Notebook: Beilein expects 2015-16 roster to be finalized ‘in a few more weeks’

Alejandro Zúñiga

Two weeks ago, at Michigan’s postseason banquet, John Beilein discussed the number of variables that would dictate the team’s future.

By Monday afternoon, two of those had reached conclusions: Caris LeVert announced his decision to return to the program on April 21, and Austin Hatch’s medical hardship waiver was approved by the Big Ten less than a week later.

That, in addition to Moritz Wagner’s commitment, leaves the Wolverines with one available scholarship spot for the upcoming season.

“We’re jumping through hoops in some areas,” Beilein said Monday. “We still have some opportunities with scholarships for next year. (Max Bielfeldt) is exploring his options. I believe that, in a few more weeks, we should have answers to the future roster.”

The biggest name on the radar is Jaylen Brown, a five-star wing who has Michigan in his final five. The Wolverines have also expressed interest in four-star shooting guard Kenny Williams, a former VCU commit.

Because of NCAA restrictions, Beilein couldn’t comment on any unsigned recruits — Brown, Williams, or Wagner.

“I learned a long time ago that you’ve just got to prepare for everything,” Beilein said.

2015-16 roster begins to take shape

Beilein confirmed he doesn’t expect any attrition, meaning — save for the one remaining scholarship, and barring any surprises — Michigan’s 2015-16 roster is essentially complete.

In addition to a potential recruit, the Wolverines will add Wagner, Duncan Robinson and redshirt freshman D.J. Wilson. They’ll also have a relatively old team — but still young, as Beilein quipped.

The coach commented Monday about several of Michigan’s returning frontcourt options:

On Mark Donnal: “Mark needed this year to look at who he is and how he plays and what he’s going to do going forward. We talked at length when the season was over about what his goals were and what he had to do better.”

On DJ Wilson: “DJ had a tremendous redshirt year and, I think, if he plays in the middle, this will be the only year he probably ever played in the middle. He showed us down the stretch … he can be valuable in that position as well. He’s a natural forward, but, as you know, we can play small at times.”

On Duncan Robinson: “Here’s a young man who scored 32 points in a Division III semifinal championship game. The lights were on. … I think when the lights come on, he’ll be fine.”

Spike to undergo second surgery

Spike Albrecht, who played the 2014-15 season with hip injuries that included a torn labrum and a fracture, will undergo a second surgery, Beilein announced.

The operation, which will likely involve shaving down bone from his left hip, was an outcome Albrecht said earlier this month he anticipated. Fortunately for Michigan, Beilein projects the guard will be healthy in time for fall camp.

“Knowing him, we expect full recovery by the start of practice,” Beilein said.

LeVert ready for leadership role

When Caris LeVert announced his decision to forgo the NBA and return for his senior season, Beilein couldn’t speak with media because he was on a recruiting trip.

A week later, the coach didn’t downplay the impact LeVert will have next winter — both on the court and in the locker room.

“His leadership takes an even bigger role right now,” he said. “He’s got more respect than ever from his teammates and his opponents. He and Spike, there will be no doubt who the captains are, who the leaders are.”

Beilein praised the dedication LeVert and Albrecht have shown as both have battled through significant injuries.

“There’s a presence that’s now all through that locker room,” he said.

  • FL Wolve

    What teams in college bball will field a better lineup than this potential lineup for UM – Walton, Levert, Irvin, Jaylen Brown, and Doyle? That is a veteran lineup with size, length, and NBA level talent. Add in a seasoned bench and this could be a very good season for UM.

    • JosephG

      Line up will be great with or without Brown, but of course we would love Jayden in the mix …I might swap in MAAR over Walton tho … Let’s see how things shake out ..

      • tgio24

        MAAR or Walton?? I think thats a stretch. Walton healthy can be a VERY good player.

        • Mattski

          MAAR is a neat player, but Walton–if healthy–will be on the court for John Beilein.

      • Leslie Hoerwinkle

        No way Rahkmann starts over Walton. He is a slightly better defender, but Walton is better in all other aspects of the game. Walton is one of the best 6-0 tall rebounders I’ve ever seen.

      • Wayman Britt

        I don’t know about MAAR playing more than Walton, you cannot judge Walton on just this season because he was hurt. I see Walton having a very good year. He will have more offense weapons to pass to.

      • UMTigersWingsLions

        Are you serious? Walton is one of the best PG in the country. He and spike best 1-2 combo at point in the country this year.

  • RafteryisInsane

    Kinda curious what progress, mindset, philosophy, and role Kameron Chatman will have heading into the upcoming season. He has a wealth of raw talent and size and just didn’t quite get his footing last year.

    • wolverine81

      I’ve been wondering the same thing. He’s a guy who if the light bulb goes on by next season, could really be a breakthrough player. I think Michigan could really have a special season if this happens and everyone is healthy next year.

  • Mark Worthley

    So if neither of the two potential recruits come to Michigan, then Max Bielfeldt is back?

    • Bluebio

      No. He’s checking out Stanford and Bradley and some others.

  • Kenny

    Next year this team can be special with or without brown. I assume that max will be back if brown goes somewhere else. The only question mark is the center position after Doyle’s, either Donnal or Wilson need to provide quality minutes there. We have a lot of depth at all other positions. The competition will make everyone better.

    Chatman has potential to be the best 6th man in Big Ten, he was a year younger than MAAR and Dawkins.

  • itsjustaherb

    How accurate are the predictions for where a recruit will go on 247 sports? The reason I ask is that a lot of the predictions seem to swinging Michigan’s way the last two days for Jaylen Brown. I also checked and Brown is following Hatch on twitter and I don’t seem him following any other players for the teams he is interested. Maybe none of that means anything, but I’d really like to say that he is coming to Michigan.

    • JosephG

      The only safe assumption or prediction … Is that we are 20% to get him.. Like you stated, I too have read a few of our competitors forums.. They tend to believe Michigan has the upper hand at the moment. Personally, I remain hopeful , but realistic … Perhaps even 25% lol.. Doubt UNC has real shot

      • Bluebio

        You give no evidence or support for this whatsoever.

        • JosephG

          Ummmm…we are 1 of 5 schools! 1 out of 5 = 20% .. How is this not support/ evidence lol ….

          • Mattski

            The fact that we are one in (your projected) five does not make our odds 20%. Statistics, without logic. . .

          • JosephG

            My projected five is indeed his recently trimmed list ,, his decision will be one of the 5 on his list … The feelings, and opinions of those who think a certain school will land him… cannot sway the percentage … Nothing factual hAs eliminated one of the five.. So at very least we are 1 in 5 shot of landing Brown … How is this not n honest factual 20 percent …? Not arguing , just curious

          • Mattski

            Each of the five does not have the same chance to land him.

      • bobohle

        Thats right about UNC. The NCAA is knocking on the door.

    • UMTigersWingsLions

      Just read on some analysts crystal ball prediction that we are 34% chance to get Jaylen and UK is 31%. The next closest is KU at 4% since he eliminated UCLA, and others already. So, its between us and UK. I think he comes here though, because of family and Adidas school.

    • bobohle

      I Agree. I here you big fella. As I”ve been saying the past month: Jaylen Brown come on up. You WILL INDEED be the final piece to a Championship contender. GO BLUE!

  • Mitchell Olis

    I have done a lot of research and I believe it comes down to Kentucky, Kansas, and Michigan. UNC is not getting any all-americans until their academic sanctions get figured out. Cal has a minor shot but I just don’t think their program is established enough for brown to take the risk. Jaylen loves Kentucky and I think he would go there for sure if it was not for his family who apparently hates Kentucky. Kansas just lost kelly oubre so jaylen could fill in his spot right away, but Kansas was reported to be the only one who did not make an in home visit to brown so that should hurt them. Michigan is really the only team that has received all positive news with brown’s recruiting process. They are adidas (I saw a video where he denied adidas had any influence), his family loves michigan and is from there, and crstal ball has completly shifted towards michigan in the past two days. He is by no means a lock to come to Michigan, but there is more than a chance.

    • UMTigersWingsLions

      I’m pretty sure Jaylen is coming here :) UK got Mulder today already.

      • Mitchell Olis

        UK still has a two scholarships available and Im sure Calipari is still recruiting brown hard

  • UMTigersWingsLions

    Caris, Jaylen and the gang. Can you imagine how great we will be? We have 2 awesome point guards DW3 and Spike(best 1-2 combo in the country) who can run the floor and feed these guys. we will also have the best perimeter in the country. Doyle showed he is going to be a beast at center.

  • LetsGo

    Walton is good but simply needs to dish more alley oops as the team is waayy too athletic not to do so. I saw film of him before but now that he is here he has to enhance/adjust his style to the B10 talent surrounding him.

    • bobohle

      Yeah. Can’t wait to see Jaylen Brown put one down. Always think positive.

  • UMTigersWingsLions

    Jaylen, your family wants you to come to Michigan….your maize and blue family :)