Recruiting Roundup: April evaluation period

Dylan Burkhardt

This past weekend marked the only NCAA live period of the spring, which made for a busy weekend for college coaches. This is the only opportunity to make evaluations on the AAU circuit before the July live-period and more importantly, Michigan’s June 15th offer date for class of 2016 prospects.

John Beilein spent the majority of his time in Sacramento for the first session of Nike’s EYBL circuit, but Michigan coaches were spotted across the country including the adidas Uprising in Dallas, Pitt Jam Fest in Pittsburgh, the King James Classic in Ohio and other events across the country.

Nike EYBL Top Performers

Here are some notable performers with Michigan connections from the first weekend of EYBL play.

Name Team PPG RPG APG FG% FT% 3P% eFG% PTS High
Austin Grandstaff TXELTE 20.5 3.2 2.5 39.3% 84.0% 35.1% 50.0% 82 24
Jalen Brunson FIRE 16.3 4.3 9.3 31.0% 64.5% 25% 34.5% 49 20
V.J. King KNGJMS 14.2 3 0.8 40.0% 72.0% 27.3% 43.3% 57 20
Noah Dickerson STARS 14 8.5 0.8 44.2% 78.3% 0 44.2% 56 28
Esa Ahmad OHIO 13.3 9.7 2.3 50.0% 56.2% 16.7% 51.7% 40 20
Jamal Murray BOUNCE 12.2 4.8 3 42.1% 81.8% 38.1% 52.6% 49 15
Henry Ellenson PLYGRD 11.8 9.2 2.2 28.0% 62.5% 30.8% 32.0% 47 15
Jalen Coleman OHIO 11.3 2.7 0.7 40.9% 78.6% 35.7% 52.3% 34 22
Eric Davis FAMILY 10.2 3.8 2.8 37.8% 76.9% 27.3% 41.9% 41 12
Matt McQuaid TXELTE 8.2 4.8 1.8 32.4% 50.0% 25% 40.5% 33 18
Tyus Battle SCAN 7.5 3 1.5 26.3% 73.1% 14.3% 28.9% 30 11
Kyle Ahrens KNGJMS 4 3.3 0.7 36.4% 33.3% 66.7% 45.5% 12 7

Michigan has offers outstanding to Jalen Coleman and Jalen Brunson, Beilein was also reported to watch Texas Elite (Grandstaff, McQuaid), The Family (Eric Davis), King James (VJ King, Kyle Ahrens), CIA Bounce (Jamal Muray) and  Team Scan (Tyus Battle) at least once throughout the weekend.

2016 guard Jamal Murray has previously visited Michigan and is drawing praise for his abilities to control the game from the guard spot.

If you are looking for a true point guard who plays smarter than his years, look no further than Murray. Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 185 pounds, Murray is one of the most physically-imposing guards on the circuit. The Athlete Institute guard was very steady through four games, averaging 12.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Murray plays with poise similar to former Bounce guard Tyler Ennis, and has the size to be a matchup problem for most defenses. Through one EYBL session, it is easy to see why scouts are clamoring over his potential.

Austin Grandstaff planning visit

Austin Grandstaff averaged 20.5 points per game during the first weekend of the Nike EYBL as John Beilein looked on in Sacramento. On Monday night, Grandstaff talked with Beilein on the phone and started working on scheduling a Michigan visit.

Grandstaff is set to visit Ohio State this coming weekend. Grandstaff impressed many scouts while he was in Sacramento, including Rivals.

Rivals150 prospects Austin Grandstaff and Jawun Evans had solid performances in a losing effort for Team Texas. Grandstaff, the nation’s No. 30 prospect, scored a game-high 19 points. Though Grandstaff’s outside shot was a little bit off (he hit only two of 10 from three-point range in the face of strong defensive pressure from Howard Pulley), he converted several nice looks in the paint, including a seven-foot floater after he maneuvered past a defender.

Thornton, Battle planning camp visit

Derryck Thornton Jr. and Tyus Battle are both five-star prospects in the class of 2016 and both players are expected to visit Michigan on June 7th for Michigan’s College Practice Camp.

The Michigan visit is almost certain to be followed up with an offer on June 15th, the first day that Michigan offers class of 2016 prospects, for both prospects. Thornton is also hearing from Florida, Arizona, USC, Vanderbilt, Missouri and UNLV. Battle recently added offers from Wake Forest and Maryland.

Austin Hatch makes official visit

Austin Hatch took his official visit to Ann Arbor last week. Hatch was hosted by Spike Albrecht and tweeted that he had a great time.

Hatch committed to Michigan on June 15th, 2011 before surviving the second tragic plane crash of his life weeks later. His high school play has been limited, but he did return to the court for spot action with Loyola (CA) this season. Beilein reported recently that Hatch would be on an athletic scholarship at Michigan.

Keeping tabs on other prospects

Bacari Alexander watched 2016 prospects Jon Teske, Matt Moyer and Seth Towns at the Pttt Jam Fest.

Michigan watched Derek Funderburk (‘16 PF) at the King James Classic.

Derek Funderburk – ’16 PF Cleveland St. Edward: While Ward used physicality to score around the rim on Sunday, it was Funderburk’s athleticism and effort that helped the agile 6’9 power forward get buckets on the interior. One of Ohio’s most promising young big men, coaches from Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Xavier were among those who checked out the King James forward as he helped lead his team to the 16u crown. A high energy forward who can do more than just score, Funderburk is getting more and more physical by the day; as he continues to add strength to his combination of instincts, height, athleticism and skill-set, this kid has a chance to be an absolutely special prospect in Ohio’s loaded 2016 class.

Michigan was also on hand to watch class of 2015 guard PJ Dozier. Dozier is hearing from Michigan and a host of other high-majors despite missing his junior season due to injury.

“The injury opened up my eyes in the recruitment process as those schools still came despite my situation,” Dozier told

For Dozier – a 2015 shooting guard from the Upward Stars (DC) – his stock may have dropped, but he is getting back into shape and form. Getting his feel of the game back and shaking off the cobwebs, the No. 49 player in the Rivals150 played the floor general role and made plays with his long wingspan. He shot the ball well from long range, but not great, and needed more consistency to his play. Despite the rust, the stakes are high for him.

Clemson, South Carolina, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana, Georgetown and North Carolina have been pursuing the hardest and were in to watch Dozier at one point or another on Friday and Saturday other than Indiana. Open to all schools at this point, loyalty could play a big factor after the injury. As Roy Williams will be in to see Dozier on Sunday, it will be interesting to see if he can keep the South Carolina native in the Carolinas.

New offers

  • Esa Ahmad added an offer from Penn State.
  • Matt Moyer added an offer from UNLV.
  • Derryck Thornton Jr. added an offer from UConn.
  • Jalen Coleman added an offer from UNLV.
  • Jay

    If they get Cole Huff, i don’t understand how they have any room in 2015. Are they counting on Levert leaving or what?

    • Bursley Blue

      Should have 2-3 scholarships next year (and possibility of a 4th) depending how things play out on a number of fronts. Cole Huff decision, Caris leaving early, Austin Hatch situation, Bielfeldt 5th year

  • Justin

    How would JB grant Austin Hatch an athletic scholarship that would count against the 13 total?

    I just don’t see this as possible with Hatch no where near the level it would take to even be a walk-on according to reports. None of us will be able to relate to Hatch’s story and I feel terrible heartache for him and what he has gone through but college athletics is a business and I do not feel we can afford to have him count against our scholarship count under his current skill level.

    Give Hatch the medical scholarship where he gets a free tuition, let him get all the gear, be at all the practices and all home games. Do a tribute to him on senior night and call it a day as he collects a free education and gains lifelong friends at UM and if its possible he can partake in being a member of the scout team (highly unlikely that is allowed under the NCAA medical scholarship provision though)

    I’m not trying to be insensitive, I just don’t want to pass up a top 100 player who fills a need at a position right away.

    • Kenny

      JB just want to honor the offer and the scholarship also helps the admission. I agree with everything you said but we don’t need to spend this scholarship this year.

      • Justin

        I understand all the points, I’m not talking about this year…I’m talking about commits for 2015 or 2016…Yes all 13 guys do not play in one game, hardly any good basketball program has that…but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t redshirt guys like Doyle and Wilson for their freshman seasons.

        Also, I feel that JB and UM have the chance to get the more sought after recruits in the coming years following their two year success run of a Final Four, followed up by an elite eight and an outright big ten title plus having 5 guys go on to the NBA. We need to go after better players…PERIOD!

        They are their for the taking, visiting Michigan, getting the offers, it’s time to scoop them up, I realize everyone says JB doesn’t recruit top flight guys and doesn’t need the top 25 player. I would partially agree but at the same time why not get the higher level athlete if they are interested in UM..Let’s turn these guys into NBA All-Stars and let’s start to build expectations of Final Four every year.

        I got a little sidetracked from Hatch but ultimately I guess we have to go with whatever JB thinks is best. I’m not trying to take his scholarship away, I just don’t want it counting against us.

        • jblair52

          if he can’t play, it won’t be counted against us. simple as that.

        • section13row15

          Why is anyone worried about anything related to Michigan basketball at this point? Every player Beilein has touched in the last 5 years regardless of ranking has essentially turned to gold. UM will compete for a B1G title again this year. Beilein offered Hatch a scholarship and then Hatch somehow walked away from a plane crash. You have to honor that young man’s scholarship just for his sheer determination and all he’s been through with losing his entire family, etc. End of story.

          • justin

            Every player. I wouldn’t exactly say that. Matt vogrich anyone. Highly rated shooter out of Illinois who was a dud. Didn’t see much from brundidge before he left. Took feelers on mclimans and beilfeldt. I wouldn’t say every player.

            As for u of m competing for a big ten title this year. Doubtful and quite frankly those expectations are unfair to this squad. To make an NCAA tournament yes but to finish at the top of the big ten no.

            Wisconsin anyone. They are a top 5 team that is loaded. Ohio state will be better, I expect them to finish second. Behind that you got nebraska, msu, Illinois, Iowa, Minny, maryland and u of m all fighting for third. U of m hopefully can make the tourney. That’s my goal for next years team.

        • Kenny

          I am sure that Hatch’s scholarship will be available to others if we need it for 15 or 16.

          On your comments of recruiting better players, I believe that like every coach Beilein eyes the best player that he can get, and does not shy away top 10 recruits. On the other hand, Beilein runs one of the cleanest program in college basketball and stays away from those recruits associated with shady handlers and those who has no interests in getting themselves an education.

        • Collin

          Don’t think this has been stated exactly, and I’m sure it’s known to some or most of you, but athletic scholarships are given on a one year, renewable basis. There is no such thing as a four year commitment, though signing a player is somewhat of a tacit or implied commitment. I’m sure Beilein is just doing the right thing here by honoring his word and giving the kid a full athletic ride just the same as any other player with the understanding that that status could change if needed. Given Hatch’s demeanor and outlook, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s offered or let JB know that he’s willing to give up his designation (and move to medical, but still full scholarship) if it helps us land a key high-profile guy for ’15 or ’16.

    • Dr_ZC

      Well, I am guessing here, but Michigan has given scholarships to folks with less ability to play than Austin. In fact JB never plays all 13 scholarship players in a single game.

      We all feel for Hatch and what he had to endure. I am sure his presence at the Michigan bench will have a positive impact to the team, as far courage and determination. If I were the coach, after all the publicity Hatch has received, I would gladly spend a scholarship on him, rather than a permanent pine warmer.

    • salama

      I wouldn`t overthink this one. If Beilein thinks there`s a benefit in having Hatch on an athletic scholarship, and it`s obviously the moral thing, that`s pretty good. The benefit might be Beilein being able to look at himself in the mirror, or preach teamwork and responsibility to the team or whatever, but let`s not worry too much.
      And we`re not passing up a top 100 player. We just got 2 wing players who were nowhere near the top 100, so why would an extra scholarship suddenly make one materialize, want to go to Michigan, and be coveted by the obviously very picky Beilein? We`re passing up, in all likelihood, an unranked kid to honor our promise to Hatch (and to the rest of of our recruits by proxy, really).
      I`m not coming down on you. I think a lot of us have wondered about this issue, but I wouldn`t freak out about it. Also, maybe having Hatch around won`t benefit us a ton for the first year or 2, but having him around as an upperclassman will surely be useful unless he turns out to be a detriment to the team, and with the way our guys are going to the NBA (and with the 3 likely getting even more popular in the coming years, as shown by the rate going up in the NBA and the D-League teams taking a million 3`s Beilein players are only going to get trendier), having a Senior Hatch around will be helpful. I mean, he`s coming in with Chatman, Wilson, Doyle, MAAR and Dawkins. If I had to guess, I`d say Chatman and Wilson will have gone pro (6`8 shooters don`t grow on trees), Doyle will still be around and one of MAAR or Dawkins will end up transferring with playing time being hard to come by and mid-majors that we beat out for them offering them 30 minutes a game.
      TLDR: Hail Beilein!

  • Colby
  • jblair52

    what’s the best way to look at those statistics and take away any meaning? I’m not familiar with the game play. Is there defensive intensity at all in these matchups? How do you guys look at these things? Just curious.

    • Fair question. EYBL has really upped the ante in terms of competitiveness.

      These games are fairly high level and there are no classic AAU pool play type of blow outs games. Teams are competing to make it to Peach Jam this July — which means more exposure, etc.

      Are they as serious as a college game? No, but they are about the best you are going to get from summer hoops.

      • Mark Worthley

        Is Derek Funderburk related to Lawrence Funderburk?

        • Justin

          No even though both from Ohio. No relation. As for these kinds of tournaments…you just want to see potential, really strong moves or strong sequences from guys not so much worried about final box scores. You also want to see guys excel at a high level in one or two particular areas.

          All coaches are recruiting and looking for different items but the ones listed above are notirously what they look for.

          PS: I used to work for and saw these tournaments up front and personnel.

      • jblair52

        Thanks – since I can’t keep up with all the tournaments I appreciate the insight.

  • A2JD

    Are 2015 bigs Steven Zimmerman and Diamond Stone are still in play for Michigan? I haven’t read anything about their recruitment in a long while.

    • Michigan didn’t make Zimmerman’s top eight. Don’t think Stone has formally trimmed his list.

      • A2JD

        Thanks. I had a feeling that Zimmerman wasn’t that interested. I think he winds up at Arizona.