Recruiting Roundup: December 1st, 2014

Dylan Burkhardt

It’s been a long time since our last recruiting roundup so we put together a compilation of updates and videos on several notable Michigan basketball recruiting targets over the past month.

Derryck Thornton off to hot start

Derryck Thornton is averaging 21.0 points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals per game for Findlay Prep through six games this season. Thornton recently trimmed his list to ten and Michigan remains in the top group along with Duke, Kentucky and others. Here’s footage of Thornton in action during early season play.

Seth Towns updates recruitment

Seth Towns recently added an offer from Ohio State – not only the hometown school, but a school that Towns grew up rooting for – but not much has changed with his recruitment. The 6-foot-8 scorer has been steady to reiterate that he’s his own person and he’s going to make his own decision. Towns told that he’s not leaning anywhere and that Michigan is still in constant contact. Read the feature here or watch this video interview.

TJ Leaf picks Arizona

There had been discussion that TJ Leaf wanted to decide in the spring and was planning a February official visit to Ann Arbor. But that all changed after Leaf’s visit to Arizona. The visit caused Leaf to accelerate his timeframe and he eventually committed to Arizona on November 19th. Leaf would have been a prototypical fit for the four position in Michigan’s offense, but the Wolverines still have a number of targets on the board for 2016.

Josh Langford filling stat sheet

Josh Langford has started his junior season quickly. He’s already has put together two monster performances including 39 points in an 80-76 overtime win over J.O. Johnson including the final eight points on the game.

But Langford scored the final eight points of the game, including a go-ahead three-point play with 14 seconds left.

“It was just heart,” Langford said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. We knew we had to outwork Johnson and we did that.”

He also racked up a 30 point, 15 rebound, 8 assist, 3 block and 3 steal performance in a 76-73 loss to Douglas County at Holiday Hoopsgiving. Langford visited Michigan and Michigan State in August and has also taken recent visits to Florida, Vanderbilt and Auburn this fall.

Miles Bridges plans to visit

Miles Bridges plans to take a trip to Michigan over Christmas break, according to a report from ZagsBlog. Bridges reports that he’s being recruited the hardest by Michigan State, Iowa State and UConn, but Michigan has made a recent push in his recruitment. The 6-foot-6 forward recently took an unofficial visit to Kentucky, where he received an offer. Bridges is planning a follow up official visit to Lexington.

Michigan among five recruiting Goodin the hardest

Quentin Goodin listed Michigan as one of five schools recruiting him the hardest along with Florida, Marquette, Minnesota and Tennessee. Here’s early season footage of Goodin in action.

Devearl Ramsey drawing new interest

Devearl Ramsey was expected to take an unofficial visit to Michigan this summer before plans fell through due to an ankle injury. According to a recent interview at Rivals, Ramsey is receiving new interest from across the country. Ramsey also stressed the importance of playing in an uptempo offense in the interview.

Of late, Ramsey said he’s had the most contact with N.C. State, USC,UCLA and Washington, but also has schools such as California, Auburn,Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State and Louisville involved in his recruitment.

Tyus Battle visits UConn

Tyus Battle visited UConn for the Huskies loss to Texas on Sunday. Battle’s father, Gary, was at Michigan’s loss to Villanova at the Barclays Center last week.

  • Sane Washington

    What about Jaylen Brown in the 2015 class? Any update on an official visit?

    • Joe

      I hope Jaylen Brown takes an official. Most of the 2015 top recruits are waiting until spring 2015 to decide, which is a good thing for Michigan b/c by then, the scholarship situation would have cleared up with NBA draft entry decisions. Someone like Jaylen Brown could be waiting to see what happens with Caris or Zak before deciding if Michigan would have playing time. If Walton continues to show more (which I think he has already), I wouldn’t be surprised if he goes early too, looking at the potential PG prospects (not many), Mudiay is probably the one ahead, maybe Paige..

      • SBell

        Walton go early, for where?

        • Cory

          I don’t see any scenario where Walton goes early. This draft is way too deep in my opinion.

          • Jared

            walton isn’t even close to being an NBA player, doesn’t have the size or the game

          • NorthernBlue

            I see him as a 4 year guy who ends up cementing himself as a winner, and gives himself a chance to become a solid back up point guard. Has pretty good IQ and is turning into a good two way player. If he can be a guy that defends, rebounds, shoots and passes at an above average level while taking care of the ball, he can make it in the league as a backup even if he doesn’t have great creation and break down abilities, which are needed to be a starter and I don’t know if he will get there.

      • itsjustaherb

        I can’t remember where I read this, it might of been on this blog or somewhere else, but I remembering reading about how Levert wants to graduate from college. Now obviously he could always come back and get his degree, but we might seem in a Wolverine uniform next season.

        • A2JD

          They were talking about that on ESPN3 during the Oregon game.

  • gobluemd16

    Seth Towns ain’t coming to Michigan, folks

    • Joe Baston

      yep, he didn’t hide it very well….

  • Bluebufoon

    I was hoping for more info on Moritz Wagner ? We need a quality frontcourt player

  • Matt Winnitoy

    What are the predictions on who we actually bring in? I was hoping for teske, thornton and towns/langford does that sound fairly accurate?

    • David Remmler

      I wouldn’t get your hopes up. I would predict Thornton goes to Kentucky, Duke, Arizona or Louisville. And I would predict Towns goes to OSU. And Langford goes to Kentucky if they offer. I guess we have an outside shot at Langford if none of the other top basketball schools offer. I’d like to be optimistic but I would guess that we will whiff on all our current high level targets and then possibly pick up a late high level 4 star or two. We’re an elite basketball school that doesn’t recruit nearly at an elite level. With rare exceptions, we can’t compete with the big boys on the recruiting trail.

  • David Remmler

    It’s nice to hear that we continue to hit the recruiting trail hard. But it’s hard to have any interest in following these highly ranked potential recruits given our extremely low level of success in landing highly-ranked recruits in the past couple years. Obectively, our chances of landing a Derryck Thornton have to be about 1-2% and that’s optimistic. Think about it, we whiffed on all but one top 50 recruit in 2014 and on all our potential recruits in 2015, every single one (probably 10 or more). Our chances of landing Jaylen Brown are about the same as winning the state lottery. And our 2016 efforts our starting off with a thud with one hotly pursued recruit, Leaf, already committed elsewhere and another one, Towns, almost certain to commit to OSU. Eventually, we’ll get lucky and nab one or two of these guys but who knows when?

    We’ll be fine with lesser ranked but talented and coachable recruits (like Teske who’s ranked 97th in his class) as long as we have enough depth. It may be hard to win a national title with the Kentuckys of the world ten-deep in lottery pick talent but we’ll still be in the hunt for more Final Fours. We’d be even better now if Beilein wasn’t such a phenomenal identifier and developer of talent leaving early for the NBA.

    • Chris De Sana

      It is hard to believe (and frustrating) that more top 50 talent does not sign with Coach B. I think the tough part is to get highly ranked bigs as for some reason we simply rarely if ever feed the post as our bigs are basically high ball screen experts.

      What dominant low post player wants to spend 75% of his offensive time 18 feet away from the basket?

      • David Remmler

        Yes, it’s frustrating and hard to understand. Initially, it was understandable when he started at Michigan due to the state of the program at the time and Beilein’s lack of a track record at an elite level. But he was able to eventually cobble together a national championship level team mainly with under the level talent and phenomenal coaching. Even his most highly rated class (2012 at #7) was an example of under the radar talent since GR3 only rose to his lofty ranking after committing to Michigan and Stauskas was obviously much better than his ranking in the 70’s. His best effort from a recruiting perspective was 2013 with a #12 ranked class which included two top 40 recruits who were highly ranked when they committed to Beilein. He seemed to be hitting his stride. But the wheels have almost completely fallen off since then. In 2014, he landed only one top 40 recruit in a class ranked #26. In 2015, it looks like he will likely have zero highly ranked recruits, not even one in the top 100 barring a late pickup. So 2015 may be a big step back if more players than Levert leave early. In 2016, we’re off to a rough start. I don’t think we have a realistic shot at 5 star players but we might pick up 4 star talent like Winston, Gordon or Goodin. We need to land a couple of these high targets or we will probably not be a Final Four caliber team. We are an elite top 5 program recruiting as if we are only about a top 40-50 level program.

        As for why, I doubt recruits are picking other schools for basketball reasons. We are probably losing out to schools who are not as clean as Beilein, schools which are letting academics slide and giving side benefits.

        • Quick Darshan

          My guess it that players like Devin Booker and Blackmon saw Stauskas and Levert and assumed that they would cut into their playing time. They committed before Stauskas blew up, if I recall correctly.

          I think they have a better shot at Jaylen Brown, than they did those guys (not likely, but better a better shot).

          I bet Booker assumed the Harrison twins would go pro before Stauskas.

  • A2JD

    I’m not as pessimistic as David. While there hasn’t been as great a ripple-effect from making it to the title game as we all probably had hoped for, it does appear that Michigan is making the lists of a lot more Top-20 talent. That’s a step in the right direction. With the continued success that seems to be awaiting Michigan Hoops, I believe the recruiting commitments will eventually fall in line.

    I’d also say to Chris that there are fewer true-post players anyway so I think there will be more bigs that are interested in playing in Beilein’s offense. Guys like Leaf, Kevon Looney and Steven ZImmerman would’ve all fit in well here. Why they opted elsewhere is probably for other reasons.

  • Matt Winnitoy

    I think Michigan has a good chance of landing Thornton. Michigan Duke and Kentucky are going after him the hardest right now. I don’t see Briscoe being a one and done player at Kentucky playing behind Ulis next year and Duke is almost locked up arguably the top point guard of 2016 Dennis Smith Jr. With Walton likely to leave after his 3rd year Thornton might feel like Michigan will be his best bet to step in and get minutes right away.

  • Bluebufoon

    Yesterday OSU got a commitment from a 6-4, Guard who is an in-state high school freshman and I realize Thad Matta and his staff are quality recruiters but shouldn’t U-M and Coach Beilein be piling up in-state commitments left and right ? Who in the coming classes are in-state prospects U-M maybe involved with ? And did any of them grow up huge fans of Michigan ? Do we know ? Cassius Winston, Bruce Bowen, Xavier Tillman, Dylan Alderson ? Who are some of the other In-state players in upcoming classes we should be keeping an eye on ? Do any of these kids bleed Blue ?