Recruiting Roundup: Class of 2009

The five members of Michigan’s 2009 recruiting class have all wrapped up their seasons and their next destination is Ann Arbor. Here is a quick look at how they finished their seasons as well as how they may fit into the puzzle next year. Next, I’ll look at Michigan’s 2010 and 2011 targets and how they finished their seasons as well as what their recruitments look like at this point. Also, make sure to take a look at the recruiting videos section to see footage of Morris, Vogrich, Morgan, and McLimans.

Darius Morris

Darius MorrisDarius finished his season on a high-note with a State Championship. Windward rolled through the Division V State Playoffs without much resistance. Darius scored 25 points, dished out four assists and pulled down a game high eight rebounds in the 69-53 win over St Joseph’s.

Darius had a great season and led Windward to a 29-6 record. He has a skill set that was largely absent from this year’s team with his ability to penetrate. There is certainly room for another creator on the floor and it always seemed like the offense ran best when Manny was driving and kicking to wide open shooters. There is plenty of playing time available at the point now that Merritt and Lee have graduated but point guard is one of the hardest positions to step into as a freshman. I think it’s safe to say that Darius is the most important recruit of the class of 2009.

Matt Vogrich

vogirchI mentioned this a couple days back but Matt pulled in some very nice awards over the last couple weeks. He was named First Team All-State as well as Gatorade Player of the Year in Illinois.  Vogrich also finished the season with very good numbers: 21.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.3 steals per game. Matt became the all-time leading scorer at Lake Forest this season and helped them to a 23-4 record including a Conference and Regional Championship.

His three point shooting percentage (32%) has been the subject of some criticism but I think that’s a bit unfair. Vogrich is the guy on Lake Forest and he is called on to do a lot more than shoot jump shots, that almost guarantees that he isn’t getting the best looks. I will side with the scouts that watched him play over the last year, they describe his three point shot as nothing short of phenomenal.

At 6-foot-4 Vogrich will add another weapon to Michigan’s offense. He seems to have more penetrating ability than last year’s freshmen and can still stroke it. The biggest issue is that Matt is very skinny and will have to work on getting into Big Ten shape. There is also a lot of depth at the 2-guard: Douglass, LLP, and Novak can all play the two but I think we could see a little of Stu at the point as well Novak backing up the three.

Jordan Morgan

Jordan MorganIt was an up and down year for Jordan Morgan. Over the last few years it seems like Jordan will have a great game on one day and then be invisible the next.  The great games show the flashes of potential and make you understand what Beilein sees in Jordan but the bad games raise just as many questions.

Morgan had 28 points and 11 rebounds in a 85-82 district win over Southfield but U-D Jesuit’s season came to a close against Detroit Pershing. U-D has been in a constant struggle to get past the Doughboys but they fell just short to Pershing yet again in a three point loss ($).

The way this team needs size I find it hard to believe that Jordan won’t get a shot. Throw the ball out there and see who wants to battle down low next year — that’s who should play. With Sims, Gibson, Cronin, Morgan, and McLimans there are certainly more bodies, that’s a start but big men tend to be projects rather than instant impact guys.

Blake McLimans

blakeBlake wrapped up his season a while ago and production wise his season wasn’t much to write home about. It was a step up in terms of talent level for Blake, playing in NESPAC versus his old high school league, and that’s a tough transition. That’s also something that could help him down the road and make him more prepared to play at Michigan.

McLimans brings length and skill down low; he can dribble it pretty well and definitely shoot it.  Those are both traits that Beilein values so you can see why he got the offer. However I don’t know how effective he will be banging in the paint in the Big Ten without some added size. With the influx of big men I think at least one of them ends up red-shirting so Blake will certainly have some proving to do.

Eso Akunne (pref. walk-on)

Eso AkunneGabriel Richard lost to Inkster in the Class B regional final, 52-44. Akunne scored 17 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the loss which capped a remarkable season. Gabriel Richard finished 22-3 on the year and Eso finished 5th in Mr. Basketball voting.

The thing I love about Eso is that he has a mid-range game. Looking back at the season there is really no one that has a pull-up jumper on this whole team. Manny loves to take it all the way to the hoop, Peedi loves the turnaround jumper, but there is no one that can get in the lane, pull-up, and knock it down (coincidentally, Manny could really use some work on his mid-range game this summer). The problem with Eso is that he is still only 6-foot-3 and there’s nothing he can do about that. Over the course of his career I think Eso will be one of those guys that just finds his way onto the floor despite his size.

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