By Dylan Burkhardt | Recruits | Posted on July 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm
The country’s top basketball recruits have been resting up for the past week or so but now they are headed back on the road. That also means that basketball coaches across the country will board their planes and hop in their rental cars. That means John Beilein and his cast of tweeting assistants will spend a little more time saddled up in high school gyms and a little less time tweeting.
The good news is that the second evaluation period tends to focus on several main events, making it a bit easier to follow. There are four large tournaments over the next week. The Fab48 and Super64 tournaments in Las Vegas, the AAU Nationals in Orlando, and the Hoop City Classic in Kansas City. Just about every player that Michigan is recruiting will be playing in at least one of these tournaments.
That includes Kevin Pangos, the Canadian point guard rarely plays AAU ball but he’ll be hitting the circuit in Las Vegas for the first time this summer. I would be shocked if Michigan coaches weren’t following his every move. Michigan’s been turning the heat up on 2012 wing guards as well. Gary Harris and Javontae Hawkins already have offers while Nick Stauskas and Denzel Valentine appear close as well.
By Dylan Burkhardt | Recruits | Posted on July 20, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Lansing Sexton wing Denzel Valentine has been solid this spring and summer with the Michigan Mustangs on the AAU circuit. It’s tough to peg Valentine into any specific position but it isn’t hard to tell that he knows how to play the game. We’re working on editing some Valentine highlights from the AAU circuit but someone spliced Joe’s interview together with some footage from Valentine’s high school campaign (above).
Denzel Valentine, 6-5 jr. Sexton – Denzel, a 3.5 student, has offers from Xavier, Drake, USC and once U-M headman John Beilein returns from Europe, the Wolverines will be offering. And as many have said, Valentine is the type of player that would do well at Michigan. His cerebral approach to the game and high level of skill make him a terrific prospect.
It’s unclear what trip to Europe is referenced in the blurb. The way the post is written infers that it is referring to some sort of recruiting trip rather than Michigan’s late August trip. 2011 wing forward Jonathan Gilling is the main European prospect that’s been discussed and his Denmark team will be playing on July 21st, 22nd, and 24th. The 22nd and 24th just happen to fall within the NCAA evaluation period. Could Beilein be headed to the FIBA Europe U20 Championships?
Michigan has already offered Matt Costello, Javontae Hawkins, Yogi Ferrell, and Gary Harris in the class of 2012. Now it appears that 2012 wings Denzel Valentine and Nick Stauskas are both on verge of receiving offers. At the very least it’s clear that Michigan is making a push for a wing in the class of 2012.
Notes: Top/Bottom 2 teams are highlighted in each category. Recruiting rankings are taken from ESPN.
Last year I posted a similar table alongside rosy predictions about how bright the future was for Michigan basketball. I concluded that because Michigan returned almost their entire team and added a couple highly rated recruits, they were a lock for success. Of course we all know what happened, Michigan went 15-17.
I also focused on how a vast majority of the Big Ten’s talent was returning and how it would be a glorious year for the conference. Again, the Big Ten went from the #2 RPI conference in 2008-09 to the #5 conference in 2009-10.
Despite the fact that these numbers turned out to be misleading last year, I think they are still worth looking at again. Returning production isn’t a be all end all of preseason evaluation but it’s still a useful metric.
As expected, this year’s table won’t leave Michigan fans with warm and fuzzy feelings. Michigan ranks dead last in all but one category (3PFG), often times by a significant margin. The numbers are so grim that they are roughly on par with Iowa’s numbers a year ago. Michigan only returns 3 players that played significant minutes last year and all three of those players used less than 16% of Michigan’s possessions when they were on the floor.
Of Michigan’s remaining players, Matt Vogrich is the only one with experience as he played 166 minutes last year. The final six players on Michigan’s roster have only seen the court on TV or from the end of the bench in dress clothes.
For the second year in a row, the Big Ten returns a majority of its talent. The percentage of returning minutes across the board is actually a touch higher this year than last (72.37% vs 70.41%). Two of the three Big Ten champs return the core of their roster while four members of the all-conference first team return as well. The conference should be very strong.
Using returning metrics or not, it’s tough to project Michigan anywhere but the bottom third of the conference next year. Using returning production as a baseline, here’s how I would breakdown the Big Ten on July 20th:
By Joe Stapleton | Uncategorized | Posted on July 19, 2010 at 2:15 pm
I recently got a chance to chat with 2012 guard prospect Jordan Poydras. Poydras is originally from Georgia but recently moved to Wisconsin. He has been on Michigan’s radar for a while and was at Elite Camp earlier in the summer and had a good showing (somehow I missed him). Poydras isn’t at the top of the list but he was at Elite Camp and it’s clear that Michigan is casting a wide net. Here’s what he had to say.
Describe your game. I guess I’m a point guard or a combo guard. I’m 6-2. Deep range, I can shoot from about 25 feet. I can get to the basket but I prefer to shoot. I have a pretty quick first step. Usually when people are writing on me they call me a shooting guard that can dribble the ball really well.
Which schools have been in contact with you? University of Miami Florida, Georgia Tech, Clemson, Wisconsin, Michigan and Baylor.
Any offers? Nope, just lots of letters. And out of all of them, Wisconsin’s recruiting me the hardest.
Do you have a top 5? Michigan, Clemson, Miami, Wisconsin and Baylor.
How did Michigan’s Elite Camp go? Actually that first game we played–you know, Michigan was already interested in me when I was in 8th grade, I was going to camp all the years and last year they invited me for the elite camp. The first game, I guess I wasn’t one of the big names on their list, but I was playing with Markus Crider and I did very well and I spoke with coach Bacari, and that’s when he told me they were very interested so that first game I did well. And then when we played Denzel Valentine’s team, against him I did well again and that’s when they told me they were going to come and see me play a lot this summer. So at the Elite Camp I did very well.
It’s worth pointing out that when Michigan offers a prospect, the offer isn’t usually made official until the prospect visits Ann Arbor and sits down with Beilein. Stauskas has yet to visit Ann Arbor so it’s unlikely that his offer is set in stone. However, Stauskas has mentioned that he plans to visit Ann Arbor in August and this is quite likely when his offer could be made official.
At this point it’s safe to assume that Stauskas doesn’t have an official offer, however this could all change when he visits campus. Stauskas has called Michigan his leader so this is continues to be a recruitment to watch.
Costello Picks Up A Spartan Offer
Michigan was one of the first high-major schools to offer Bay City Western power forward Matt Costello a scholarship earlier this summer. Over the last two weeks Costello played very well on the AAU circuit and now his recruitment is taking off nationally.
Costello picked up an offer from Indiana last week but the big news over the weekend was that Michigan State had extended an offer to the talented forward.
NBA Summer League
NBA Summer League action wrapped up on Sunday and the Summer League experience was up and down for Michigan’s two recent entrants into the professional basketball world.
DeShawn Sims parlayed a strong performance in his third game with Boston (18 points, 8-11 shooting, 16mins) into a spot on the Dallas Mavericks’ team in Vegas. Sims played in three games but only got extending playing time in one contest: 10 points (4-6 fg) and 7 rebounds in 16 minutes versus Washington. Sims also notched 6 points (3-4 fg) in 10 minutes on Sunday night.
Manny Harris only played in one contest (5 mins, 0-2 fg, 1 ast) with the Cavaliers summer league team but that’s because he has been limited by a severe high ankle sprain. This obviously isn’t a great situation for Harris, who is missing out on the opportunity to impress NBA scouts. However, the Cavaliers’ roster is certainly in flux and Manny might have a chance to sneak onto an NBA roster somewhere.
Former Wolverine Courtney Sims averaged 25 minutes, 9 points, and six rebounds per game with the Lakers squad in Vegas.
Amir Williams appeared to flip the switch at the Peach Jam where he averaged 10.8 and 4.4 blocks rebounds per contest. When he plays with some fire, Williams has the potential to dominate the game on the defensive end. Scout.com’s Evan Daniels was impressed with Amir Williams and Trey McDonald ($).
Commitment Carlton Brundidge was also solid at the the Peach Jam. Brundidge shot 38.1% (8 of 21) from three point range and averaged 16.2 points per game over 5 games at the Peach Jam.