Notebook: Cassius Winston’s official visit in flux

Dylan Burkhardt
on

Cassius Winston took another official visit over the weekend as he traveled to Pittsburgh, and he’s also made some adjustments to his fall calendar.

Winston will visit Michigan State next weekend for the Spartans’ football game against Oregon.

Reports surfaced early on Monday that Winston would then move his Michigan official visit to September 26th rather than the originally scheduled September 19th date, but even those plans appear to be uncertain.

MLive’s Brendan Quinn reports that Winston is unsure if and when he will take an official visit to Michigan.

Now Winston says he’s not sure when he’s visiting Michigan.

Asked if he definitely still plans on taking an official to U-M, he replied, “I don’t know yet.”

Winston is expected to decide between Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Stanford before the start of his high school season. He has been the top point guard target on Michigan’s recruiting board for the majority of the last two years.

Michigan also has official visits setup with Miles Bridges (October 12th) and tentatively with point guard Bryce Aiken (October 8th).

Kevin Huerter commits to Maryland

Four-star wing guard Kevin Huerter is officially off the board after committing on his official visit to Maryland over the weekend.

Huerter had previously planned a Michigan official visit for the coming weekend. The Wolverines had watched Huerter carefully during the spring and summer, but hadn’t offered a scholarship to the 6-foot-6 guard who had yet to visit Ann Arbor. Huerter visited Villanova and Maryland before making his college decision.

Michigan had been exploring the potential of Huerter as a class of 2017 prospect, but he opted to go with the class of 2016 offers that were available.

Focus on backup point guard targets

With Cassius Winston’s visit in flux and Kevin Huerter off the board, Michigan is looking at some tough decisions with respect to its 2016 point guard recruiting. Payton Pritchard and Huerter are both off the board while Xavier Simpson will announce between Miami, Illinois, Iowa State and Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Four-star point guard Bryce Aiken has discussed a tentative official in October, so he’s an obvious backup candidate.

But the point guard prospect other than Winston who might have received the most attention in July was Milwaukee guard Te’Jon Lucas. Lucas visited USC officially and is scheduled to visit Old Dominion (next weekend) and Memphis (the following weekend) officially. He’s also discussed an unofficial visit to Michigan this month.

With the news surrounding Winston, Lucas could be the point guard target that the Wolverines start to prioritize sooner than later.

Other notes

  • Class of 2017 wing forward Kyle Young will visit Michigan this month. Young will also trip to Purdue and Butler. Young is a 6-foot-6 forward from Massillon, OH who is ranked 135 nationally according to 247Sports Composite.
  • Chezaroo

    I got NO problem with eventually “possibly” getting TeJon Lucas. Good player. Boy if Sparty nabs both Winston and Bridges, ouch.

    • Wayman Britt

      I like looking further at Lucas, but with him taking visits to Memphis and Old Dom seems UM might not be the kind of school he is interested in.

  • three_goggles

    Meanwhile Miles Bridges is responding to MSU fans on Twitter teasing that they forgot Winston when mentioning the dream class…

    https://twitter.com/milesbridges01/status/641058699604303876

  • Wayman Britt

    Wow didn’t see this coming. If Winston doesn’t visit UM, there is no way Bridges is coming to UM. Huerter off the board. This recruiting has been very very frustrating over the last three years.

    • Steve2081

      You didn’t? Cuz it’s been 100% obvious for the better part of a year that he’s not coming here.

      • Wayman Britt

        Yeah good point, I thought at least he would take a visit, but he was going to MSU all along.

      • MAZS

        100% for the better part of a year? I trust you have more and better sourcing that what most everyone else has access to. Otherwise, 100% is about 50% overstated.

        • Steve2081

          Yep it’s every bit as obvious as it was when Booker, Bluiett,and Kennard were going elsewhere 6 to 8 months before UM’s “recruiting experts” finally admitted we lost those battles. Not sure why people still pay for recruiting sites. I’m significantly more accurate and far cheaper. Just ask and I’ll tell you want you need to know.

          • MAZS

            Oh, you’re going to be a joy here.

  • Chezaroo

    Winston commits to Sparty on his visit this weekend?

  • bobohle

    Our coaches are very good at player development and game coaching. Every coaching staff has a weakness. I’m beginning to wonder if recruiting elite talent is our weakest point. IMO except for Jeff Meyer I do not believe our coaches were involved much with the recruitment of elite talent at their former schools that often.

    • Indiana_Matt

      Yes, you might be right. I know that Zak and Walton and Cam were all highly rated. But it just seems like we miss a lot and it is hard to see why (for me anyway). Do kids look at the MSU offense as more fun to play in than ours?!?! I don’t get it.

      • bobohle

        The schools landing the elite ones have Assistant Coaches who have either played for the big schools or assisted at the big schools and are experienced at being successful at recruiting the elite. Fife and Stephens are good examples for Sparty.

  • Indiana_Matt

    Hmm.

    Beilein is considered the best offensive coach in America by his peers. For what it is worth, ESPN has ranked him in the top 10 of all D-1 coaches. They say our facilities are second to none and better than most NBA facilities. Our staff maximizes talent and develops 4th tier guys into B1G starters and 2nd and 3rd tier guys into NBA players. You hear about how the camaraderie of the players is great.

    Just stepping back and thinking about what goes through recruits heads… I really don’t know. I am not criticizing the staff. I just can’t figure out what there isn’t to like from a recruits standpoint. So hard to get into 17 and 18 year old kids thought processes. You would think that at least one McDonalds All-American a year would be clamoring to play for us. I am just curious about others thoughts.

    • bobohle

      I’ve had the same thoughts. I think they have to be coddled. As for the magic words—I don’t know. If Dave Strack,Johnny Orr,Bill Freider, Steve Fisher,and Tommy Amaker(even Brian Ellerbe landed Jamal Crawford) could bring them in for the Maize & Blue,so can John Beilein.

      • Indiana_Matt

        We know that whether the coaches knew about it or not, some of those top guys under Freider and Fisher were getting paid. So that kind of cancels out their skill at recruiting to some degree. Crawford loved the Fab Five and had a key person in his life who had a connection to the university I think more than Ellerbe’s skill. I think JB is great and our staff is excellent. McGary said the refusal to coddle was a big reason for going to Michigan. There has to be other recruits out there with that mindset. Sometimes they just go to Duke, MSU, etc. It is just puzzling that with all our advantages we seem to struggle with this part of the game.

        • nswan

          I think you hit the head on the nail. There are not a whole lot of top recruits who are valuing integrity, good coaching and dont want to be coddled ala McGary. Maybe the wool has been pulled over my eyes, but Duke seems to have some semblance of this as well with K and the academics at Duke. I am Michigan through and through but if there is a very small and finite number of these tier 1 recruits with a head on their shoulders, K and Duke have the better resume than Mich and will likely take them. That doesnt preclude Cal (with Jaylen Brown) and others from pulling these high recruits, it just means that Michigan and other programs that arent of the caliber of Duke are at a disadvantage.
          Michigan is good at putting players into the league, but has yet to put a star into it in recent years. Michigan will get one the Jaylen Brown type players at some point which should translate to a star at the next level. This will be huge for Michigan because we wont be hearing the high level recruits say “Michigan keeps putting low level guys into the league and they have my eye because of it.” It will become “Michigan just made a legit recruit into a star in the NBA and that is what I really want to be.”

    • Chezaroo

      Matt you have summed up perfectly the fan base’s justifiable frustration. Elite recruits sign with the coach, period. For whatever reason JB just doesn’t resonate with these kids. It’d be different if we purposely avoided the Top 25s for all of the extra curricular concerns, but we’ve aggressively targeted a huge amount of top tier players the last two years, and came away with none. It’s bizarre how we always come away empty handed. Sure there are kids on the take in any given year, but are all of our targets dirty? Highly doubtful. Every coach wants TALENT, but boy it seems EVERY one of our targets has a reason for going elsewhere and avoids us like the plague. Even the apologists among us have to acknowledge JBs shortcomings in garnering elite talent. They don’t want to come here, period. It’s back to hunting down under the radar recruits that the high majors don’t really want. It is what it continues to be. Highly disappointing.

      • Indiana_Matt

        While disappointed in the outcome, I am not disappointed in our staff. Surely all the effort will pay off at some point.

    • David Remmler

      I think it’s a reflection of the dirty world of basketball recruiting. Both of us would probably be shocked by what goes on in basketball recruiting. Beilein’s high integrity and insistence on high character seriously hurts him on the recruiting trail. He expects players to go to class and stay out of trouble. He won’t bend any rules.

      I prefer a clean and ethical coach instead of an “elite recruiter” like Calipari.

      I’m sure Beilein would have us in Final Four contention every year if he recruited at an elite top-10 program level. But we will still be able to get back to an elite level with lesser ranked players with overlooked potential and high character.

    • GTFOmycourt

      It is strange. I can’t figure it out. Maybe our coaches communicate to the recruits that they are expected to study x amount of hours and that scares the potential nba guys away? Maybe the potential nba guys are assured at other schools that the school work is a formality? Maybe our coaches want a 2 year commitment at minimum? I am perplexed…

  • Wrote this on the forum but thought I would put it here as well. I’ve seen a lot of questions about how just moving a visit could cause such a fuss. Here’s an example:

    Think about a situation where Michigan was working on setting up an official visit setup with Player B the weekend after Player A was originally scheduled to take his visit. If Player A wants to move his visit to the same weekend as Player B, do you cancel Player B’s visit and risk essentially going all in on Player A?

    • bobohle

      I agree Dylan. However one source is reporting that Winston is stating he may not visit Michigan at all now. Who knows how accurate that is though. As stated on a previous comment it is hard to fathom how some of these young 17 and 18 year olds are thinking. I imagine its a whirlwind sometimes. The way Tyrus Battle changes his mind about high schools,AAU teams, and colleges; He may change his mind again before signing on the dotted line with Syracuse in November.

      • bobohle

        I guess nobody caught my misspelling of Battle’s first name. I just thought he may of changed that also. LOL!