Thursday, October 18, 2012
By Michael Rothstein
With Michigan having back-to-back home games and basketball season rapidly approaching, WolverineNation caught up with some of the basketball recruits who have been or will be visiting campus lately to gauge their thoughts on the Wolverines.
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On to the update.
His recruiting really started to pick up before the summer and now that school is back in session, 2015 forward Evan Boudreaux (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) has been taking visits around the country, including his first-ever trip to Michigan last weekend against Illinois.
He left liking what he saw.
“The one thing that stood out the most would probably be the coaches,” Boudreaux said. “Really, their level of expertise and level of coaching is really high and they seemed like they were having fun while they were doing it, too, which really showed.”
Boudreaux and his parents came to Michigan on Friday night, toured the Player Development Center and met with the team and staff before taking in a practice and then the football game.
“It was really unique,” Boudreaux said. “The whole atmosphere was crazy, especially on game day and I really liked it.”
Michigan also fits some of the criteria he is looking for, which is a balance between a high level of basketball and academics. Boston College and Northwestern, he said, have already offered scholarships and he has received interest from Butler, DePaul, Harvard, Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Stanford, Wake Forest and Wisconsin, among others.
What those programs see is a 6-foot-7, 210-pound versatile forward who can shoot and also take players down to the post when necessary along with his toughness.
“I’m definitely a hard-nosed player. A hard worker on the court and one of the biggest strengths of my game is inside-outside,” Boudreaux said. “I can take smaller guys on the block or bigger guys on the wing and I can shoot a little bit. That’s probably a good summary and I always try to go hard on the boards and on the floor.”
Over the next three weeks, Boudreaux is planning on continuing his tour of schools to Northwestern, Butler, Dartmouth and Michigan State before settling in for his high school season.
He did say, though, that Michigan wanted him to return for a basketball game later this season.
“Coach [John] Beilein talked to me a lot and said he was really impressed with me and liked watching me in open gyms and watching me this summer,” Boudreaux said. “He was really looking forward to watching me this year and talking to me this year. They love how I’m tough and that I’m a big guy who can shoot a little bit, handle a little bit and do a little bit of everything.”
With things somewhat set for 2013 and offers out for 2014, Michigan has started to look at potential prospects for 2015, who won’t receive offers until June. One of those they’ve been keeping an eye on is Chandler White (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll), a 6-foot-2 guard who camped at Michigan this summer and has been on campus three times already.
Last Saturday was a day trip for White, who said he has an offer from Boston College and interest from Michigan, Purdue, Indiana, Michigan State, New Mexico and Xavier.
What stood out to him Saturday, though, was how Michigan practiced.
“I like how they work their practices,” White said. “Like the drills they did, how they encouraged each other and how they got along.”
White is a slasher and a drive-and-kick guard who has been working on his jump shooting after averaging 15.7 points and shooting 51 percent from two and 37 percent from 3-point range as a freshman. Already possessing a good mid-range game, he has been spending around45 minutes two times a week on the shooting gun at Carroll High to try and refine his form.
“The best offensive part of his game is probably his pull-up jumper,” Carroll coach Marty Beasley said. “His 10- to 15-foot pull-up jumper is very good for a 16-year-old kid. He has that ability right there and if he can increase his ability to shoot the 3-ball, that will make people guard him a little closer and allow him to get to the basket or have that first defender require help.”
Beasley said White’s biggest strength is, well, his strength and that he recently benched 225 pounds in the weight room.
As for what’s next in his recruiting, he is planning on visiting Indiana this weekend and Boston College later in the fall before concentrating on his sophomore basketball season.
The three Michigan 2013 commits -- Derrick Walton Jr., Zak Irvin and Mark Donnal -- are coming to Ann Arbor for official visits this weekend, a decision they mutually planned over the summer so they could experience a Michigan football rivalry game.
“It fit into my schedule and it’s a rivalry game,” Irvin said. “Michigan-Michigan State is going to be a great atmosphere and a great opportunity to take an official.”
Irvin and Donnal both said they have spent the past couple of months working on getting stronger. Irvin is up to 195 pounds and Donnal at 225. Walton Jr., meanwhile, has been focusing on scoring and more leadership while finishing up his final cross country season.
He has been running since his freshman year and he said it helps with his conditioning.