Notebook: Jaylen Brown hopes to decide in April

Dylan Burkhardt

Jaylen Brown told the Herald Leader in Chicago last night that he has “about a month” to go in his recruitment, adding that it was “fair to say” he could wait until after current college players announce their NBA decisions.

“If I choose a school within the next two weeks that I think I like the most, and they don’t have any NBA guys, then I won’t have to wait until whatever the NBA deadline is,” Brown told Next Cats. “But, if I do, then I’ll probably wait.”

Brown has used all five of his official visits – to Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, UCLA and North Carolina – and also recently took an unofficial visit to Cal. Both in-state schools, Georgia and Georgia Tech, are also still in the mix.

Brown discussed his visit to Michigan with

Michigan, I have a lot of family. I’m based in Michigan so I could deflect a lot of stuff because my family is there, so Michigan is definitely going to be in the front runner of things. Talking to Coach Beilein, he’s like an offensive genius the way he gets these guys that aren’t really ranked high to be lottery picks in the draft is amazing. It’s definitely something that drew my attention. Also Michigan is a great education school. They have one of the top public universities in America with Cal-Berkeley, UCLA and North Carolina.

He also discussed what’s important to him in his decision:

I want to develop. People say I’m ready to go this year. People say I’ll be ready next year. To do what I want to do, I think it’ll take me at least two years. I don’t want to come into a situation like the NBA and have to develop for two or three years. When I come in I want to be a superstar. Coming in I want to be on superstar status. Coming in I don’t want to have to wait two years. It’s going to take development and it’s going to take hard work. I know I can make the business move and be a top five, top 10 or top 15 draft pick if I just had a solid year in college and left. I love the game too much to chase after the money. I know your heath is not secure, but I love the game. Your heath is never secure. You could get hurt anytime. I just want to develop and be the best player I can be. When I’m ready, I’m ready.

Brown has been tight-lipped about his recruitment, but rumors continue to fly. Cal is trying to pitch Brown on the idea of playing with Ivan Rabb (who will soon announce between Cal and Arizona) and fellow five-star Caleb Swanigan. Brown’s high school coach is a Georgia alum and still putting in the good word for the Bulldogs.

“I asked him if Georgia was still in the hunt or not in the hunt,” Patrick Hamilton told the AJC. “He said, ‘oh, yeah, they’re still in the hunt.’ So I do think we have a shot.”

Meanwhile’s Brian Snow reports that Michigan could be one of Brown’s finalists, while Kentucky, Kansas and UCLA are still generating plenty of buzz. The 247Sports Crystal Ball still projects Kentucky as the favorite (42%) with UCLA (39%), Kansas (6%), Georgia (6%) and Georgia Tech (3%) also receiving votes.

Brown also told NextCats that nobody’s program that he saw was as good as Kentucky’s.

Expect Brown to be under the media microscope over the next two weeks as he finishes up McDonald’s All-American activities this week – the game airs Wednesday night on ESPN – before heading to the DICK’S Sporting Goods National Championships later this week.  Brown will also play in the Nike Hoop Summit (April 11th) and the Jordan Brand Classic (April 17th).

Tyus Battle planning official visit

Five-star guard Tyus Battle is set to take an official visit to Michigan this May, according to a report by Kyle Bogenschutz.

Battle, the No. 13 ranked player in the class of 2016, will be making a return trip to Ann Arbor after taking a multi-day visit for Michigan’s College Practice Camp last June.

The five-star guard had previously trimmed his list to seven schools, with Connecticut, Duke, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Syracuse also making the cut. Battle has also setup official visits to Duke (April 17th) and Louisville (April 19th) and added Kentucky to his list, according to Evan Daniels.

Prospects are allowed to take five official visits.

Mike Edwards adding offers

Class of 2015 big man Mike Edwards is quickly rising up the board for many high-major schools. Edwards discussed his open gym visit to Michigan last week and took his second official visit to Georgia over the weekend.

Within the last week, Edwards has added offers from Auburn, Marquette, Pittsburgh and SMU along with interest from Purdue, Arizona, UCLA and Duke.

Cassius Winston comes up short

Cassius Winston got his U of D Jesuit squad to the state semifinals game, but came up short against eventual champions Detroit Western. Winston had 21 points on 4 of 12 shooting (12 of 15 at the free throw line) including four assists to five turnovers in the defeat.

The talented point guard told that he hopes to take all five official visits before making a decision. Michigan State has been trending in Winston’s recruitment, but the four-star point guard has been on campus at Michigan several times over the last few months.


  • David Remmler

    Brown is looking like a real long shot with 8 schools still in the mix. I put our chances at 1% or less.

    So I think we really need to sign Wagner for 2015 to bolster our front court. Edwards might be a decent consolation prize if Wagner doesn’t come here. We need a couple bangers inside who can rebound and alter shots. Our current bigs need to develop in that area or we need a new recruit with those strengths.

    Then we need to pick up an elite top 50 point guard in 2016. We’re recruiting Battle, Thornton, Winston and Goodin among top 50 2016 pg’s. But both Battle and Thornton are 5 stars and real long shots given our recruiting history. Winston is trending toward MSU. Goodin is a Kentucky native and Louisville (and Kentucky if they show interest) will be hard to beat. So it’s not looking really bright right now. But maybe we’ll pull off a surprise and/or we’ll find another underrated guard who’s rising in the rankings.

  • Sauce Castillo

    i would bank on wagner. if no brown, are the remaining 2015 options worth it? or better to wait for a ’16 kid.

  • polisci

    I know it seems like a long shot for Mr. Brown, if you only look at the other schools he is choosing between. But the way he talks, it sure sounds like we have a legit shot.

  • Mattski

    For high school kids with their eyes on an early exit to the NBA, I’m just not sure we will ever loom as an ideal setting, one where they are likeliest to maximize their perceived value as players. Even with an obviously bright and academic-minded kid like Brown (saying this for argument’s sake)–why would the fact that M is one of the one or two best public Ivys, etc. really mean that much? A few kids are going to love the atmosphere, coaches, players, package so much they come. . . and a lot aren’t, or are all too happy to start enjoying some of the perks a little early.

    At some point I think you have to content yourself with Beilein doing the best he can and–provided five kids don’t go to the league in a two-year span–fielding competitive squads. Or spend quite a bit of time gnashing your teeth. Wisconsin and MSU seem to have pretty good models going, and even with this year’s down stretch, we still have one of (if not the best) record(s) in the B1G over the last three-four years.

    • David Remmler

      Yeah, I don’t think one and done McDonald’s All-Americans are ideal anyway for the kind of program Beilein has built here, a program with integrity and real student-athletes. If we get Brown or other 5 stars, that would be great. But we really need to more consistently land higher rated 4 stars. And we need players who will stay 3-4 years.

      • Big reason for the Cal visit IMO was Shareef Abdur-Rahim. He also went to Wheeler so I believe there’s a bit of a connection there.

      • Adam Guiney

        Couldn’t agree more. I think where Coach B has differentiated himself from his peers is (1) projecting out under-valued talent, and (2) player development. Obviously it tempting to fawn over 5-star recruits, but I think Belien’s proven he can compete at a high level without those guys. I agree, focus on the 3 & 4 star prospects consistently that can grow with the program. I actually think the 2014 class is going to prove the cornerstone of consistent success as all of these guys continue to evolve and develop.

  • Joe Baston

    All of a sudden it looks like Cal is in the driver seat…Cuonzo Martin has that much pull? Wow! I think it’s more likely with Wagner or Edwards. And it there is an extra scholarship b/c of LeVert leaving (and there isn’t a must sign), I think Coach will save it for 2016. The reason he went out to get Dawkins and MARR was b/c of early attrition with GRIII, Stauskas, and Mitch, there were no depth left. But for 2015, there would be plenty of depth with this year’s freshmen.

    • Champswest

      I don’t know why you think Cal is in the drivers seat.
      If he really believes in development as much as he is saying, then I think that is an advantage for Michigan.
      You never know what is going on is a kids head when it comes to picking a school or leaving early for the draft. Only time will tell.

      • Joe Baston

        It’s a gut feeling and Cal came out of nowhere and he went out there. I can’t be 100% sure. But if it’s true that Cal can get Rabb & Swanigan, then Brown could join them and still get plenty of playing time and contend as oppose to going to Kentucky and have less playing time (all those Kentucky kids are not going to enter the draft). I think Brown really wants playing time (for his development) as he said in the article that he’s waiting to see who enters the NBA draft.

  • Justin

    Why does it have to be a longshot for Michigan to get a five-star player? Brown seems open to playing more than one year at Michigan…He would be a great fit for the Wolverines. We need to start landing some impact recruits.

    On another note, Izzo is a HOF (7 final fours) compared to Beilein’s (1 final four). Izzo is the better coach, what he did with this year’s team is amazing, his best coaching job yet in the tourney. I’m upset about MSU advancing and root hard against them every time out.

    And finally would like to see Donnal transfer ASAP to open up a scholly and then Wagner would be a slam dunk to commit now.

    • polisci

      The paths Izzo and Beilein have taken to get to this point are so vastly different that I don’t think that it’s fair to even compare them in the talk radio “who’s the best” kind of way. They are both excellent coaches, let’s leave it at that.

    • MAZS

      Look, I have defended Izzo on this site many times against the group who believes he only won because we were on probation. Tom is an excellent coach, but he is not better than Beilein. It may be an apples and oranges kind of thing, but I still prefer Beilein. And Izzo’s coaching this year hasn’t been amazing. MSU was up and down during a weak B10 season and has had an amazingly easy path during this tourney. An injured Virginia team that had been limping in down the stretch, a markedly over-seeded Oklahoma team and a just not-very-good Louisville team. Listen to Pitino talk about his team; he knows they weren’t good, particularly after Jones was suspended. MSU probably would have lost to every team in the other three brackets in the Sweet 16 except UWV and UCLA. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good.

      • brooklyn_guy

        I’m glad someone finally said this. Getting to the FF is a great accomplishment and Izzo IS a great coach BUT MSU’s path this year was much easier than people are acknowledging. The #1 seed in their region, Villanova, is a perennial tourney underachiever who was knocked out by another underachiever, NC State. As you pointed out, the UVA team MSU beat was not the same UVA team that was so dominant earlier in the year. Oklahoma and Louisville were both overseeded and neither team could buy a shot during the 2nd halves of their games. MSU deserves credit for solid D but Louisville, for example, had basically made ONE FG through the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half yesterday if you remove Dozier’s steals and lay-ups. No one deserves to make the FF if they can’t make shots.

        It will be interesting to see what happens when MSU plays a Duke team that features several guys that can shoot the rock.

  • Corperryale

    Geez, when did California get so good? The usual straw man in any argument about why Michigan can’t get five-stars has to do with us not being Kentucky/UNC/Duke/Kansas. I guess we have nothing on Cal’s final four tradition or we aren’t willing to lower our academic standards to the level of fly-by-night schools like Berkeley.

    On another note: Not sure who to cheer for in the final four. I think nobody? Basically these are the four worst teams from the standpoint of any self-respecting Michigan fan. Though I might have to cheer for UK because I refuse to be a Bo Ryan enabler.

    Also, recruiting wise: Looks like Detroit Western had a dominant year, but I don’t see any of their players going to any big schools. Any Michiganders have insight into this? That Blackshear guy looks pretty great, but apparently he’s going to UDM.

    • I’m not sure Cal is ‘so good’ … They are probably going to land Ivan Rabb (local), but I still think Swanigan will pick Duke (just my gut right now).

      • Corperryale

        Well, but with Rabb, Swanigan and Brown, that would be a nightmare class, especially for a middling program.

        In terms of other WTFs, looks like LSU is set to pick up a couple five stars but LSU isn’t known as a bastion of ethics so I won’t groan (unless we play them).

    • psickert1

      My old coach Derrick McDowell coach them. He is a master at getting players to play great defense and be a team. I was at he breslin(as much as I hated) rooting him and my former teammate Ken flowers of Henry Ford… a lot of good players get overlooked and go to different college…like I said Josh Davis is a great fit for our program. He is going to Western. FOLLY and Blackheads are very good players and they have some great under classmen. They were great before Blackshear and Folly transfer.

      That’s why I wish that recruited Michigan more. There are to many great players that go elsewhere. If teams think Mike Wallace is good enough to come to their high major program, why can’t we?

      I watch a ton of teams and there are a bunch of great talent that is overlooked. Talented kids that would love to go to UM. Most of the kids are not MSU fans will rather go elsewhere as oppose to going there despite the offer.

      Coach McDowell got us to the state championship where we lost to Grand rapids.Iowa hills and Dion Harris also made it. They lost Lester Abrams team. and Manny got Coach Ken to the championship game Draymond Green . They are two great coaches and preaches defense and rebounding.

      Hope that helps

      • Corperryale

        Thanks, good info.

  • Anthony

    Michigan can and should recruit one and done players like brown the key is to build the base and then get that one kid that can push them over the top. No underclass men will leave after 2016 unless Irvin makes a big jump will go to the nba. Michigan got lucky/unlucky in the sense that 5 guys left early and the staff didn’t expect that I don’t think that will happen again. I also think players like brown should consider u of m they would be great system that highlights their strengths and limits their weakness.

  • Nick

    Man he’s playing it close to the vest but I don’t think UM gets him even if Caris leaves. Seems like he’s just paying lip service to Michigan because of his roots.

  • bobohle

    We need to stay on the aggressive recruiting of Brown till the end. Everyone thought Daniel Horton (our last McDonalds All American) was headed for Texas. Everyone thought Jerod Ward (Mississippi) and Brent Petway (also from Georgia) were headed to the SEC. I’m glad you naysayers on Brown aren’t doing the recruiting. You would just give up. You are satisfied with just competing. We need to land a big time recruit to draw others.

    • Wayman Britt

      Hear, hear

    • Mith

      You’re right, of course. How dare someone have an opinion different from yours? That certainly means they are “satisfied with just competing.”

    • Corperryale

      Very true and great examples. Thanks for reminding me of Jerod Ward also. Even if the Cal rumours end up being true, it will demonstrate your point that talent attracts talent.

    • David Remmler

      Of course we need to keep aiming high and aggressively recruit the very best players. But at the same time, it’s best to be realistic about our chances. Beilein realizes the low probability of landing 5 star players so he’s always looking at other options. And he’s a tireless recruiter. His success in picking up talented underrated recruits isn’t just luck. It’s hard work. And it’s not his fault that the most elite players go elsewhere. It’s the natural result of having integrity in a corrupt system.

  • Wayman Britt

    If your expectation is for UM to get back to the final four, then they need to get either Brown or Battle. They have a good nucleus, but need a superstar who can create their own shot in the closing minutes of a game. I didn’t name Winston because he is probably going to play for Izzo.

    • David Remmler

      Getting a superstar increases the likelihood of another Final Four soon but it’s not the only route there. A core of several high 4 stars complemented by experienced and solid role players should also do the job.

  • psickert1

    Did we even offer Brown? No mention at all. I like our 4 options. Any one of them would work. WAGNER, Wallace, Brown and The ivy league transfer will work….at least we have opt III on and it’s looking like we would add a players or two. Hopefully a big to move Chatman and Dawkins to SG/SF /PF and donnel can play PF.

    I really want better rebounding and size while not losing skill.

  • Joe Baston