Notebook: Michigan extends seven scholarship offers

Dylan Burkhardt

Michigan’s June 15th offer spree was even more aggressive than expected as seven prospects received scholarship offers from John Beilein.

The final offer list featured Derryck Thornton, Tyus Battle, Cassius Winston, Quentin Goodin, Seth Towns, TJ Leaf and Jon Teske. Our 2016 recruiting board has been updated with all of the new offers as well.

The common question that I’ve seen is what the unusually high number of offers means. John Beilein and his staff have generally offered three or four prospects at most and have still only extended four scholarship offers to class of 2015 prospects — a year later.

Has Michigan adjusted its recruiting style after missing out on prospects that it had identified and prioritized in recent classes? To a degree I think that is undoubtedly true, but it isn’t the most important factor at play. The bigger storyline is that Michigan has already been able to host an array of very talented prospects and there’s serious mutual interest in all of the recruitments. Five of the seven offers that went out were to top-50 level talents and Michigan has been able to cast a wider net because there have been more bites.

The Wolverines didn’t strike gold with a commitment on Sunday, but they are in a strong position for a number of their top 2016 targets. Michigan is strongest in the Thornton and Towns recruitments, but is firmly in the mix for Battle, Winston, Goodin, Leaf and Teske.

Murray, Langford & Benson receive phone calls

2016 stars Jamal Murray and Josh Langford didn’t get Michigan offers on June 15th – but they did receive phone calls.

Murray heard from NC State, Michigan State, Michigan, Texas, Georgetown, Virginia Tech, Maryland and Florida State according to Adam Zagoria.

Murray has visited Michigan, but only for a basketball game, visiting for a full unofficial visit and academic tour might be the next step toward earning a scholarship offer.

Langford added an offer from UConn along with phone calls from Duke, Texas, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Florida Atlantic, Tennessee, NC State, Auburn, Alabama, Kansas, Missouri, Connecticut, Mississippi State, Providence, California and Wake Forest, according to 247Sports.

Langford has yet to visit Ann Arbor, but could be in line for a scholarship offer if he gets on campus.

Illinois big man Barret Benson, another camper, also received a phone call from Michigan according to his AAU coach. Penn St (offer), Iowa, Colorado, Northwestern, Princeton, Vanderbilt, Brown and Rutgers also reached out. 

Thornton, Battle setting visits

Michigan is in a strong position for Derryck Thornton and Tyus Battle after their camp visit, but the duo are still involved in the recruiting process.

Tyus Battle will take unofficial visits to Louisville (Sunday/Monday) and Kentucky (Monday/Tuesday). Battle also added a scholarship offer from Florida. He heard from Villanova, Duke, Indiana, Florida, Michigan, Kentucky, UConn, Wake Forest and Seton Hall on Sunday.

Thornton added an offer from Oklahoma and received a phone call from UConn head coach Kevin Ollie along with John Calipari. Calipari told Thornton that he had an offer waiting for him in Lexington.

“[Calipari] said, ‘I love him,’” said Tank, who previously coached former Kentucky forward Enes Kanter briefly at Stoneridge Prep. “‘I want to offer him face-to-face. I want him to know how hard it is here.’ Cal will tell you if you want to be a pro, you got to take a look at Kentucky.

“He’s been recruiting him since eighth grade. I love Cal and we’ve always had a good relationship.”

Tank said Derryck plans to visit Kentucky within the “next week or two.”

Cassius Winston shines at Nike Elite 100 Camp

Cassius Winston was one of the top performers at Michigan’s College Practice Camp last weekend and he kept up his strong June with a big showing at Nike’s Elite 100 Camp for underclassmen. Hoops Intel was impressed with Winston’s performance:

Winston is as hard-nosed as they come with the basketball in his hands and he exudes some Detroit toughness in the backcourt. He competes and doesn’t take any plays off and is getting better at making the appropriate decision off the dribble-drive. Now, he does tend to play at full speed a little too often and rely on right hand drives in the half court, yet once he slows down, Winston makes the appropriate read near the bucket and is known for making solid dump off and dishes to open big men near the rim. An already well-acclaimed point guard throughout the Midwest in 2016, expect for Winston’s name to continue to remain in the know for the next two years.’s Evan Daniels also tweeted that Winston was a standout performer and Brian Snow wrote that Winston was “absolutely tremendous all weekend long.”

  • Northern Blue

    I take any 3 of the point guards without a worry. Winston is going to be a good NCAA player. Once Jamaal Murray is back on campus would love to see him get an offer. Like to keep adding players with automatic jumpers ala Stauskas.

  • JVS

    Full disclaimer – i’d much rather have thornton.

    this being said, and thinking that we really haven’t had a PG with more than 2y experience under the current regime in a while, there are certainly benefits to getting the consolation prize here when considering that out of the last 11 national title winners, 10 had at least a junior PG (Napier, Siva, Kemba, Nolan smith, ty lawson, mario chalmers, lee humphrey, ray felton, ben gordon, with Teague/the A.Davis Kentucky team being the lone exception).

    Not to say DT couldn’t stay 3 years, or that its a requirement, just interesting to note, and looking at Cal’s last PG signing of 5’8 Tyler Ulis, who will likely stay four years, something to consider.

    • Frank Chuck

      – Jon Scheyer was the PG for 2010 Duke. He was converted into a PG for his senior year. Nolan Smith was more of an attacking, shooting guard.

      – Taurean Green was the PG for 2006 and 2007 Florida. (Another exception since he was a sophomore in 06.) Lee Humphrey was the 3 point specialist on the team.

      – And going back earlier…Jason Williams (sophomore) and Chris Duhon of 2001 Duke is another exception.

      But your point is well taken. It takes a good, upperclassman PG to win the National Championship.

      • JVS

        Thanks, was a bit quick with my history check, but it is 9/11 once the FLA guys are straight (and Scheyer was a Senior).

        In short, Thornton is probably better individually, but if I had a choice of 2 years of Thornton or 3-4 years of Winston (completely hypothetical) I think “the prize” is not so clear cut. And personally if Thornton gave the impression of trying to be 1-done (nothing to suggest it/again hypothetical), i’d probably prefer the other options if the objective is championships.

  • Wayman Britt

    Derryck – it’s okay to visit UK, but don’t get suck into the hype and promises from their coach. Do your research, if you want to improve every facet of your game and be prepared for the NBA go play for Mr. Beilein.

  • Wayman Britt

    What’s everybody hearing about Prince Ali’s interest in UM?

    • Roanman

      I think that the assumption is still UCONN.

      • geoffclarke

        I’m not getting that at all. Where’d you hear that?

        • Roanman
          • Guest

            Well if you look closer those crystal bal picks are from 11/2013, right before he committed to UConn on 11/25. There’s only been 1 CB change, and it’s to UCLA, which has been widely suggested as our main competitor. But no, the assumption right now is NOT uconn.

          • Roanman

            Agreed on the the part about 2013 picks, The fact that none of them have changed indicates that the assumption is still UCONN. Read his coach’s quote on it. “I think over the next month we’ll formulate a list of the schools that he has an interest in and they have an interest in him and we’ll sit up visits, including UConn,” Ross said. “I’ll think he’ll take a visit there.”

    • geoffclarke

      Speaking of Prince Ali, ESPNU had a replay of one of his games last night and I was able to catch some of it. In addition to his obvious athleticism, here’s my take from what I saw. I think Prince Ali is going to be really good. He’s not moving well without the ball, but his team doesn’t have very good offensive spacing. When he does get the ball with a little space, he doesn’t need much shake to get to the rim. Very efficient movement in that regard. I think he would excel in Michigan’s offense which typically has great spacing. Plus Beilein would make sure his jumper improves. Defensively he’s great, both in the passing lanes and on the ball, particularly against OSU commit D’Angelo Russell.

      I really hope the staff stokes his interest and we can get him on campus soon.

  • michaeltheoriginal

    I know its VERY early for the 2016 recruits, but I certainly hope we are on the precipice of a landslide. If you look at 2014, 2015, and 2016, we only have 1 top 100 recruit in our pocket. That’s surprising. After landing Nik, Mitch, and Glenn in 2013, and going to back to back elite 8s (including a championship game) I would think that we would start to see some recruiting dividends. Maybe the 2015 folks start to roll in and the 2016 follow thereafter, but I would feel disappointed if we didn’t take in several blue chips. From my subjective perspective, blue chips who were decent students and good character guys should be begging to play for Beilein. He’s such a masterful coach, great teacher of fundamentals, and a decent person–not to mention an incredible track record with talent. Yes, I know…patience.