2962233[1]Not many rising juniors have had a more productive summer than five-star guard Tyus Battle.

Battle added scholarship offers from a who’s who of high-major programs, he’s made campus visits to UConn, Villanova, Michigan, Louisville and Kentucky and he’s played in a majority of the top camps and tournaments on the summer circuit.

Battle played in the Nike EYBL, excelled at Peach Jam and attended Steph Curry and Reebok’s Elite Camp. Because that wasn’t enough, he hopped in a tournament with his high school team during the first evaluation period.

Despite all of the games, attention and travel, he’s hopeful to add one more date to the calendar: a trip to Dubai.

Battle is trying out with an elite group of under 17 prospects in Colorado Springs to make USA Basketball’s 12 man roster to compete in the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championship (Aug 8-16th). After all of the competition that Battle has faced this summer, facing off in a tryout against the best high school players in the country doesn’t even feel like anything new.

“The competition I’ve faced this summer is pretty good too because I play in the EYBL,” Battle said during a phone interview after the first session of training camp. “But USA Basketball is just the best kids in the country under 17 coming in here trying to make one team so it’s a major competition.

“It’s amazing. You know it’s an honor to represent your country and just to have a chance to come out here and tryout for USA Basketball is just a huge honor.”

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Four-star guard Kenny Williams has Michigan’s attention


Four-star class of 2015 wing guard Kenny Williams has Michigan’s full attention. Wolverine head coach John Beilein watched the 6-foot-4 shooting guard at Peach Jam last weekend and was watching him in Louisville on Thursday at the AAU Super Showcase.

Michigan isn’t the only school keeping a close eye on Williams, the No. 79 prospect in the country. He’s drawn plenty of attention from elite programs across the country. VCU is close to home and Indiana has one of his good friends (freshman guard Robert Johnson) on the roster, but the Wolverines have made their mark on Williams with their player development program.

“The player development is the main thing I like (about Michigan),” Williams said. “You can see that they develop their players. They get them in the gym and they work them hard. And their hard work pays off.”

Williams is known for his three-point shot — he shot 44% on threes in EYBL play — but he focuses more on the simple parts of the game and playing it the right way. His description of his game is likely music to John Beilein’s ears, a coach who praises ‘hitting singles’ in pressure situations rather than going for the big play.

“I think I make the right basketball plays when they need to be made,” Williams said. “I try to make the right play. I don’t think people give that as much credit as it needs to be given.”

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Four-star guard Bruce Brown on Michigan’s radar

2971242[1]Four-star guard Bruce Brown is one of the latest prospects on Michigan’s recruiting radar after putting together an impressive summer on the AAU circuit.

Brown averaged 14.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game on the Nike EYBL circuit this spring and continued his strong play at the Nike Peach Jam last weekend in Augusta. The 6-foot-4 guard from the Vermont Academy is ranked 42nd nationally in the class of 2016 according to the 247 Sports Composite ratings.

Wolverine assistant coach Bacari Alexander was in Louisville on Wednesday night at AAU Nationals to watch Brown in action. Michigan has been in contact with Brown’s coaches to start the recruiting process and Brown likes what he sees from Michigan.

“I like (Michigan) a lot because it’s not just a good basketball school, it’s also good in academics,” Brown said at AAU Nationals on Wednesday night. “My mom wants me to go to a strong academic school. They’re recruiting me. Not too hard, but it’s alright.”

Despite not having much direct contact with the Wolverines, Brown is already thinking about a visit to Ann Arbor.

“Oh yeah,” Brown responded when asked if Michigan is somewhere he might visit. “I think they said I would visit around September some time.”

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Mailbag: Zak Irvin’s progression, Age, Defense

Michigan 73, Tennessee 71-10
Dustin Johnston

@zgordon5: What does Zak Irvin specifically need to work on the most to become “more than just a shooter”? Did he show that potential in HS? I guess more clearly: should we have a lot of optimism about Zak being able to truly be more than a shooter, or are there red flags?

We’ve established that Irvin was ‘just a shooter’ last year after roughly three out of every four shots he took were threes. I have no doubt that Zak can and will do more than just shoot threes last season, but I’m not ready to predict a Nik Stauskas-level improvement. That’s not meant to be a knock on Irvin, but Nik Stauskas was already a lot more than a shooter during his freshman season. The following chart compares what play types made up each player’s freshman year production. Stauskas logged 379 possessions as a freshman, while Irvin logged 222 but the charts are normalized by percentage of possessions.


There were plenty of similarities between Stauskas and Irvin. Both players were mostly spot-up shooters and were ridiculously efficient. Irvin scored 1.23 PPP on spot up possessions, Stauskas scored 1.28. Both players were secondary options on teams that had plenty of offensive firepower and both players hit a lot of threes. That’s the obvious part of the equation.

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Tim Hardaway Jr. dominates NBA Summer League, Nik Stauskas wins title


It’s been a productive summer for former Wolverines at the next level. Mitch McGary was one of the stars of the Orlando Summer League before Tim Hardaway Jr. tore up the Las Vegas Summer League.

Hardaway’s NBA career continues to blossom. He averaged 22.8 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in Summer League action, checking in as the No. 2 scorer in Las Vegas.

Hardway earned an invite to participate with the USA Basketball select team, but it also appears that the New York Knicks are ready to start building around him as they look to trade other pieces including J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert

“They’re working on trying to make a move in the backcourt,” the NBA source familiar with the Knicks’ thinking said Sunday.

The idea that the Knicks are trying to make a trade to balance the roster isn’t earth-shattering. President Phil Jackson and GM Steve Mills have mentioned the Knicks have a surplus in the backcourt, with Mills saying last week the Knicks are “heavy” at shooting guard. The issue for the Knicks, of course, is deciding whom to send out in a trade and figuring out what they can get in return in such a transaction.

Tim Hardaway Jr. has been deemed virtually untouchable, per a source.

Hardaway has settled into the NBA better than most would have ever guessed and appears to be poised for a big second season under Phil Jackson.

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Caris LeVert listed at 6-foot-7, 200 pounds on latest roster

Caris LeVert in 2012 and 2014 (H/T: @nickbaumgardner)

Michigan updated its roster for the second time this month and has now published heights and weights for all incoming freshmen and returning players.

Caris LeVert is listed at an impressive 6-foot-7 and 200 pounds after entering college two years ago at 6-foot-5, 165 pounds. LeVert underwent foot surgery this offseason, but is expected to be getting back close to health.

In a YouTube video and interview published on June 25th, the 6-foot-7 wing reported that his rehab is going smoothly.

“Surgery was (in early June) on the left side of my foot… It went well, it was about an hour long and I don’t really remember anything from it. They knocked me out with anesthesia, but it was a good surgery.

“I’m doing a lot of recovery stuff, a lot of bike and underwater treadmill, stuff like that. Just trying to take some weight off my foot right now and stay in shape at the same time.”

LeVert is expected to be fully healthy and ready to participate in Michigan’s Italy trip this August.

“I’m expected to be back probably in the middle of July,” LeVert said in June. “We have a trip to Italy in the middle of August and I should be healthy by then.”

Zak Irvin also made an impressive leap physically as he’s now listed at 6-foot-6, 215 pounds, up from 200 pounds last season. Some freshman measurements appeared to have been adjusted from their original listings. Ricky Doyle is now 6-foot-9, 245 pounds while Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman is listed at 6-foot-4, 175 pounds rather than his originally listed 200 lbs. Redshirt freshman Mark Donnal is up to 240 pounds from 230 pounds last year, while DJ Wilson is now listed at 220 pounds after being listed at 200 pounds out of high school.

Find the full updated roster on our roster page

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