Recruiting Notebook: Beilein watches Eric Davis, Henry Ellenson

Dylan Burkhardt

1006085[1]Michigan head coach John Beilein took the recruiting trail this weekend as his Wolverines were off before a Tuesday game against Penn State. Beilein watched a pair of consensus top-50 class of 2015 recruits: Saginaw guard Eric Davis on Friday and Wisconsin big man Henry Ellenson on Saturday.

Beilein stopping in on both prospects is significant because they don’t hold Michigan offers and his trip is a sure sign that both prospects are rising up Michigan’s recruiting board.

Davis had a game-high 24 points in front of Beilein on 10-of-15 shooting with six assists and five rebounds. Davis’s teammate, class of 2017 phenom Brian Bowen added 10 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Davis took his most recent trip to Michigan State for the Spartans’ win over Ohio State but he has has visited Michigan several times, including for the football night game against Notre Dame, which he called ‘one of the most fun nights ever’. He also holds offers from Michigan State, Kansas, Oregon, Ohio State and Illinois, among many others.

Ellenson, a 6-foot-9 big man, would bolster Michigan’s frontcourt with his size and inside-outside ability. Beilein was joined by assistant coach LaVall Jordan to watch Ellenson rack up 19 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks in a victory.

Purdue head coach Matt Painter was also on hand to watch Ellenson, whose brother plays at Minnesota. Ellenson has started to draw interest from Michigan State and North Carolina while Wisconsin, Minnesota, Arizona State, Baylor, Indiana, Boston College, Creighton and Georgetown are some of his other major offers.

Here are some video highlights from one of Ellenson’s earlier games this season.

Here’s additional footage of Ellenson against big man Diamond Stone.

Bacari Alexander watches Josh Jackson

Bacari Alexander was also on the road over the weekend, checking out Pershing vs. Consortium in Detroit.  Alexander was undoubtedly focused on top-10 class of 2016 prospect Josh Jackson. Jackson tallied 26 points and 11 rebounds in a three point loss to Pershing and VCU bound Justin Tillman.

Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner was also in attendance checking out Jackson (video). Here’s some recent footage of Jackson from this season.

Luke Kennard focused on seven

Kennard listed seven schools when a Duke blog, Blue Devil Digest, asked him what schools are high on his list. Kentucky is still the presumed favorite in Kennard’s recruitment as the 6-foot-6 wing has visited Lexington many times since John Calipari offered this summer.

Thomas Eames: What other schools are currently high on your list?

Luke Kennard: Ohio State , Duke, Kentucky, UNC, Louisville, Michigan, and Florida.

Thomas Eames: That’s a great list. Do you have any time table for when you will take your official visits and eventually make a final college decision?

Luke Kennard: Possibly the end of my junior year.

Kennard continues to post monster numbers, including recent performances of 46 and 53 points. Here’s footage of a 46 point outburst.

Other notes

  • Kameron Chatman and Ricky Doyle were nominated as candidates for the McDonald’s All-American team. Doyle had 31 points on 12-of-17 shooting and 10 rebounds in a 68-34 win over Gulf Coast, and 20 points and six rebounds in a 60-36 loss to Riverview.
  • Tyler Dorsey had drawn some mention as a Michigan target but the California combo guard verbally committed to Arizona over the weekend.
  • Chezaroo

    I know a lot of us have already chimed in on the Forum page regarding Davis. I truly believe that he has vaulted to the top of our wish list for ’15. I have always loved this kid having seen him multiple times over the last few years. It is my opinion that he has a strong desire to hear what we have to offer, and is well within our realm of getting. The fact that his talented teammate ( Bowen ) is on the same team, will undoubtedly give us a presence with him going forward. He is extremely skilled and smooth for so young. I am beginning to wonder how realistic it is for us to attract Coleman, Brunson, or Kennard at this point? It seems a long shot IMO. We have to recruit nationally to be successful annually, but this State is loaded the next few years, and could provide us with some great prospects. It’s awesome to see the staff going after them! Davis, Jackson, Bridges, Winston, and Bowen are, or will, all be ranked in the top 25 of their class going forward. When you have that type of talent in your backyard, it is important to start landing some of them. Those early relationships are immeasurable in making impressions in young kids and we have to be visible.

    • gobluemd16

      I doubt we have a good chance with Kennard anymore (who I love), but I think we are still probably right there for Coleman and Brunson, at least as far as I know

      • guestavo

        Lots of rumblings that the Harrison twins and James Young aren’t first round picks and may need to come back. If that happens, I’m not sure UK has room for a guard. On OSU and Duke boards, I’ve seen us as the darkhorse so we definitely are in his top 4. I think the key is convincing him he is the next Stauskas. OSU has Russell. Duke has a ton of depth there too. No news on Coleman since we were thought to lead. Not sure Brunson fits with our roster honestly.

        • Northern Blue

          Harrison twins may not be first round picks, but I think Young still will be. Don’t see too much that makes the Harrison’s that special. While there is skill there, I think they play selfish games and definitely have an arrogance to them. Don’t think they play winning ball.

          • guestavo

            I agree that Young will leave. I think Harrisons, Poythress, Johnson and Lee all come back. Will make the scholarship crunch and minutes distribution interesting next year. I anticipate tons of transfers. UK also loves Newman and Matthews so not sure they even want Kennard as a priority. Not seeing why we can’t snag him from OSU or Duke?

      • Chezaroo

        It’s disheartening to see all the time and effort put in on players like Kennard and Booker, ( who we identified VERY early ) and than watch the powers that be come in and pluck them away. But that’s recruiting at its most primal. We are not getting out worked in the least, it’s just the lights are brighter in some places. It is very difficult for us to get in late on a top 25 kid and sway him. Not so for the powers, they wait for them to blow up, then attack. We will always be chasing in that scenario. Have a feeling that Coleman is going to be difficult to sway from IU, even with the signings of Johnson and Blackmon.

  • guestavo

    Finally some recruiting news! I wish Eric Davis was taller/ had more length on him but he is top 25 player so he probably makes up for the lack in size. Glad to hear new bigmen surface, Minnesota and Wisconsin are loaded in-state 2015, let’s get one out of their backyards. Glad to hear Josh Jackson news. Kennard would make sense to replace Stauskas, maybe that sways him? Finally, congrats to Kam and Doyle.. hopefully we can get a burger boy this year?

    • Chezaroo

      He is deceptively long and very wiry. His biggest asset is his innate ability to attack, which he is relentless at. Competition level in his League is very high, and he stands out nightly. Still believe his best basketball is ahead of him, not in his past.

      • Agree. Davis plays long and he flat out knows how to get to the basket. He wants to be a point guard at the next level and I haven’t seen that from him yet (disclaimer: haven’t seen him with Arthur Hill this winter) but he can definitely play.

  • Northern Blue

    Ellenson should be prioritized for us. I like him better than I liked Doyle and Donnal as highschool juniors. Perfect fit. Jon Leuer type. Has very good length and frame for putting on weight.

    Davis would be a good get. Looks like a combo you could mold into a point in his 2nd or 3rd year. Also, great defensive potential.

  • Wayman Britt

    I cannot see Bo Ryan letting Ellenson even think about not staying in state. He looks like most every other recruit for Wisconsin over the last 7- 9 years.

    • guestavo

      Ehhh I hear they like Josh Sharma and Diamond Stone more so we will see..

      • Champswest

        I think that I like Stone better myself.

        I realize that it is a highlite clip, but does Kennard ever pass the ball?

  • A2JD

    I like what I see of Ellenson and Diamond Stone still looks very good.

  • kam

    What do u guys think the chances of Kameron or Ricky making the all american game?

    • guestavo

      Kam has a chance since he is out West. Ricky has no shot. It’s all politics so I expect Duke and UK to comprise about 10 spots alone.

    • Northern Blue

      They are both dominating what seems to be weak competition. If Timmy can average 30 points per game in Florida and get no recognition from scouting services let alone mention for All American game then I don’t think Doyle will. Plus, he doesn’t do anything flashy or throw down huge dunks, so I think it is safe to say he won’t get invited.

      Wouldn’t surprise me either way with Kameron.

    • Chezaroo

      Hard to say. But I’m becoming more convinced that Chatman will be a very integral part of any lineup we put on the court next year. A very, very talented kid who hasn’t exactly played a ton of high school BB. His best days are ahead of him for sure.

  • Northern Blue

    Davis looks like a good recruit on film and sounds like people that have watched him say you can’t stop him from getting to the rim. Just curious what people think about his vision, ability to kick out when help comes or dish underneath to the big man, and just his decision making and shot selection. Can anyone that has watched him comment on this?