Per HoopScoop and the Cornell Basketball Blog, Will Barrett has decided to attend Princeton University. Barrett appears to be a great kid with a bright future ahead of him who prioritized academics over athletics. Michigan might have been a big step up, and probably meant less playing time and a lesser (although very good) education. He chose Princeton where he will have ample opportunity to play and get a world class education.
In terms of what this means for Michigan, first off it means that we will be able to avoid a sticky scholarship situation. With only one scholarship remaining for 2009, a Barrett commitment would have taken the last spot and given Michigan no shot at other big men such as Angus Brandt and Blake McLimans. At this point it appears to be almost certain that Michigan will try to get Brandt or McLimans to fill the last spot.
Angus Brandt (6-10 C, 2009) has already made it to campus this fall but plans to take his time ($) making a decision and sign in the late-spring period. Brandt has lots of big names on him and as the number of prospects available decrease, the teams that need a big man will keep going up. However, Angus enjoyed his U-M visit and Michigan is clearly positioned themselves to be involved all the way to the finish line.
Blake McLimans (6-10 C, 2009) is another big man prospect from Beilein’s old stomping grounds of upstate New York. McLimans never truly focused on basketball becuase he is an excellent baseball prospect and hasn’t played serious AAU ball. Belein has been out to see McLimans play and he appears to be a serious target despite being largely off the radar. Siena was Blake’s first offer but Providence (recent visit), Georgia Tech, and others are showing interest. Blake also appears to have scheduled a visit to Ann Arbor for this weekend. NERR has much more on Blake McLimans’ and Austin Carrol’s Worchester Academy team.
Even though Beilein might not need a stable of post players it seems to be a safe bet that Michigan tries to take either Angus Brandt or Blake McLimans. Looking ahead to 2010, top 100 power forward Will Regan is also showing serious interest in Michigan ($) and will most likely make a return to trip to Ann Arbor (Regan was at Elite Camp this summer).