Recruiting Roundup: April evaluation period notes

Dylan Burkhardt

John Beilein has had no problem staying busy over the last few weeks. The Michigan head coach has lost three players to transfer, two assistants to head coaching jobs, hosted a graduate transfer for a multi-day visit and has been on the recruiting trail the past two weekends with a makeshift staff.

Columbia transfer guard Grant Mullins did make it to Ann Arbor last week and completed his third visit. The 6-foot-3 guard previously visited Syracuse and Cal before tripping to Ann Arbor. A decision is expected sometime this week and he’ll be eligible to play immediately next season.

Michigan staffers Chris Hunter (player personnel) and Pete Kahler (operations) replaced LaVall Jordan and Bacari Alexander on the recruiting trail over the weekend with much of a recruiting focus in Indianapolis where the Nike EYBL and Under Armour Association hosted events.

Endless Motor recapped the movement of the Michigan coaching staff throughout the weekend at the Nike EYBL, but the primary targets of focus were Michigan commitment Jordan Poole, Kyle Young (offer), Jamal Cain, Brian Bowen, Brandon Johns, Malik Williams and Parker Stewart.

Jamal Cain continues to break out

Detroit native Jamal Cain impressed for his second straight weekend on the Nike EYBL circuit. Cain started the weekend slow, scoring just 3 points in a loss to the Las Vegas Prospects, but stepped it up as the weekend went on. He scored 16.5 points per game over his final two, both wins for The Family, while shooting a combined 14-of-24 from the floor and knocking in 4 out of 7 threes.

Through 7 EYBL games Cain is averaging 12.9 points and 5 rebounds per game while shooting 60% on twos and 27% on threes.

Beilein was courtside following Cain throughout the weekend and the 6-foot-7 wing is set to visit Ann Arbor for a full unofficial visit on April 27th where an offer could likely follow.

Other priorities

Kyle Young still received heavy attention from the Michigan coaching staff throughout the weekend. He had a quiet weekend compared to last week , but he’s averaging 14 points and 6 rebounds per game this spring. Young picked up a big offer from Michigan State last week and is a growing priority for many Big Ten schools.

La Lumiere wing forward Brian Bowen has emerged as one of the best pure scoring forwards on the circuit. Beilein was front-and-center watching Bowen several times over the weekend and he also made the trip to La Lumiere to meet with Bowen last week — as did Steve Alford and Tom Izzo. Bowen is averaging 19.6 points per game for Meanstreets this spring.

Another player that John Beilein checked in on last week was Malik Williams. Williams is a 6-foot-11 center from Fort Wayne ranked in the top-50 nationally. Beilein followed the mid-week visit up with some attention over the weekend along with  Tom Izzo, Matt Painter, Mark Turgeon and Mike White.

Jordan Poole breaks out of slump

Michigan commitment Jordan Poole has gotten off to a quiet start for his new EYBL club, the Mac Irvin Fire, but he snapped out of his cold streak on Saturday. Poole knocked in three triples en route to 16 points, 9 rebounds and two assists in a loss to Boo Williams.

His shooting numbers are down this spring, but the talented guard showed flashes of his ability.

2018 G Cormac Ryan blowing up

One prospect away from the the Nike EYBL that is garnering serious Michigan interest is class of 2018 guard Cormac Ryan. Standing 6-foot-5, Ryan has been impressing scouts with his length and shooting ability while playing for Duncan Robinson’s former AAU program, the Middlesex Magic.

Cormac is a 6-5 point guard with a lengthy wingspan who is able to influence the game in a variety of ways on the offensive end of the floor. He has a very smooth shooting stroke, and a nice range from inside the paint out to the three-point line. In addition to being a very sharp shooter in catch and shoot situations, He has an advanced handle for a guy his size, and uses ball fakes to create his own shot. Getting to the basket is also one of his strong suits as he is able to use his length and soft touch to finish around the rim. Apart from his scoring capabilities, Ryan also shows extreme promise as a facilitator. He has outstanding court vision, and unselfishly looks to get his teammates involved.

Ryan has put together back-to-back impressive weekends on the circuit. He only has an offer from Boston College right now, but the 2018 shooter should have more coming.

He could be quickly rising up the board as a Michigan priority in the class of 2018. The Wolverines were watching him in Pittsburgh over the weekend.

Other notes

  • Michigan had checked in on IMG forward Aleem Ford last week, but the 2016 forward committed to Wisconsin on an official visit over the weekend. Currently, Mullins appears to be the most likely candidate to add to next year’s roster.
  • Michigan also watched Karim Ezzedine in Pittsburgh.
  • 2018 Lansing native Brandon Johns appears to be a top priority in the class of 2018 and had John Beilein’s courtside attention.
  • 2018 forward Kevin Easley added an offer from DePaul. He’s planning to visit Michigan on April 28th.
  • bobohle

    Dylan; Thanks for the update. I certainly hope Mullins comes on board. Go Blue!

  • Champswest

    Thanks for the update, Dylan.
    The Mullins visit has been pretty hush hush. No reactions from him or the staff.

  • Mattski

    I’m not happy with the increasing commercialization of college sports, but if we’ve got this Jordan thing I’m anxious to see us use it. Pix of Beilein and Jordan playing blackjack and smoking whatever brand of Havanas MJ likes can’t come fast enough. :)

  • MAZS

    Johns is a perfect Beilein recruit. Good student; good kid; unselfish; perfect shooting form—but also not particularly physical, and his defense has not yet caught up with his offense. He still looks like he is growing into his body—while a good ball-handler for his height at the high school level, he looks somewhat awkward. But that should resolve itself over the next 2 years, in which case he should be a very good 3 or a Beilein 4. [Now the staff just needs to convince him that we are a better fit than MSU]

  • Tallteach

    Whatever happened to Christian David? I know he showed up in these recruiting updates last year and I really like his film. He seemed like a good fit.

    • He was at U-M’s camp last summer and played okay, but I wouldn’t say he necessarily stood out. Really smooth game, but Jordan Poole fills a similar need/skill set.

      • Tallteach


  • Colby

    Also blew out his ACL a few months back. Was playing real well before the injury.

  • Wayman Britt

    I like Jamal Cain. He has a nice game, of course he needs to put on weight. He is important for UM because they need at least a few kids on ships to be from the state. We all know the state of Michigan does not have the same talent as 15 years ago, but getting some kids is important. Getting Jamal will not only help the 17 class, but future classes. Beilien cannot let Izzo always get the best players from the state.

  • Slim33

    Cormac Ryan looks like he has a bright future ahead of him. I think Mullins picks Meeechigan, just a hunch.

  • Wayman Britt

    Cormac Ryan is a very good dribbler and driver at an early age, especially for his height. Love a guard with handles who is 6’5″. I hope his recruitment doesn’t end up like other players who start blowing up. Beilein in on him early, other coaches from one of the top five programs in the nation say hey who is this soaring kid Beilein keeps watching, them come in late to scoop up.