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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Former Wolverines excelling in NBA Summer League

It’s NBA Summer League season as the Orlando Summer League wrapped up last week and the Las Vegas league is now in full swing. Michigan is well represented as seven different Wolverines are on summer league rosters including Nik Stauskas, Mitch McGary, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway Jr., Glenn Robinson III, Darius Morris and Jordan Morgan.

Mitch McGary was a star of the Orlando Summer League, averaging 15 points, six rebounds and 1.3 assists in four games. McGary’s top performance was a vintage 18 point, 13 rebound and two assist showing in a win over Brooklyn.

“It feels really good you know,” McGary said when asked last week what it felt like to be on the floor again. “It’s been a long time coming just to get back on the court and it felt good to help the team win.”

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Video: Derryck Thornton and Tyus Battle at Reebok Breakout Classic

Derryck Thornton and Tyus Battle were two of the top performers at the Reebok Breakout Classic last week and Michigan head coach John Beilein was in attendance playing close attention to the guard duo. Watch both players in action in the embedded media players below (via @CourtsideFilms).

Battle after the jump.  [click to continue…]

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John Beilein opened the July evaluation period by focusing on two of his top class of 2016 targets: Derryck Thornton Jr. and Tyus Battle.

Beilein was in Philadelphia at the Reebok Breakout Challenge, flanking Kentucky head coach John Calipari on Wednesday and Thursday while watching the talented guards.

Thornton was once again the star of the camp circuit and received praise from most media outlets. “Thornton has had an unreal past few weeks. No one at Reebok Breakout Classic has been able to check him,” Scout.com’s Evan Daniels tweeted. “Best way I would describe 2016 PG Derryck Thornton is “effortless”. Gets what he wants, when he wants. Already a major offensive talent,” Jon Rothstein added. Adam Zagoria relayed a scouting report from a Division I coach in attendance. “You get him on your team and you become a really good coach. Quick.”

For his part, Thornton reported that he’s done with campus visits this summer. The only previously reported likely visits on his schedule are to Kentucky for Big Blue Madness and to Michigan for a football game in the fall.

“I’ve only been to two campuses this summer [Michigan and Kentucky] and I think I’m done taking visits for the rest of the summer,” Thornton told ZagsBlog at the Reebok Classic Breakout at Philadelphia University. “Both visits were great. I thank God for what he’s doing for me because without him, I wouldn’t be here. Everyone is doing a great job right now.”

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