Friday, April 18, 2014

Michigan "Good" Friday: A Couple BBall Recruiting Updates

Sam Webb on the radio today discussed the two players (Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins) visiting this weekend and noted Michigan is probably only interested in one.   Both are expected to jump at a Michigan offer if offered.   Sounds like the Michigan players might have a role on which guy gets the offer. 

Another area of recruiting is in players looking to transfer.  (BTW: Did you hear that Florida is interested in Jon Horford?)   A couple guys on Michigan's radar include:  6-8 forward Cole Huff from Nevada and 6-9 forward Sean Obi from Rice.   I like that Michigan is looking at some bigs, I don't like that they probably won't be eligible to play for a year. 

Sean Obi seems to be a hot prospect as more of a traditional low post player.  He has already visited Vandy and plans to visit Duke next.   He shot almost 60% from the field, averaged 11 points and 9 boards a game.   That is exactly what the Wolverines and many other programs need.

Cole Huff seems to be more at the beginning of his process.  He just had a compromise with Nevada to let him to go Southern California schools in the PAC 12 or WCC.   Cole seems to be more of an outside shooter, then a low post big.  It seems he would be a fit for coaches system, but maybe not the type of player the Wolverines need at this point.   His AAU coach said Cole is most interested in: Dayton, Iowa, Creighton, Vanderbilt and Michigan.

USC's leading scorer is 6-foot-5 wing, Byron Wesley who is also looking for a new home.   He is more of a slasher then a shooter and the Los Angles Daily News reports he is looking and Michigan and Indiana.  It's still unclear if Michigan is considering him.

Michigan has a ton of room on the roster right now and it seems this is a long way from over. 

Have a great holiday weekend!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Michigan Thursday: Basketball is Stealing Headlines

John Beilein's program has done a great job the last few years is shifting the focus of Michigan fans from the inconsistent football program to a championship level basketball program.    That trend continues this week as two sophomores declared for the NBA Draft and we still await the decision from Michigan's low post player and pre-season All-American Mitch McGary.

What were the odds that Michigan would go through two football coaches and zero Big Ten Championships to John Beilein's two in a similar time frame?  I sure didn't expect the success this program has had.

The Michigan Basketball coaches aren't wasting any time trying to find a few guys to fill the spots left by Nik, Glenn and Jon.   Reported yesterday, "The Champ" Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman is taking an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend.   He will now be joined by Johnny Dawkins son, Aubrey, who is also expected in this weekend. 

Aubrey Dawkins, is not rated by Rivals but a 6'4 180 pound shooting guard from New Hampton Prep.   We know coach likes sons of former NBA guys and Aubrey fits that mold.   Coaches are a pretty tight group, I don't know if John and Johnny are close but Michigan did play Stanford this year in Brooklyn.  So there might have been a call placed (one way or the other) regarding Aubrey.

A fair question is, why isn't Aubrey going to Stanford?  Could be the difficult admission policy or maybe they are full.   Right now he has offers from Dayton and Rhode Island, which are two solid basketball programs. 

Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman is also 6'4 and 180 pound guard and hails from Allentown, PA .   Rivals rates him as a 3 star prospect, with offers from Bucknell, Rice, Robert Morris and George Mason.   He is known as being more of slasher/driver of the basketball then a shooter and a good defender.

Coach does give out offers without a visit to Ann Arbor, which both prospects will fulfill this weekend.  Would the Wolverines take both?  I expect both would jump at a Michigan offer.     

  • Caris LeVert did ask the NBA Draft Advisory Board for a review of where he would go.  He is for sure coming back.  He also got invited to Kevin Durant's Skills Academy this summer.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wolverine Wednesday: They Gone

As expected, sophomores Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III will leave Michigan early to enter the NBA Draft.   It's hard to argue with these decisions.   Nik is the Big Ten Player of the Year and GR3 has an upside that the NBA loves.   It's funny because Nik is probably close to his ceiling and GR3 is expected to have plenty of room to develop. 

I never thought we would have a basketball program sending guys to the NBA at the rate John Beilien has put together.   He really has a great eye in recruiting and developing kids into NBA caliber talents.

It will be fun to see who Michigan brings in during the spring signing period to fill the spots left by Stauskas, Robinson and Horford.   Let's hope McGary isn't on the list.    Coach is on record saying he will start looking for bigger/shot blockers type of kids with the new defensive rules that are now in place.

Here are a couple names to watch:  Ryan Taylor, Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman and Aubrey Dawkins.  Muhammad is expected in this weekend for a visit and Aubrey is the son of Stanford coach and former Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins ( I wonder why he isn't going to Stanford to play for his dad?).   Aubrey is also expected to visit Ann Arbor at some point.  The great thing about basketball recruiting is there is a ton of talent out there and limited scholarships.   The Michigan coaching staff could can easily go out and find a Spike or Caris this late in the cycle.


  • When Michigan plays Tennessee in the NCAA Tournament, there is a good chance the Volunteers will lose their head coach.   First Bruce Pearl and now Cuonzo Martin has taken the CAL job.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Michigan Tuesday: Announcements Coming & Recruiting Updates

Nik and Glenn are expected to make their NBA decisions official today.   Mitch on the other hand is not announcing his decision.  GR3 has not confirmed he will be announcing today, but most expect him to be at the 3:30 press conference.

Like already reported most expect Nik and GR3 to be heading to the draft.  It seems Mitch's decision is still TBD, even though he reportedly has already told Jon Horford what he is doing.  

  • After today, Michigan is expected to have a few holes to fill on it's basketball team.  One of Coach Beilein's famous under the radar recruits is making a visit this weekend in Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman.  He is a 6-4 combo guard that averaged 23 points as a senior.  He is being recruited by BC, Rice and Michigan right now.  He will take an official visit to Ann Arbor this weekend.   He has yet to receive an offer yet from the Wolverines.  I would expect one this weekend.

  • OSU is now after Alabama OL transfer Chad Lindsay.  Chad is expected to visit Columbus and Cal before he makes a decision by the end of the month.

  • One of the top players in the country Jashon Cornell is expected to announce his decision on August 28, his first game of the year.  Jashon visited A2 for the Ohio State game and has Michigan in his top group.   Insiders believe ND is probably the leader for his services.

  • 2015 TE Chris Clark who just recently de-committed from UNC is expected to visit Michigan and OSU this weekend. 

  • 2016 Orchard Lake St. Mary's LB Daelin Hayes will announce at the end of the month.  Michigan is expected to be the choice.  If your remember Daelin is related to Justice.

  • 2015 RB Joshuwa Holloman from Auburn Hills who only has MAC offers ran a 4.26 at a Nike event this weekend.  After that time, I expect his offer list to increase quickly.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Twitter Says GR3 is Heading To The NBA

So this week is off and running:

Jake Fischer @JakeLFischer   
Source: Michigan soph forward Glenn Robinson III has signed with an agent and will enter the NBA Draft. Press conference coming this week.

Michigan Monday: The Gibbons Findings Released by U of M Student Government

The University of Michigan Central Student Government released a report last night on the investigation of the university's handling of the Brendan Gibbons case.    The 50 page report, details the miss handling of the situation by U of M. 

Most of the findings are consistent of what we already know.   From an athletic department standpoint, these findings seems to smell of a cover up:

—that "either OIE/OSCR [Office of Instutitional Equity/Office of Student Conflict Resolution] failed to consistently communicate with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Department failed to consistently communicate with its coaches regarding ongoing student athlete disciplinary matters, or Brady Hoke knowingly issued false statements in December, 2013, concerning the status of Gibbons," who did not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for what Hoke, the football coach, said on Dec. 23 were "family issues."

My take on Brady Hoke and David Brandon are similar.  They have done good things and questionable things for the U of M Football program.  This is different and much more serious.   With Penn State's situation still fresh in everyone's mind, how the athletic department could mislead or lie in this situation is unbelievable to me.   

Losing football games and sending home games to Dallas, is one thing.   Misleading the people that support the football program on a 4 year sexual misconduct allegation is another.   This makes me sick and Hoke and Brandon should be seriously disciplined if they were part of this "cover up".  

One of Hoke's greatest moments at Michigan was the BCS Sugar Bowl win, which was won by the foot of Brendan Gibbons.   I'm sure these words, turn your stomach like it does mine. 

From the press conference after the Sugar Bowl:

Q. Brendan, what was going through your mind as Virginia Tech calls time out and it’s overtime you’re lining up that kick and thinking about lining up that kick? What was going through your mind before the kick in overtime, during the timeout and all that?

 BRENDAN GIBBONS: Brunette girls. Every time we were like struggling in kicking, Coach tells me to think about girls on a beach or brunette girls. So that’s what we did. Made the kick. (Laughter).

This entire situation continues to "stink" and is a huge embarrassment to the university and the football program.
   The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, will be on campus this week to launch its own investigation into the university's sexual misconduct policy.    This is far from over.

—that "either OIE/OSCR [Office of Instutitional Equity/Office of Student Conflict Resolution] failed to consistently communicate with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Department failed to consistently communicate with its coaches regarding ongoing student athlete disciplinary matters, or Brady Hoke knowingly issued false statements in December, 2013, concerning the status of Gibbons," who did not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for what Hoke, the football coach, said on Dec. 23 were "family issues."
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Michigan/2014/04/13/Michigan-releases-report-on-Brendan-Gibbons-case-new-student-sexual-misconduct-policy.html#AY6Zzoz5VzcduLVz.99
—that "either OIE/OSCR [Office of Instutitional Equity/Office of Student Conflict Resolution] failed to consistently communicate with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Department failed to consistently communicate with its coaches regarding ongoing student athlete disciplinary matters, or Brady Hoke knowingly issued false statements in December, 2013, concerning the status of Gibbons," who did not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for what Hoke, the football coach, said on Dec. 23 were "family issues."
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Michigan/2014/04/13/Michigan-releases-report-on-Brendan-Gibbons-case-new-student-sexual-misconduct-policy.html#AY6Zzoz5VzcduLVz.99
that "either OIE/OSCR [Office of Instutitional Equity/Office of Student Conflict Resolution] failed to consistently communicate with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Department failed to consistently communicate with its coaches regarding ongoing student athlete disciplinary matters, or Brady Hoke knowingly issued false statements in December, 2013, concerning the status of Gibbons," who did not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for what Hoke, the football coach, said on Dec. 23 were "family issues."
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Michigan/2014/04/13/Michigan-releases-report-on-Brendan-Gibbons-case-new-student-sexual-misconduct-policy.html#AY6Zzoz5VzcduLVz.99
—that "either OIE/OSCR [Office of Instutitional Equity/Office of Student Conflict Resolution] failed to consistently communicate with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Department failed to consistently communicate with its coaches regarding ongoing student athlete disciplinary matters, or Brady Hoke knowingly issued false statements in December, 2013, concerning the status of Gibbons," who did not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for what Hoke, the football coach, said on Dec. 23 were "family issues."
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Michigan/2014/04/13/Michigan-releases-report-on-Brendan-Gibbons-case-new-student-sexual-misconduct-policy.html#AY6Zzoz5VzcduLVz.99
—that "either OIE/OSCR [Office of Instutitional Equity/Office of Student Conflict Resolution] failed to consistently communicate with the Athletic Department, the Athletic Department failed to consistently communicate with its coaches regarding ongoing student athlete disciplinary matters, or Brady Hoke knowingly issued false statements in December, 2013, concerning the status of Gibbons," who did not travel to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for what Hoke, the football coach, said on Dec. 23 were "family issues."
Read more at http://www.toledoblade.com/Michigan/2014/04/13/Michigan-releases-report-on-Brendan-Gibbons-case-new-student-sexual-misconduct-policy.html#AY6Zzoz5VzcduLVz.99

Friday, April 11, 2014

Michigan Friday: Is Shocked

Writing and researching Michigan stories 5 days a week doesn't leave you too much room to be shocked about anything that happens.   We all know in advance if a recruit is leaning hard to Michigan or not and if a guy is injured or not.   Whenever the information is confirmed the Internet has usually beat the story by a couple days.  

Yesterday was an example of the media trying to beat the story and a transfer I (and most folks) didn't see coming.    It's really hard to break stories if your name isn't Michigan grad Adam Schefter.   Yesterday was another example of that as ESPN broke the news that Nik was leaving school early and heading to the NBA Draft.   Nik quickly got on twitter and said the report was not true.   Most people believe he is leaving and just wants to do it on his terms.    ESPN stole his moment but that's what happens when you tell people things close to you and they sing like a bird. 

Then this happened:

Jon Horford has decided to transfer for his final year of eligibility.  He will graduate in May and will be able to play at any program that has a graduate major that is not offered in Ann Arbor

"My time at Michigan has been the most beneficial period of my life in terms of athletic development and overall enlightenment," said Horford. "The bonds created over the last four years are everlasting, and the memories made are truly priceless. As on all journeys, new paths must be taken and intuition must be trusted. I leave Michigan with nothing but love in my heart."

Talk about shocking!  Nobody saw this coming as Jon announced about a month ago that he was coming back.   Jon has always been a different guy, if you notice in photos while other players are celebrating he seems to be just taking it in.   I don't know if it was a team chemistry issue or something else, but this decision doesn't seem to make any sense.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Does this mean McGary is coming back?
  • Even if he did there would be plenty of minutes for both.
  • Is he chasing minutes, when he is leaving a Big Ten champ with a huge need for a big?
  • He did struggle late in the year but so did Jordan Morgan
  • Does this mean Mark Donnal is the real deal and would be taking his minutes? There is only an inch difference between the two players.
  • Will the Michigan Coaches now look to add another low post player to the 2015 class?  Like they did when they grabbed Caris late.
Maybe we will never know what happened but now Michigan's low post is very much in question as we wait for McGary and GR3's decision and an update on McGary's health.