Notebook: Michigan prioritizing Jon Teske, USA Basketball makes final cut

Dylan Burkhardt

medwad19cut-3[1]The summer live period ended on Sunday as the final of three July evaluation periods wrapped up across the country. College coaches will spend much of the next month recalibrating their recruiting boards and sending out additional offers and setting up visits. For Michigan, that process even involves a Division III transfer.

Prospects across the country will also retool their lists as they receive more and less interest from certain schools. After a long month of July, it’s clear that Michigan head coach John Beilein has prioritized 2016 big man Jon Teske.

Teske was offered a scholarship on June 15th and has camped at Michigan twice – for College Practice and Team Camp – and the Wolverines had a coach at almost every game he played this summer. Beilein has been sure to check in on him during every period, despite the fact that Teske hasn’t always played in the highest-profile tournaments or events each weekend.

There aren’t many serious big man targets on Michigan’s board and Teske appears to be near the top of Beilein’s list. The attention and scholarship offer from Michigan thus far has stood out to Teske.

“That was really exciting,” Teske said at AAU Nationals when asked about the Michigan offer. “It’s a big time school. I really like the coaches up there and I really enjoy it up there. “

Ohio State has also offered Teske a scholarship and it appears that the Buckeyes and Wolverines are out in front. Dayton and Miami (FL) have also offered scholarships while Indiana, Purdue and Wisconsin have all inquired. Teske plans to schedule some additional visits this fall, but hasn’t set any dates or locations.

Michigan targets make USA Basketball cut

USA Basketball announced its final roster of 12 players to travel to the U17 World Championships in Dubai and several Michigan targets made the cut including 2016 offer Tyus Battle and point guard target Devearl Ramsey. Derryck Thornton (injury) and TJ Leaf missed the final cut to 12. Battle discussed the opportunity to play with USA Basketball last week. Henry Ellenson, Caleb Swanigan and VJ King, three other prospects with some Michigan interest, also made the final team.

Derryck Thornton broke his hand during training camp and missed the final cut due to the injury, but had previously impressed according to Hoopniks

As mentioned in Thursday’s camp report, Malik Newman was nearly unguardable, event against the substantial competition present at training camp. On Friday, Thornton did an admirable job in containing Newman, which was impressive. Thornton also showed a high IQ floor game, solid defensive instincts, and a fairly deadly outside shot. The lithe general on the floor has good handles and vision, and delivered the ball where it needed to go. Simply put, Thornton put together a strong offensive-defensive performance on Friday.

Michigan and Kentucky continue to recruit the 2016 guard harder than the rest of the country.

Beilein tracking Cassius Winston

John Beilein was in Louisville for parts of the last evaluation period tracking Jon Teske, Seth Towns, Kenny Williams and Matt Moyer. He was in Colorado Springs to watch Derryck Thornton, TJ Leaf, Tyus Battle, Quentin Goodin, Devearl Ramsey, Josh Langford and a host of other targets on Friday, but he also spend significant time in Fort Wayne, keeping tabs on 2016 point guard Cassius Winston and 2017 five-star forward Brian Bowen.

Beilein was spotted watching The Family’s 16U team on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Winston has had a very productive summer with The Family while Bowen has emerged as a legitimate top-15 prospect in the class of 2017.

Towns, Moyer blowing up

Seth Towns and Matthew Moyer were well known commodities in the Midwest. After wrapping up an impressive July on the AAU circuit they are known commodities nationally.

It’s no secret that Seth Towns is a Michigan priority. The Wolverines offered Towns on June 15th and have hosted him nearly ten campus visits.  Towns made it clear on Twitter that he’s still open to hearing from more schools despite his high mutual interest with Michigan.

“I am not committed to The University of Michigan,” Towns tweeted on Friday. “I like them, but I’m also looking forward to more recruitment. People have the wrong idea.”

Towns has offers from Iowa, Virginia Tech, Xavier, Toledo, Rice, Air Force and Dayton. UCLA has also been tracking the 6-foot-8 forward steadily. Future 150 was impressed with his performance in Louisville.

At 6’8”, Towns is a long, athletic wing who possesses one of the purest strokes on the AAU circuit. He can make you pay with even the slightest bit of space. Towns is lethal from beyond the arc, and he also showcased a smooth pull-up jumper. Towns was a big-time performer on Thursday night in front of Xavier head coach Chris Mack, Iowa assistant Kirk Speraw, Michigan assistant Bacari Alexander and others.

Moyer now has offers from Florida, Iowa, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Arizona State, Kansas State, Penn State, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Tennessee. 247Sports moved him all the way up to No. 26 in its latest rankings. Moyer will visit Syracuse on August 6th, per Courtside Films.

Other notes

  • Eric Davis will take official visits to UNLV, Texas and UCLA. He won’t take officials to Michigan or MSU, but that doesn’t mean either school is eliminated.
  • Kyle Guy added offers from Virginia, N.C. State, Northwestern & Iowa State after a monster weekend in Las Vegas. Guy has visited Michigan and has been on the Wolverines’ radar.
  • Lavall Jordan was in Canada at the CIA Bounce Exposure Camp on Sunday checking up on Jamal Murray, Dillon Brooks and Michigan’s other Canadian targets.
  • Voltron_Blue

    Dang…not sure how I’d handle that Towns tweet as a coach. Beilein wants guys knocking down the door to get to Michigan. That sounds like…the opposite.

    • I think it is more a kid that feels like he’s not getting as many college looks as he could be because everyone just assumes he’s going to Michigan. Tricky situation all around.

      • Kenny

        not a good sign in my opinion. I don’t see that coaches will view this as a positive. does not fit into the culture of this program.

        • Frank Chuck

          Seth Towns merely reiterated the obvious – that he’s not a Michigan commitment.

          And you expect the coaches to take exception to that?

          Somehow that “doesn’t fit into the culture of the [Michigan] program” in your mind?

          I think fans are thin-skinned. On the other hand, coaches have developed thick skin because they have seen, heard, and experienced a lot over the years.

          I think this is a case of over-analyzing a tweet.

        • geoffclarke

          Not a bad sign in my opinion – he says he likes Michigan. If he chooses to come to Michigan, it is saying A LOT about his character and confidence considering we might have Chatman, Wilson, Leaf, and Robinson on the team that year.

          I don’t see that coaches will view this as a negative – I’m sure they were already aware that he has not committed to them.

          Does fit into the culture of this program – smart, confident. If he chooses to go elsewhere, he may still possess all the qualities our coaches value, but just made his own decision. I’m not going to lose sleep about it.

    • Tyrell

      Can you post the tweet that you are talking about. Because I thought he was really high on Michigan and wanted to be at Michigan.

  • Crooting

    Is this the most likely breakdown of positions/needs then?
    ’15 – Coleman and Duncan Robinson
    ’16 – Thornton or Winston, Leaf or Towns, Teschke
    (assumes Levert goes pro after this year)

    • ’15 — Robinson and Best Available?
      ’16 — PG / Wing Scorer / Combo Forward / Big. I think Michigan fills all four spots there.

  • Adam

    Tweet kind of pisses me off. Again, Michigan shows early love and identifies you before anyone else but it’s like he is looking for other offers

    • Frank Chuck

      Get used to it.

      Our national profile has increased under Coach Beilein. We’re now targeting more blue chip players. And these players want to have as many options as possible so they delay their commitments and take their time.

      It’s not a knock on us.

      Things look good for us since he appreciates (1) our early interest and (2) our engineering track.

      But his recruitment isn’t over.

      Some fans (not necessarily you) don’t like that some prospects don’t jump on the Michigan offer. They need to realize that better players have the luxury of time and offers.

      Recruiting isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. Gotta be in it for the long haul.

      • Think this is a very fair take. Early commitments aren’t all that common this early in a prospect’s junior summer — especially anytime before now. A few guys will start to go off the board in August, but many will wait. I will say that the state of Indiana is generally an exception as things usually move a bit quicker there — the majority of Michigan’s really early commits were either from Indiana or played for Indiana AAU teams.

        Wanting to play for interest, attention and offers isn’t really a crime.

      • Kenny

        The tweet may not play it well for him, best lack of maturity and worst he is of high maintenance.

        • Frank Chuck

          I think you’re overanalyzing.

          A kid should want to see what all his options are. Put yourself in his shoes. You would want to see as many schools as possible to make the most informed decision.

          Some Michigan fans are just annoyed because they don’t want to Michigan lose out another prospect we had/have an early lead for.

    • geoffclarke

      Frank Chuck and Dylan covered it, but I want to add that *nothing* about that tweet should piss off a Michigan fan. He said he likes Michigan. Everything I’ve read about this kid screams maturity (not lack of or high maintenance) and intelligence and I can’t fault the kid for doing his due diligence. Like Frank said, put yourself in his shoes. Personally, I did not choose Michigan that early. I wasn’t thinking about college in the summer between my sophomore and junior year.

  • I’m pumped over Michigan going hard after Teske. I’d really like to get Thornton Teske and Towns in 2016. I know Beilein has lost some of his affection for the 1-3-1 and I’ve always preferred a man defense myself, but a long, stretchy 1-3-1 with a couple shot blockers wandering around across the middle might be a lot of fun too.