now. We’re working to catch up with him but a report from a more reliable reporter on the same day stated that Michigan was just showing interest.

          Just think it’s jumping the gone to assume the offer right now.

          • Colby

            Thanks Dylan, I did not see that you do not think he has an offer. Interesting to see if any new names pop up and if the staff will wait until coaching changes in case some kids get out of their LOIs.

            It would be nice to have an extra ship to play around with, there will be some tough decisions to make come the signing period.

      • Mattski

        Well, there was some disruption with the staff last summer, right? But–interesting a prospect as Nance appears (and heck, he may just now be coming into his own and be quite a SOLID prospect), it does suggest that Michigan and Beilein are not over the hump in terms of signing up the solid obvious talent. The new kids have convinced me that Beilein has a great eye for talent and kids who are both superior players and want to be students at a great school may be a little less thick on the ground.

        Maybe that taking-M-to-the-next-level kid is already on the team. Or maybe it’s going to be all five kids on the floor, like Beilein says he wants. I see Horford becoming a fine, fine player. With a super-solid Morgan, Hardaway, and Morris. . . just a little more pressure off of Zack and Stu with a couple of good dribblers on the way. . . I haven’t been this wrapped up in a basketball team since the Fab 5 and the late-80s Lakers (showing my age).

        P.S. Loved Beilein’s comments in the interview yesterday about how his style is evolving. Should answer some questions about whether he’s inflexible in his coaching approach.

      • bird

        I get your facts-of-life point about transfers and other things happening, generally, but Mattski’s point below about Beilein finding kids who want to be at Michigan rings true to me. A look up and down our scholarships doesn’t seem to reveal any inkling of an unhappy troublemaker, or a kid who I’d give up on. I know things happen, I just can’t see it.

        Anyway, good problem. Go Blue!

        (Can I ask again about possible preferred walk-on for Nance, or do you think it’s not even in the discussion?)

        • Dylan Burkhardt

          Possibility. I wouldn’t rule anything out right now. We’re trying our best to reach the kid.

  • sullycu

    I would take him over Bielfeldt just because he has athleticism, which we need right now.

    The only scary thing is his list of offers…

  • MAS

    Personnally I don’t think UofM should offer a scholarship to a big in 2011 unless they will actually play (ala Amir) and contribute next season. It is the same reason I though they shouldn’t offer Christian last season. No offense to the youngman but I don’t put him in this category. While I was a big fan of his dad this kid is not his dad.

  • j-turn14

    I think I would prefer to build the European pipeline with Heckmann, but I can’t complain about another NBA Legacy kid.

  • MikeM

    Moar Jr.’s!!1!!
    He looks like a shorter Horford. He seems to have a completely different game than Smot. Is that a useful type of player in Beilein’s system?

  • billiam

    The guy who I’m reminded about most is that Westbrook kid who was a star at UCLA. Late bloomer who almost every team missed because he grew like 5 inches his last two years. If this kid grew recently too, I’d assume he was a guard his whole life, so he has the ability to put the ball on the floor. I’d take a guy with athleticism, but at the same time…not too sure how talented this guy is….No real offers.

    • ypsituckyboy

      This is spot on.

  • Tweeter

    Beilein loves players with high basketball IQ and usually sons of former players have a pretty high IQ. This kid looks like a tremendous athlete and I am pretty sure that one of the biggest complaints about the team has been lack of athleticism so this should satisfy some of those people if they do offer. I do agree with those above that say only offer if this kid can contribute next year. Doesnt make sense to use a scholly at this point on a kid that will redshirt or not play a lot unless you think he is going to be an absolute stud.

  • sullycu

    if he can be a preferred walk-on, I’d be extremely happy!

    We need his athleticism, but he may be a little bit of a risk to offer a scholarship to, but if he proves himself, then he deserves one. If not, he can still contribute in minor ways as a walk-on. I’m assuming walking on shouldn’t financially be an issue, as his father played about 15 years in the NBA.

  • maxwell’s demon

    I don’t get what the point of a scholarship offer would be unless Beilein thinks he’ll be better than Colton.

    • Mdjohnny5

      This is the best point made so far. If neither of these kids would play over Colton, there is literally no reason to offer them. The scenario in both cases sounds like Colton anyways, and he has been criticized as being a marginal scholarship player.

      We are in on plenty of 2012 talent; stay the course and get one of the wings + a big (Hare, Sheldon, Spicer… all better options).

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        And if they can… offering one makes sense. That’s really the question.

        There is an immediate need where an average-level replacement could make a difference just by means of depth and situational play. If you think you can get someone better than Colton I’m all for it… Let them battle it out.

        A backup four man is the #1 hole in next year’s roster (and going forward with Novak’s graduation)

  • Rob Pollard

    We should offer him a scholly if we get dibs on his dad’s awesome nickname: “The High-Ayatolla of Slamola.”

  • Chief

    Beilein answered the general question about 2011/2012 scholarship use without answering it:

    • Dylan Burkhardt

      Sounds like a guy still evaluating players — Max and Larry — and looking for the right fit. Will be interesting. I assume Beilein would have to see both in person. The Bielfeldt article stated that Beilein was going to check him out soon. Michigan coaches have been at Nance’s games but I don’t know that Beilein has seen him in person.

      I don’t think Beilein would officially offer either of them without watching them in person.

    • MikeM

      yeah, definitely sounds like he’s leaving the door open, but he mentioned they are highly valuing that last scholarship. It sounds like he’d have to be convinced a player would contribute significantly to award it to him.

      • Dylan Burkhardt

        Do you think he’d ever say that they would give a scholarship to someone that they weren’t “convinced would contribute significantly”?

  • Billiam

    So you’re saying that he was convinced that Colton would contribute significantly?

    We’re less smart than Belien and we know Colton won’t “contribute significantly”. Sometimes you take role players, sometimes you save scholarships for higher stars next year.

    • sullycu


  • Section13Row15

    In theory, what you guys are saying is great. But it’s not 100% that Hare and some of these other guys will even commit to U-M when the time comes. So theoretically, yeah stay the course and try to get an additional 2 guys in 2012 but in actuality, those kids might be the next Dom Pointer or Casey Prather that we come in second place with. So like Dylan is saying, signing a kid that was a bit under the radar who has some athleticism, shot blocking, dunking ability isn’t the worst thing because we don’t have anyone like that on our roster. Imagine if Darius had a Petway on this team to throw alleyoops to on backdoor cuts instead of layups. It just increases what we can do in certain situations like out of bounds plays, etc. I personally see a lot of use for a guy like that in Beilein’s offense (and defense) and it allows us to use an offensive lineup at times with Smot at the 5, Nance at the 4, Hardaway at the 3, Vogrich or Burke at the 2 and Morris at the 1. I think Beilein would be more creative than Amaker in regards to what you could do with a guy like Nance. We’re getting way ahead of ourselves though because all he is doing is exploring some options and evaluating some uncommitted 2011 talent.

  • mgocanada

    Don’t want to spoil the party, and I realize that talking about the 2011 class is delicate and all, but I dunno, he looks decent but he’s gotta be WAY better than Colton to actually deserve a scholarship. Colton was a bit of a bizarro addition, a token 6’7 dude who’s tough but rough, and this NBA-sons thingy is getting a bit bizarre, too. I mean, his other offers are strictly lower-tier MAC and Horizon-y stuff, no Big Ten interest. JB’s making a name for his Wolverines and hopefully we won’t have to scrape up these unheralded projects too much longer, but get top-notch high-end performers to fill each of our spots. I’m excited by CB and TB like you wouldn’t believe — it just feel like when it comes to guys over 6’5″, JB is content to go bargain basement, and although I’m super excited about the performance of our bigs (save McLimans, who should join the cheer squad) so far this year, I think we need a high-flying Kawhi Leonard type to life out spirits up and jam home some monster dunkage against Bo Ryan’s dorks. I really mean well, I’m just sayin’ is all.