Recruiting Roundup: John Beilein back on recruiting trail

June 15, 2013: Kevon Looney from the free throw line during the NBA Players Association top 100 camp at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.John Beilein returned from Russia and was back on the recruiting trail over the weekend, watching live evaluation action in Washington D.C., Milwaukee, Cincinnati throughout the evaluation weekend.

Michigan’s head coach checked in on Devin Booker, Kameron Chatman, Jordan Barnett and Elijah Thomas in Washington D.C.; Kevon Looney, Stephen Zimmerman, Diamond Stone and Jalen Brunson in Milwaukee;  Luke Kennard, Jalen Brunson at the Chicago Summer Jam; and Jalen Coleman, Carlton Bragg, Hyron Edwards and others in Cincinnati. Michigan assistant coaches also watched Sedrick Barefield and Trevon Bluiett (playing with Indiana Elite) in California over the weekend.

Milwaukee

Several of Michigan’s top big men participated in the NY2LA Summer Jam including 2014 forward Kevon Looney.

Looney averaged just short of 20 points per game for the weekend. He shot the lights out on Friday night and impressed all week:

The face-up power forward is multi-skilled and is always productive. He wrapped up tournament action by dropping 16 points and 11 rebounds on the Wisconsin Swing in a losing effort. He was rebounding the basketball at a high level all week, and his outside jump shot was falling with consistency. Whichever high major school lands Kevon will be getting a potential all-conference and All-American candidate. He’s that special.

247Sports’ Jerry Meyer raised some eyebrows with a tweet that Duke (long regarded as a favorite for Looney’s services) and Michigan could be near the top of the pack.

Diamond Stone was among the most impressive. Stone was featured for his strong play by ESPN’s Reggie Rankin:

The five-star center, who is ranked the nation’s No. 4 prospect in the Class of 2015, has displayed a much better motor and is running the floor extremely well in addition to his excellent skill in the post and ability to hit shots to the 3-point arc. Stone’s rebounding and shot-blocking have increased as well.

There is a big reason why the No. 1 player in the state of Wisconsin has improved his overall production. “I have lost 23 pounds,” Stone said. “I am running the floor, blocking shots and rebounding better. I am doing everything quicker.”

Stone, who is 6-foot-10 and was previously around 252 pounds, has made himself into even more of a matchup nightmare for opponents. He scores with his back to the basket on jump hooks with either hand and can hit the 3 when trailing the play in a slow transition. He has the unique ability to both score inside and stretch the defense from the center position.

Stephen Zimmerman also stayed in the Midwest, participating in the event but his week was a bit quieter. NY2LA reports:

One of the nation’s top 2015 prospects, Zimmerman was productive on Saturday, running the floor as well as any 7-footer his size, rebounding, firing crisp outlet passes and also showing his skill by knocking in some jumpers. Zimmerman has good touch and is developing some solid post moves and once he adds more strength, he’ll be a load to handle on the interior.

Official stats were tallied for the 17U action, which you can see below.

Name G PPG RPG 2PM 2PA 2P% 3PM 3PA 3P% FG% FT% MPG SPG BPG APG
Stephen Zimmerman 5 9.6 7.4 21 41 51% 0 3 0% 48% 50% 29.2 0.4 1.8 0.6
Kevon Looney 6 19.7 8.3 36 59 61% 6 15 40% 57% 60% 30.3 0.5 2.5 2.2
Jalen Brunson 2 12.5 2.5 2 8 25% 6 10 60% 44% 60% 28 2 0 1
Kyle Guy 6 18 5.2 23 44 52% 16 35 46% 49% 67% 31.3 1.8 0 0.5
Paris Bass 5 16.8 10.6 28 55 51% 4 11 36% 49% 89% 27.8 0.8 2.6 1.4
Justin Tillman 4 13 9.8 24 42 57% 1 5 20% 53% 20% 23.8 0.5 1.8 0.2

Under the radar local recruits Paris Bass and Justin Tillman also had a big weekend in Milwaukee and will be names that the Wolverines should continue to track throughout the upcoming year. Class of 2016 point guard Derryck Thornton Jr. had another impressive week with Dream Vision’s 16U squad.

Sitting at #13 in the national rankings before the Under Armour Summer Jam, Derryck did nothing to hurt his national profile. He showed us a consistent shooting stroke from the perimeter, as well as crafty ball-handling and excellent court vision. He didn’t get rattled by pressure defense and was fearless when attacking the basket. A tough kid with swagger, Derryck is a budding star on the West Coast.

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Bacari Alexander tracks Sedrick Barefield

Bacari Alexander drew the West Coast straw this week, heading out to track class of 2015 guard Sedrick Barefield along with a host of other Wolverine prospects. Alexander was reportedly at every game that Barefield played over the weekend.

Barefield played very well, per reports:

For at least a day, Barefield had the full attention of a rapt audience of dozens of college coaches, who saw him create one basket after another for Compton Magic Select while showcasing his ample ability to fill it up from all levels.

“I’m just trying to play my game and not think so much,” said Barefield, who had a great showing against standout point guard Robert Cartwright a day earlier. “I was talking to Robert a day earlier and telling him what we were going to do, and we ended up getting the win and I played good.”

There’s a solid video clip of Barefield in action to lead off this post and Barefield also drew praise on Twitter.

Bluiett heads to West Coast with Indiana Elite

Trevon Bluiett opted to swap AAU teams for the weekend, heading West with Indiana Elite. The trip marked the second time that Bluiett has traveled to Los Angeles. Bluiett updated his recruitment from California.

Bluiett reports that he’s lost 15 pounds and is down to 202 pounds, crediting cutting out fast food and eating more fruit to his diet results. Nothing much has changed for Bluiett but the trips to the West Coast have to at least raise an eyebrow that UCLA could be climbing up Bluiett’s list. Bruin assistant coach Ed Schilling, Bluiett’s former high school coach was a presence at his games throughout the weekend along with Michigan, Indiana and Butler.

Noah Dickerson impressing

Noah Dickerson impressed at Michigan’s College Practice Camp in June and has carried that momentum into July. He’s recently added offers from Memphis, Florida State and Georgetown and says that Georgetown is his leader right now.

Dickerson impressed 247Sports’ William Gunter at the Elite 32 over the weekend:

The event was highlighted by several solid performances although none better than that of 2015 power forward Noah Dickerson (Atlanta, Ga./North Atlanta) who was nearly unstoppable in the night cap. Going against other 2015 center Daniel Giddens (Marietta, Ga./Wheeler) and 2015 power forward ShawnTrez Davis (Hapeville, Ga./Tri-Cities), Dickerson had his way in the paint including a monstrous slam that brought the crowd to their feet.

Josh Jackson impressive at Hall of Fame

Class of 2016 standout Josh Jackson was sidelined last week in Indianapolis due to a leg injury but he was back in action with Dorian’s Pride for the second evaluation period. Jackson showed off his full skillset in Massachusetts to a group of scouts not as familiar with his game

Playing up two grades was Dorian’s Pride (MI) small forward Josh Jackson. The five-star prospect is already ranked as the nation’s top small forward in the Class of 2016, and it was easy to see why. He has excellent length, helping him guard everyone from the opposing point guard to their power forward. On offense, he is lightning quick and can score of the dribble with relative ease. He goes to the bucket hard, absorbs contact and finishes strong. He had multiple “and-ones” on the evening, and had several prominent college coaches nodding their heads in approval. He was the high scorer in his game against Connecticut Basketball Club (CT), scoring in an array of styles – two three-pointers, a few drives to the basket, a couple put backs and a mid-range jumper. He currently holds offers from Kansas, Ohio State, Florida State and more. That list will continue to grow.

Other notes

  • Fab 5 Legends

    I would be broken if we come 2nd in Looney sweepstakes…I rather him not mention us as a top contender, if that were to happen…too many times we come in 2nd :(….hopefully he comes to Michigan over Duke…he would flourish under either system….but much rather seem him in the maize and blue…

    • geoffclarke

      Really? Broken? 3-4 years ago we wouldn’t have even been in the picture.

      • Fab 5 Legends

        ur right, the program is definitely a step up from 4yrs ago…gotta think of the positive…maybe I still have an old wolverines mentality

  • Chris De Sana

    Dylan, what are the chances we land any of the dominant big men in this class? The reason why I ask is if you look at the ESPN recruiting database they do not show Michigan on any of the big men.

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