Notebook: John Beilein tracking in-state duo; Te’Jon Lucas, Amir Coffey emerging

Dylan Burkhardt
on

John Beilein tracked Cassius Winston and Miles Bridges closely at the Nike Global Challenge during the second week of the July evaluation period.

Beilein was in Chicago at the event watching the duo play together throughout the weekend, usually with an assistant. at his side.

Cassius Winston’s best performance at the event came in the third-place game as he scored 21 points on 10 of 12 shooting and handed out nine assists in the victory. Winston is down to a list of five schools: Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Harvard.

Miles Bridges played on the same team as Winston at the tournament and also recently trimmed his list and discussed his finalists with Inside the Hall at the event.

“It’s just a great program,” he said of Michigan. “I think I fit in well with them because they run and coach (John) Beilein lets them play. And the most important thing is development because they’re taking unranked players and making them into pros.”

Here are some highlights of Bridges from the Peach Jam last week.

Class of 2017 target Christian David played with the Canadian team at the event. He had 12 points in a loss to Winston and Bridges’ team and also had a 10 point performance against the USA West team.

Beilein also was able to check out class of 2017 point guard Trae Young on the USA West team. Young has dozens of scholarship offers including one from Duke and was named the MVP of the Nike Global Challenge. Michigan was one of the first schools to contact Young on June 15th.

Te’Jon Lucas has big weekend

Te’Jon Lucas emerged as a Michigan target during the first week of the July evaluation period, but he elevated his game to another level last week in Milwaukee.

Lucas is a 6-foot lead guard who drew praise across the internet from his performance at the NY2LA Summer Jam. He holds scholarship offers from Cleveland State, Drake, Illinois-Chicago, Indiana-Purdue Indianapolis (IUPUI), Memphis, Northeastern, Old Dominion, Southern Illinois and UW-Milwaukee, but that list should grow.

His prep coach told JSOnline that he has strong interest from Texas Tech, Butler, Miami (Fla.), Purdue, Kansas State, Indiana, Texas, Southern California, Wake Forest, Michigan and Northern Illinois and he expects additional scholarships after sending transcripts and ACT scores to the new schools involved in his recruitment.

Michigan head coach John Beilein or one of his assistants was a constant presence at Lucas’ games over the weekend.

Rivals was impressed with how Lucas ran his team in Milwaukee:

Milwaukee Spartans point guard Te’Jon Lucas is battling a bruised tailbone suffered when he took a nasty spill last week, but after missing the bulk of yesterday’s game, he looked like he’s returned to form during a 45-36 win over the Iowa Barnstormers.

Lucas scored nine points in the victory, shooting the ball well and making sound decisions from his point guard position. The Milwaukee native’s demeanor stands out. He forces very little and makes good basketball plays almost always.

Later, he was the game’s dominant second-half presence in the Spartans’ impressive 60-39 win over a talented MBA Hoops Elite team. Lucas rained jump shots against MBA, finishing with 14 points, and likely double-digit assists if anyone was counting.

Scout.com’s Brian Snow echoed those thoughts:

Always known as a good passer with excellent feel, Lucas brought it up even another level. He shot the heck out of the ball from deep, and then also made some floaters and got out in transition. While that was impressive, his ability to create off of ball screens and to always make the right decision is impressive. He simply did everything possible to put his team in a position to win.

Cassius Winston remains Michigan’s priority at the point guard spot, but Lucas is rising quickly and looks to be an intriguing backup option. The next step for Michigan will be to get the guard on campus for a visit after the July period wraps up.

Ibi Watson, All-Ohio Red win another championship

Ibi Watson and All-Ohio Red are now two-for-two this July. They missed out on the Nike Peach Jam, but they won the Best of the South tournament in Georgia and walked away with a NY2LA Summer Jam title on Sunday.

John Beilein and/or an assistant were reported at the majority of Watson’s games in Milwaukee as Beilein and LaVall Jordan seemed to bounce back and forth between the Nike Global Challenge in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Watson is hoping to make a decision by the end of the month or early in August.

Ibi Watson says he’s open in recruiting. But, he’s this close, he says, to shutting it all down.

Watson said he may make his college decision as early as late July – there’s only two more weeks of July, by the way – and if not then, then perhaps early August.

“I just want it out of the way,” Watson said. “I just wanted to set a date to commit. But if I’m not ready then I won’t do it.”

The 6-6 wing from Pickerington Central in the Columbus, Ohio, area seems ready, which might be good news for a Big Ten school.

Beilein checks in on Karmari Newman

While Beilein spent significant time watching Ibi Watson, he also came back to Michigan to check in on 2016 wing Karmari Newman at the Mustangs Summer Showdown.

Beilein watched Newman score 28 points in a win over the Michigan Mustangs-Peterson. Newman’s most recent scholarship offer is from Duquesne.

Amir Coffey healthy, on the radar

Amir Coffey is a name that has been on the Michigan radar for quite some time, but never quite emerged as he sat out the majority of his junior season with a torn ACL. Now Coffey is healthy and back on the court with his Howard Pulley AAU team.

Most importantly, Coffey — a top 50 recruit — is listing Michigan as one of the teams he likes right now.

“Right now I like Marquette, Minnesota, Miami, Michigan and Florida,” he said. twitter

Other notes

  • Top-50 forward Brendan Bailey is now listing Michigan. Beilein watched Arizona State decommitment, but he’s considering taking a mission trip which would move him to the class of 2018.
  • nswan

    Definitely like what i see from Lucas. I wouldnt be opposed to him being our 2016 PG if Winston falls through.

  • Wayman Britt

    Dylan – thanks for the film on Te Jon Lucas. He looks very quick and can dribble drive. Nice handles. I don’t like his low release on his 3 point shot, but looks like an interesting second option if Winston goes to MSU. I like Beilein having Plan A, B and C. We all know recruiting is a weird environment.

    I just don’t see UM getting Miles Bridges, with him being from Flint. I am not sure, but I don’t think he has even visited UM yet. It seems only recently has he even shown any interest in UM. Maybe just to be nice.

    • bobohle

      According to Scout and Rivals,Michigan has offered Bridges. He must have been on Campus at some point for Beilein to offer.