Notebook: U-M watches Devin Booker, NBA draft stock updates, Matt Painter on Robinson

Dylan Burkhardt

MWC_UMHoops_Profile_RainmakerMaraWatch. If you haven’t noticed, MaraWatch has stepped in as a UM Hoops sponsor for the next couple months. Owner Shashi Mara is a fellow Ross business school graduate and has the Wolverines Collection, which includes some truly extravagant timepieces. Each limited edition timepiece is made in Switzerland and is individually numbered.  He also offers custom leather straps of the highest quality, made to your specifications.

As a Michigan graduate and lover of quality watches, I know that I would love to get my hands on one. My favorite is definitely the Rainmaker with a brown strap (pictured to the right). Take a look at MaraWatch, browse the collection or e-mail MaraWatch to get your hands on one of the exclusive timepieces released this year.

Michigan coaches watch Devin Booker

John Beilein, Bacari Alexander and LaVall Jordan were all in Mississippi on Monday afternoon to watch 2014 recruit Devin Booker (confirmed by Nick Baumgardner) against Greenville-Weston.

Booker had 34 points in a 63-60 win over Greenville-Weston to continue his solid play this year. Booker is averaging 30 points per game this season although Moss Point has been up and down with a 9-12 record overall.

While new schools have been involved in Booker’s recruitment, namely Duke, the Wolverines have been recruiting Booker as long as anyone else and continue to make Booker a priority in the class of 2014. Potentially complicating news in Booker’s recruitment stems from Jeff Goodman’s report that Missouri coach Frank Haith is facing an NCAA notice of allegations from his time at Miami. Missouri, where Booker’s father played, is considered to be one of the Wolverines’ biggest threats in the Booker recruitment.

And while Booker is known as more of a shooter and scorer, he also has plenty of athleticism as well. This camera phone video should tell you that much:

Booker is one of just two prospects (along with Trevon Bluiett) outstanding with a Michigan offer. The next tier of Wolverine prospects looks to include Vince Edwards, Ricky Doyle and AJ Turner.

Dustin Johnston

U-M players climbing draft boards

Michigan’s ranking is back up to No. 2 in the country according to the Associated Press but several key Wolverines have also seen their individual draft stock begin to rise just as quickly.

Glenn Robinson III is soaring up draft boards and is one of the fastest rising prospects in the country. Robinson is projected as the No. 13 pick in the 2013 draft by NBA Draft Express still projects Robinson in the 2014 Draft but also sees him as the No. 13 pick in that draft class. Chad Ford slots Robinson as the No. 25 prospect overall on his big board.

Robinson is now the No. 5 freshman in the country, according to John Gasaway:

The most impressive aspect of Robinson’s performance is that he’s been able to sustain the high level of effectiveness he displayed out of the gate. Here we are, a few games into the Big Ten season, and the 6-foot-6 freshman is still turning heads with games like his 20-point (7-of-11) effort against Iowa. Of course it surely helps that he plays alongside guys like Trey BurkeTim Hardaway Jr. andNik Stauskas (see below). But Robinson is an outstanding offensive option in his own right and a very good defender. Above all else, he’s trustworthy. By my count Robinson has been on the floor for 874 possessions this season, and in that time he’s committed just 21 turnovers.
Previous ranking: 9

While Trey Burke might not have Robinson’s ceiling, he’s emerging as a consensus first round pick and borderline lottery selection. Draft Express and NBA both have Burke at No. 18 on their latest mock draft boards for 2013. ESPN’s Chad Ford has Burke at No. 17 on his big board.

Burke is also steadily earning more Player of the Year nods, most recently from Yahoo!’s Pat Forde:

Trey Burke (18), Michigan. Might be The Minutes’ choice of the moment. Burke was a preseason All-American but wasn’t getting a lot of POY love then. He is now. The sophomore point guard can score (a team-high 18 points per game) and distribute (7.2 assists) while shooting excellent percentages (57 percent from 2-point range, 40 percent beyond the arc and 80 percent at the line). And his team is winning.

Tim Hardaway Jr. has also earned praise from sliding up into the first round of the 2013 Draft at No. 26 overall. Chad Ford is still somewhat skeptical on Hardaway’s improvement, with the Michigan junior in the 72nd slot on his top 100, and Draft Express has Hardaway as the No. 11 pick in the second round of its 2014 mock draft.

Purdue out of scholarships to sign Robinson?

Matt Painter hosted a teleconference on Monday afternoon to discuss Purdue’s upcoming game at Michigan this Thursday. One of the question hinged on why Purdue didn’t sign Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III, a legacy of Purdue All-American Glenn Robinson.

Painter cited a lack of scholarships as the issue.

“We recruited him. We actually ran out of scholarships. So, we really liked him,” Painter recalled. “He was a good player and really made strides from that sophomore to that junior year. He had a really good stretch there. He had a great high school coach and they do a good job in motion, so now going to Michigan and their system, it definitely fit. He’s a great kid, and he’s really worked hard. He’s got a great feel, knows how to play.

I obviously played college basketball with his dad, but it never really matriculated.”

The lack of scholarship reasoning is a bit hard to buy. When Glenn Robinson III committed to Michigan on September 14th, 2010 when Purdue had just two prospects in the fold (and would go on to sign two more in 2011). Robinson was being recruited by Purdue but Painter never pulled the trigger on an offer for what appears to be moreso a lack of evaluation at the time rather than a strict lack of scholarships.

Joe Stapleton contributed to this report.

  • Mith

    I always wonder why people basically lie in this day and age when facts can so easily be checked and verified. Of course Painter doesn’t want to admit that he plain out missed the boat on GR3 and so he makes up crap about the lack of scholarship. How about just being a man, own up to your mistake and admitting that you wish you had made an offer?
    In other news, I was surprised to see Hardaway’s draft stock so low. I’ve been assuming that Burke and Hardaway were goners after this year, but maybe we’ll get Tim back for next year after all? Seeing Robinson so high isn’t good news, I was hoping we’d get him for at least one more year.

    • JimmyZ5

      Perhaps he’s implying that he would have poached him late in the process after he had been committed to Michigan, but they had a full class. Which, good luck buddy. I’m pretty sure Glenn was solid on his commitment from Day 1

    • rlcBlue

      Not to defend Matt Painter, but if he made offers to (say) eight kids and fully expected at least four of them to commit, he really was out of scholarships even if only two of them had already signed.

      That said, his real problem is that he thought GRIII was a worse prospect than all the kids he offered scholarships to. I’ll give him AJ Hammons, because a 7 footer with skills is always worth an offer, and he needed a point guard so I guess I can see Ronnie Johnson. The guys who he took who compete head-to-head with Robinson are Rapheal Davis and Jay Simpson. We’ll see Davis on Thursday and make up our own minds; Simpson is taking a medical redshirt.

  • Montreal

    This will probably be wrong, but I expect next year’s rotation to look something like this, with Burke and one of Robinson or Hardaway leaving while the other stays (though both could go since Hardaway will have played 3 years and GRIII might go top 7 or 8 in this weak draft but struggle to make the lottery the year after with a very deep freshman class of Wiggins, Randle, Parker and co):

    C- McGary, Morgan, Horford – I expect McGary to improve enough to let Morgan be the best backup big man in the Big 10. Horford will remain the best 3rd center in the entire country. I would not be surprised to see him transfer, as there are top 25 teams for whom he could start at center after another year of practice and strength training. People talk about him at the 4, but at least one of Donnal and Irvin should be better there right away, and I think Stauskas and Levert are going to be eating up 60-65 minutes of the 80 at the swing-spot right away, even if Hardaway and GRIII leave.

    PF – Donnal, Irvin, Bielfeldt – Irvin’s skillset looks perfect for the 4 spot on this team, but if Donnal can shoot or be a little more athletic than advertised he makes a lot of sense here too, since he would make Michigan big on D and space the floor on O.

    SF – Robinson/Hardaway, Levert,- If both leave, Levert should have the 3 spot to lose, and he is the best best to come into next season having made a massive off-season leap.

    SG- Stauskas, Levert – Excellent shooting

    PG – Albrecht + Walton – fighting for the PG spot and the loser being the best backup PG in the Big 10.

    That looks like a top 10-15 team if one of THJ or GRIII come back and just one of Irvin or Donnal can be a good starting 4, and top 25 if neither of those occur and the team is strong at the 5 and 2 but only Big 10 average at the 1, 3 and 4.


    Anyone know if the staff is looking at any of the big 2013 players left out there or possible de-commits? The Michigan brand will be even stronger after the year they are putting together and if both Hardaway and Robinson leave I could see a wing with NBA aspirations looking at this program as one where he could start at the 3 and have McGary, Irvin, Stauskas and Albrecht to be perfect for spacing the floor for a big time scorer.

    • Robinson is much more of a four than Irvin. Not even close. Irvin is tall but extremely skinny.

      • blackie6

        and Irvin is more of a pure shooter, isn’t he Dylan? I’d say Irvin is a 2 or 3 much moreso then a 4…..

        • Yeah, at the prep level Irvin has demonstrated a lot more guard skills than Robinson ever did.

      • Steve2081

        Yeah I don’t agree with much of that. Irvin won’t be a 4. Robinson might play a little 3 but would still be a 4 primarily. Stuaskas and Levert won’t switch positions. Levert’s strengths are ball handling and perimeter defense. Nik’s are shooting 3’s off of teammates penetration or driving on the closeout.

        As for 2013’s it seems like our last real targets were Vitto Brown and Reggie Cameron. We wisely cut ties with Reggie Cameron cuz he wasn’t very good and Bo Ryan snatched up Vitto Brown.

        • geoffclarke

          Seems like Donnal has outplayed Vitto Brown whenever they’ve played.

      • UM Hoops Fan

        If GRIII leaves, though, there may be big question at the 4 – will Donnal be ready as a freshman? How good is Bielfeldt? Can they play McGary/Morgan/Horford at the 4? You might be giving up something regardless. If Stauskas, Walton, Albrecht, and LeVert can fill up the 2-3 slots, maybe there’s more minutes at the 4? What if THJr decides to stay and have a crack at having “his” team?

        Also, here are some B1G 4s: Rodney Williams, Jared Swopshire, Aaron White, Brusewitz/Evans (which one?), some guys from Penn State and Nebraska. Heck, even a guy like Brandon Dawson isn’t really a threat to post a skinny 4 up. I’m not saying Irvin will wind up at the 4 , but, especially if he bulks up a bit, I could see him logging some time at the 4 over his Michigan career. Watford and Aaron White jump out as problems, but imagine White having to guard Irvin?

        All that said, I think you’re right that the 4 is not Irvin’s best spot and he won’t wind up there much. But I’m not sure it’s quite as crazy as you seem to think.

        • I guess I was referring more to the original post which had Robinson slotted as a three but Irvin as a four. If Michigan has no other options than maybe, but that’s not ideal.

          • UM Hoops Fan

            Ah, gotcha. Yeah, if GRIII is around, it’d be hard to see Irvin getting the nod at 4 no matter what the roster would look like otherwise just because he’d be taller by an inch or two.

          • Montreal

            Yeah, that was an oversight. I just meant that Beilein will likely play one of Walton or Albrecht, one center in Morgan or McGary, Stauskas and then the two best overall players, who if THJ and GRIII leave I would expect to be Levert and Irvin, with Donnal hopefully being good enough to start in place of one of them if up against a huge team.

            Novak started as a freshman and MSU is the only team with two post-up bigs (I think. Is this wrong?) starting, and only recently. I didn’t think Morgan + McGary would start together this year and I think the same principles will lead to a small 4 again next year.

    • UM Hoops Fan

      As Horford already took a RS (medical), I’m not sure he can automatically transfer and get the additional year. He also may not want to — he can look at the depth chart and see a big opening in ’14. Morgan will be gone, so at the least he’d be the primary back up, and McGary could be gone too — I don’t think he’ll leave after this year, but I wouldn’t be suprised to see him have a big sophmore campaign and leave then. Of course, UM could also pull in some big deal ’14 recruit.

    • blackie6

      I think I see more of this if both TH and Grob leave:

      C – McGary /Morgan/Horford
      PF – Max B & Donnal plus a bit of two bigs with McGary/Morgan/Horford here

      SF – Irvin/Nik
      SG – Nik/Caris
      PG – Spike & Walton with a lil Caris maybe……

  • blackie6

    with Haithe @ Mizzou potentially having some major issues, could the battle for Booker’s signature be between UM and MSU? It seems MSU has been down to see him quite a bit lately…. Glad to hear we are still getting in there to see him…..

  • rlcBlue

    Welcome to MaraWatch, I guess.

    Can I just take this opportunity to express my abject HATRED for the TCS ads? It’s inexcusable to make an ad with an embedded video that plays automatically and can’t be disabled. Every single time I load a page on UMHoops I have to find the damned TCS ad and click the stop button or else be treated to full volume audio. I can’t imagine this is a popular feature with people who might like to read UMHoops in a shared office…

    • Retiredat23

      Cry me a river. You must never have gone to a website that has any kind of advertising.

  • Steve2081

    Also Vince Edwards says Purdue is still his leader. We need to make an example of them Thursday!

  • mistersuits

    At this point our collective baseline expectation should be: Burke, Hardaway and GR3 all gone to the draft this year. So make the best of it boys.

    Beilein will spend the offseason adjusting to the abundance of big men on the roster. My prediction for next year’s starting 5: Walton, Levert, Stauskas, McGary, Morgan.

    • blackie6

      I kind of agree mistersuits…… and if that is indeed the case, it’s probably due to some more great success the rest of this season both individually and as a team…..

      • gobluemd16

        At this point, I think Trey is 100% gone, Tim’s stock is about as high as I think it’ll be, and Glenn’s is high as well. While Glenn probably is the most likely to be drafted first among the three, I think he is also the most likely to return to Michigan.

        • cary bear

          tim could stay for his senior much like buford for osu did. I can’t help but think that the lottery selection will be too tempting for GRIII, even though he could have a much greater role next year if he returned.

    • dustindbo

      I’d start Irvin over Levert. The way he’s been playing in his senior season, it’ll be hard to keep him out of the starting 5.

    • DingoBlue

      Yeah, I expect all three to leave right now, but who knows what Tim and Glenn will choose. If so, it will be really interesting to see who fills Glenn’s shoes, because we don’t really have any other dedicated 4’s that prototypically fit Beilein’s system.

  • Chazer

    Its sure looks promising for GRob to go but it seems like another year in school would be beneficial to his game. Perhaps Trey staying will be a positive influence on his decision. Most likely will come down to the results in March….if they get to the final 4 I look for them to jump.

    Just curious if Walton is having an impact on Booker’s decision… Booker a point?

    • Booker is much more of a two than a point. He’s a scoring guard with good size.

    • gobluemd16

      Really good point, if we have a deep run, stock goes up for all 3 and they’re more likely to leave. God I hate talking about this, even though it’s good for the program, but I guess it’ll just make us appreciate this year even more.

  • Chazer

    Thanks Dylan, i couldnt tell from the video and he seems to always have the ball….(obviously). Hoping he feels the love from big Blue.

  • Wayman Britt

    All three coaches watching Booker at one time during mid season in a state not close to Michigan, cannot say if I ever remember that happening.

    • gobluemd16

      I absolutely love his game, let’s hope this interest will get him come aboard!