Michigan Wolverines: Michigan basketball recruiting

WolverineNation Mailbag 

June, 18, 2013
6/18/13
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- We’re almost at the two-month warning before football season starts, so clearly now is the time to discuss the 2014 season. And basketball. And basketball recruiting.

These topics are covered in this week’s Mailbag, filled with your questions. Have questions for us? Send them to @chanteljennings on Twitter or jenningsespn@gmail.com for next week’s mailbag.

On to this week’s conversation.

robbyt003 from The Den asks: What do you think our special teams will look like in 2014? Hagerup at punter, Wile at kicker? Do you think Hagerup will be able to stay out of trouble and even see the field again?

He hadn’t played a meaningful game in a long time, forced to sit out his junior season of high school due to a squabble with the California Interscholastic Federation over a transfer. So when Kameron Chatman (Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly) played last month for Inner City Players, it was a mix of emotions.

Relief. Jubilation. Rust from having missed a season of basketball after transferring from Oregon to Long Beach Poly. And he would have to deal with all of it while playing some of the top competition in the country on Nike’s EYBL circuit.

“It was hard to see, to not be on the court and just watch my team,” Chatman said. “I supported them in practice and stuff like that, but to not be able to get into the game, it was a hard thing.

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Stephen Zimmerman (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman) was watching Michigan play this season where he saw something more familiar than he could have anticipated. There the Wolverines were, running a play through their own big man, Mitch McGary.

Immediately, Zimmerman recognized it, and it only helped reaffirm his interest in the Wolverines.

“They used him really well,” Zimmerman said. “The play that they run where it runs through Mitch, we run the same thing with my traveling team, so it was a good thing to see how he ran it and things he did with it.”

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WolverineNation mailbag 

December, 12, 2012
12/12/12
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Could a former Michigan coach return? What will Michigan’s record be next football season? This basketball season?

These questions and more are answered in this week’s WolverineNation mailbag. Chantel has the mailbag next week, so drop her questions at jenningsespn@gmail.com or @chanteljennings on Twitter.

Now, to your questions:

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Watch: Telep likes U-M class 

November, 27, 2012
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Top 2015 hoops prospect to visit 

October, 18, 2012
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Diamond StoneDave Telep/ESPN.comDiamond Stone, the No. 2 hoops prospect in the 2015 class, will visit Michigan this weekend.
The attention arrived early for the young big man with the precocious skills, a 6-foot-10, 252-pound teenager.

It all came fast for center Diamond Stone (Milwaukee/Dominican), the No. 2 player in the 2015 ESPN 25. Yet as the attention grew, his parents also made another decision: They wanted their son to take his time as he searched through colleges.

The interest would be there, so why not see as many places as possible, talk to as many coaches as they could to make an informed decision during his senior season. For now, that’s a long way off, although a trip to Michigan is not. The Wolverines are welcoming Stone for an unofficial visit this weekend.

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Roundball recruiting 

October, 18, 2012
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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.

We ask that this information stays in The Den, as it is for subscribers only.

On to the update.

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2014 F Tate enjoys Michigan visit 

September, 11, 2012
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Jae’Sean Tate (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) returned to Michigan last weekend, a chance to see some old friends, catch a football game at Michigan Stadium for the first time and pick up even more information for the 2014 ESPN 60 forward’s recruitment.

And the unofficial visit left him just as torn between Michigan and Ohio State.


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Jae'Sean Tate (Pickerington, Ohio/Pickerington Central) couldn't stop smiling. So much so, he said Michigan coach John Beilein asked him why.

The answer was simple. Michigan had just offered the No. 46 player in the 2014 ESPN Super 60 a scholarship.

"I came up here on my visit and had a really good time," Tate said. "Coach [John] Beilein had a meeting with me and my parents and coaches and Caris [LeVert] was there and he offered me a scholarship."

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Zak IrvinCourtesy of David DixonZak Irvin's outstanding play on the summer circuit vaulted him 39 spots in the latest rankings.
Zak Irvin said before the July recruiting period began that he wanted to become more than a shooter, to work on his ability to get to the basket. He wanted to round out as much of his game as possible before his senior season, including working with trainer Shon Bolden and some NBA players to pick up pointers.

That work paid off for the Fishers, Ind.. native during July and now in August as well. Irvin became one of the biggest risers in the new 2013 ESPN 100 rankings, leaping from No. 60 in June all the way up to No. 21 in August.

Irvin, Derrick Walton Jr. (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy), Mark Donnal (Whitehouse, Ohio/Anthony Wayne) and Austin Hatch (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury) comprise the No. 2 class in the country in ESPN.com’s newest team rankings for the Class of 2013, trailing only Florida.

Irvin’s big individual move coincided with a summer where he impressed at every tournament he played in throughout July, vaulting him into being the No. 5 small forward in his class entering his senior season at Hamilton Southeastern.

If Irvin’s new ranking holds, he would be Michigan’s second highest-rated commit since ESPN.com first started doing player rankings in 2007. Last season, Glenn Robinson III finished his ascent as the No. 18 player in the country. At his peak last season, forward Mitch McGary was the No. 2 player in the country, but he was No. 27 in the final rankings.

Irvin wasn’t the only Michigan commit to make a move.

Point guard Derrick Walton (Harper Woods, Mich./Chandler Park Academy) also made a jump from No. 40 in the May rankings up to No. 32. He pushed his way up the point guard rankings as well, moving from No. 9 point to No. 5.

Donnal, the third commit in the Wolverines’ 2013 class in the ESPN 100, dropped from No. 64 to No. 97, but he still gives Michigan three players in the ESPN 100. He is rated the No. 24 power forward in the country.

While Michigan has no 2014 commits, three of the players it has offered are in the ESPN Super 60, led by shooting guard Devin Booker (Moss Point, Miss./Moss Point), who checks in at No. 21, moving up slightly from his No. 23 ranking in May. Forward Keita Bates-Diop (Bloomington, Ill./University) moved up from No. 43 to No. 30 and swingman Trevon Bluiett (Indianapolis/Park Tudor) entered the rankings at No. 50.

More impressively, Booker is considered the No. 2 shooting guard in his class, behind only Rashad Vaughn. Bates-Diop is ranked as the No. 5 power forward and Bluiett as the No. 17 small forward.
As Michigan basketball coach John Beilein and his staff return to the road for July's second evaluation period, he might not be able to talk with recruits but he has noticed a change.

Winning, facilities and renewed name recognition can do that.

“There’s been really positive feedback and people have great confidence we are heading in the right direction," Beilein said. "This facility and our success over the past couple of years helps that.”

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He stood out to Michigan’s coaches and to casual observers. Oh, and Luke Kennard (Franklin, Ohio/Franklin) thought his performance last weekend at the Michigan team camp was pretty good, too.

The Class of 2015 guard showed up in Ann Arbor, Mich. knowing he was being recruited by the Wolverines and was on their list as one of their top targets for his class. But after he put on a dominating performance -- unofficially three games over 40 points as well as grabbing rebounds and dishing assists -- he might have raised his game even more.

Plus, Michigan’s coaches surrounded the court almost every game he played over the Friday-Saturday camp.

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Entrance Interview is a series at WolverineNation -- similar to our Exit Interview series -- where we chat with incoming Michigan football and men's basketball players about their thoughts as they start college, what their expectations are, and what they'll miss most about high school.

Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon) was a late addition to the Michigan Class of 2012, but he fits in just fine. Part of the reason for that is his familiarity with most of the rest of the Wolverines recruiting class, playing summer basketball with Glenn Robinson III and Mitch McGary with SYF Players.

The 6-foot, 170-pound point guard picked up an offer from Michigan late after playing in prep school for a year and accepted immediately. WolverineNation caught up with Albrecht, whose given name is Michael, in his final month before heading to Ann Arbor, Mich. to start college.

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Entrance Interview is a series at WolverineNation -- similar to our Exit Interview series -- where we chat with incoming Michigan football and men's basketball players about their thoughts as they start college, what their expectations are, and what they'll miss most about high school.

Mitch McGary was the centerpiece of the class, the first really high-profile recruiting win for John Beilein in his five years at Michigan. McGary's commitment signified the Wolverines' presence in the big-time recruiting game and from there it grew into one of the country's top classes.

Now, McGary and his classmates are on campus and the five-member Class of 2012 is trying to push Michigan into the upper echelon of college basketball programs. Much of that will rely on how McGary and his AAU teammate, Glenn Robinson III, play this season. WolverineNation caught up with McGary on his last day before heading to Michigan and here is part of that interview.

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Michigan continued with its month-long variety of basketball camps this weekend -- with Friday being the first day of the team camp.

While not as intense or instructional as the college practice camp earlier this month, Michigan did have a few players in with their teams who have either already committed to the school or are a high-profile recruits.

Teams -- including one from Alaska -- competed in pool play Friday and will play in a single-elimination tournament Saturday.

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