Freshman Focus: D.J. Wilson

Freshman Focus is a UM Hoops series profiling each of Michigan’s six freshman on the 2014-15 roster. We examine where each player fits into Michigan’s system and also put together a video scouting report. Today: DJ Wilson. Previously: Kameron Chatman

DJ Wilson wasn’t the first stretch four that Michigan recruited in the class of 2014. He wasn’t even on Michigan’s recruiting radar until July before his senior season. But once he caught John Beilein’s eye at the NY2LA Invitational in Milwaukee, his recruitment progressed quickly. Wilson made it to Ann Arbor for an official visit in the fall and accepted a scholarship offer from Michigan.

Wilson fell off the radar during his junior season when his rapid growth spurt (he grew from 6’6″ to 6’9”) resulted in a series of back injuries (a stress fracture of the fifth lumbar vertebra in his lower back and lingering pain/inflammation). He wasn’t a 6’6” combo forward tweener anymore — he had legitimate size — he just couldn’t play basketball.

The stretch four spent the better part of three months in a back brace that went from his hips to his chest and missed most of his junior season. Some West coast schools – notably Gonzaga, USC and Cal – had kept tabs on him during the injury, but he was largely unknown nationally before his final summer of AAU play.

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Big Ten’s Best Pick and Roll Players

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Welcome to Big Ten’s Best, a look at some of the Big Ten’s specialists returning for the 2014-15 season. First up, we breakdown the best returning pick and roll players in the Big Ten. These lists are based on last year’s numbers, but involve some prognostication as well.

1. Terran Petteway (Nebraska)

Percent of Offense: 39%
PPP (inc. passes): 1.042 (89th Percentile)
Shoot/Pass Ratio: 73/27

Terran Petteway was a dominant ball screen scorer last season and his expectations should be even higher as he returns for his junior season. Petteway is much more of a scorer than a distributor on pick and rolls, he only passes on 27% of his ball screens, but he’s remarkably efficient. Petteway had an impressive 52.1% aFG% when shooting off of ball screens last season and had the ball in his hands constantly. His forte is to shoot the ball off the dribble when coming off the screen, but he’s also capable attacking the basket and even finishing with a runner. When he passed, it was usually to his pick-and-pop options last season, mainly Walter Pitchford. Nebraska will try to get Petteway more help this season (he accounted for 32% of the Huskers’ offense), but expect him to still feature prominently in the high ball screen game in 2015.

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2920400[1]CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - JUNE, 20: National Basketball Players Association Top 100 Camp at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville Virginia.(Photo by Kelly Kline)
Michigan’s 2015 recruiting picture continues to take shape this summer after the first weekend of the July live evaluation period. John Beilein spent time in Las Vegas tracking a number of 2015 targets including offerees Jalen Coleman and Eric Davis along with new targets Prince Ali, Kenny Williams and Shake Milton.

Jalen Coleman has been the top guard on Michigan’s recruiting radar for months. His status hasn’t changed and Michigan is expected to be in Coleman’s top group until he decides, with Notre Dame and Illinois widely regarded as its top competition. He caught Rivals’ eye in Las Vegas

A four-star combo guard, Jalen Coleman has long been known for his shooting and scoring. At LBJ, he assumed point guard duties and looked pretty effective running a team. Playing off the ball as a scorer is still his specialty, but if he can run a team for stretches he becomes much more valuable. Notre Dame’s Mike Brey was watching closely and the Irish are heavily in the mix here along with others like Illinois, Michigan and UNLV.

But Michigan’s recruiting board continues to grow as well and Florida guard Prince Ali appears to be steadily rising to the top of that list. Ali was spectacular at the LeBron James Skills Academy and added offers from Maryland, UCLA and Louisville. Michigan is still one of two schools recruiting Ali the hardest and he wants to visit Michigan this fall.

“Prince Ali is shooting the ball with confidence,” Evan Daniels tweeted. “Throw that in with his athleticism and ability to make plays off the bounce is a good combo.”

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Michigan announces 2014-15 non-conference schedule

Michigan 84, Illinois 53-7The University of Michigan announces its finalized non-conference schedule for the 2014-15 season this afternoon. The Wolverines’ schedule is highlighted by home games against SMU (Dec. 20) and Syracuse (Dec. 2) along with a trip to Arizona (Dec. 13) and to Brooklyn for the Legends Classic with games against Villanova, VCU or Oregon (the Legends Classic bracket isn’t set at this time). (Photo: Dustin Johnston)

“As in our previous years, we will have a very challenging non-conference schedule,” said U-M head coach John Beilein. “Each game provides our young team with different challenges before heading into Big Ten play. We are thrilled to be going back to Brooklyn and the Barclays Center for a third straight year. The last two years, we have enjoyed a great crowd of Michigan alumni and Maize and Blue faithful in New York.

“Having the opportunity to host two Hall of Fame coaches like Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and SMU’s Larry Brown gives us two significant home games which will no doubt provide electric atmospheres at Crisler Center. If our return game at Arizona is anything like last year’s thrilling game, it could be one the best college basketball games of the season. Once again, we expect our overall strength of a schedule will be one of the best in the NCAA.”

Find the full non-conference schedule after the jump.  [click to continue…]

Class of 2015 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings: July 15th, 2014

Michigan hasn’t landed a commitment in the class of 2015, but 20 prospects have already committed to Big Ten schools. With the final July evaluation period in full swing for rising senior prospects, we compiled our first Class of 2015 Big Ten Recruiting Rankings.

Rank 247 Comp. School # Rivals Scout ESPN 247 Avg. Ave. Score Cum. Score
1 1 (2) Ohio State 4 3.75 4.00 4.00 4.00 3.94 116.37 1465
2 2 (5) Illinois 2 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 4.00 82.66 730
3 3 (7) Michigan State 2 4.00 4.00 4.00 3.50 3.88 81.35 730
4 4 (8) Penn State 3 3.00 3.33 3.33 3.00 3.17 76.50 930
5 5 (25) Northwestern 2 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00 56.38 575
6 7 (32) Wisconsin 1 4.00 4.00 3.00 4.00 3.75 52.71 340
7 8 (35) Minnesota 1 4.00 4.00 3.00 3.00 3.50 52.43 350
8 6 (28) Iowa 2 3.00 3.00 2.50 3.00 2.88 52.32 545
9 9 (46) Purdue 1 3.00 3.00 2.00 3.00 2.75 35.18 265
10 T-10 (T-55) Nebraska 1 3.00 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.25 26.42 220
11 T-10 (T-55) Rutgers 1 2.00 2.00 1.00 2.00 1.75 22.77 215
T-12 N/A Indiana N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
T-12 N/A Maryland N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
T-12 N/A Michigan N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Ohio State leads the way with four commitments with an average of 4-stars, while Illinois and Michigan State have also started building solid recruiting classes. The Buckeyes are putting together one of the top classes in the Big Ten for the second consecutive season. Maryland, Michigan and Indiana have all yet to land a class of 2015 commitment after finishing 1st, 3rd and 4th in the class of 2015 rankings.

After the jump find a team-by-team run-down of Big Ten commitments to this point.

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Freshman Focus: Kameron Chatman

As far as high-profile recruitments go, Kameron Chatman’s commitment to Michigan was about as uneventful as can be.

Chatman didn’t hold a press conference or a TV special, he kept things simple as he gave his pledge to John Beilein and his entire assistant coaching staff in-person during a home visit. The 6-foot-7 forward’s decision came as something of a surprise as he chose to travel 2,400 miles to college rather than staying on the West coast and committing to Arizona as many predicted he would.

But John Beilein got his man and Chatman is a Wolverine. The Portland native and self-described ‘goofball’ is one of the more unique prospects in the country. Ranked 27th nationally, he’s also the second highest rated recruit that John Beilein has landed in Ann Arbor (according to the 247 Composite Rankings).

As a sophomore, Chatman was just a 6-foot-3 point guard at playing 1A ball at Columbia Christian. But a late growth spurt led to a big summer on the AAU circuit and suddenly he was 6-foot-6 and one of the most coveted prospects in the country. He also opted to transfer to Long Beach Poly for his junior season, where he would eventually be ruled ineligible due to transfer regulations and was forced to play junior varsity basketball. Sitting out his junior season was a setback, but Chatman had already arrived on the national radar.

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