Now that Carlton Brundidge is in the fold, Michigan’s recruiting focus has shifted. Here is an attempt to figure out where Michigan goes next on the recruiting trail.
First, the scholarship situation:
Michigan has two more scholarships to give over the next two years. Manny Harris is obviously an NBA prospect and could leave early, this would give Michigan more room to maneuver in the class of 2010 but would not affect the situation in 2011.
Future roster positional breakdown, and a look at the classes of 2010, 2011, and 2012 after the jump.
Future Roster Breakdown
Guards. With Brundidge’s commitment it is clear that Michigan is going to have a very diverse group of guards for at least the next three years. There is a good mix of shooters (Douglass, Vogrich, Lucas-Perry, and Hardaway) and creators (Morris and Brundidge). Hardaway and Vogrich have the size to potentially play the wing position but I think they are natural two guards at this point.
Wings. There is a huge hole on the wing in the post-Manny era. I included Novak in this group because he probably becomes a three after Harris is gone. Optimally a Manny Harris replacement (or two) comes in the class of 2010.
Four. Calling the four man a power forward in this offense doesn’t really do the position justice. This is very much an inside/outside skilled role rather than a “power” position and Evan Smotrycz and Blake McLimans appear to be great fits.
Bigs. This position group is also relatively thin. After Sims and Gibson graduate there will only be two centers on the roster. Both have been plagued by injuries and have yet to play meaningful minutes. 2011 is the class where Michigan needs to land an elite big man.
Class of 2010
Casey Prather and Trey Zeigler are Michigan’s remaining targets for the Class of 2010
Since the Tim Hardaway Jr. commitment there have been only two targets on Michigan’s radar in the class of 2010: Casey Prather and Trey Zeigler.
Beilein and his staff appear determined to do whatever it takes to land Manny Harris’ replacement in this class. They would gladly take both of Prather and Zeigler but landing one of them would like give Michigan a top 10 class nationally.
Casey Prather. At 6-foot-5, Prather is one of the most explosive athletes in the class of 2010. He’s a lockdown defender who can get it done on the offensive side of the ball.
According to a recent Detroit News article by Sam Webb, Prather will decide on a college within the next couple weeks. Webb’s article details Prather’s recruitment and Michigan’s meticulous recruitment of the Tennessee native. Beilein and his staff have done everything within the rules to make their mark and at this point it’s a waiting game. Prather has his final official visit scheduled for Vanderbilt on October 3rd.
Trey Zeigler. Zeigler is much more refined offensively than Prather but is not quite the same level of athlete. The son of a coach, Zeigler is versatile enough to play on the wing or in the backcourt and routinely puts up impressive scoring tallies.
Zeigler has been to Ann Arbor many times over the last couple years, his most recent trip was an unofficial visit for the Michigan-Notre Dame football game. He is scheduled to make his official visit on October 24th for the Penn State football game. Zeigler is planning a spring decision and Michigan is very much involved along with Central Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona, Arizona St, Providence, Pittsburgh, UCLA, and many others.
Class of 2011
Michigan commitment Carlton Brundidge with AAU teammate Amir Williams
With the Brundidge commitment, Michigan is in a position to focus almost exclusively on big men in the class of 2011. Brandan Kearney, once thought to be on the verge of a Michigan commitment, is likely on the backburner while the class of 2010 plays out. If Michigan swings and misses on both Prather and Zeigler, Kearney becomes a priority on the wing.
Here are a few of the big men (in no real order) on the Michigan radar.
Amir Williams. Williams’ recruitment has moved much slower than his AAU teammate Carlton Brundidge. While Brundidge provided the scoring punch for The Family this summer, Williams was the horse in the paint. The 6-foot-10 big man is considering offers from a number of high major schools including Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Miami-FL, Arizona, Providence, Wake Forest, Notre Dame, and Cincinnati.
Marshall Plumlee. In a recent lengthy ESPN profile, Michigan was not mentioned. Plumlee did make an unofficial visit back in August and the omission may be credited to the author rather than Plumlee himself. That being said, both of Plumlee’s brothers play at Duke and the fact that they have now offered doesn’t bode well for the other schools on Plumlee’s list.
Percy Gibson. Gibson plays for Detroit Southeastern along with Brandan Kearney. Regarded as a top 150 recruit by Rivals, Gibson claims a Michigan State offer but is still waiting for a Michigan one. Ohio State and Miami are among the other schools recruiting Gibson.
Justin Gant. Gant recently visited Michigan for the Notre Dame game and was impressed with the atmosphere. Gant is a versatile big man from Indiana who is garnering interest from Notre Dame, Purdue, Indiana, Wisconsin, Butler, Virginia, and Stanford.
Trey McDonald. McDonald’s name has started to get some play as one of the better big men in the state of Michigan for the 2011 class. McDonald performed very well at the Michigan Elite Camp and while he is a bit under the radar nationally, he is one to watch.
Cody Zeller. Zeller is another Indiana native with older siblings that play college ball. Zeller picked up offers from Indiana, Purdue, Iowa, Butler and Florida this summer. There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Michigan coming from the Zeller camp but with Brundidge in the fold, you can be sure that Michigan will be ramping up several recruitments.
Class of 2012
Ray Lee is a top in-state prospect in the class of 2012
With limited space in the classes of 2010 and 2011, Michigan can start to focus on the class of 2012 as well. These kids are obviously young, they haven’t even played their sophomore seasons, but early attention can be key in a recruitment. The class of 2012 should be a very strong one, especially in Michigan and Indiana. Ray Lee (PG, Robichaud), Kellon McCormick (F, ND Prep), and Yogi Ferrell (PG, Indianapolis) were on campus for the Notre Dame game. DeJuan Marrero, Austin Angel, DJ Balentine, and Kellen Dunham are a couple more kids whose names are floating around.
The path appears to be pretty clear. First, land Casey Prather, Trey Zeigler, or both in the class of 2010. Then attempt to land a big man in the class of 2011. Attrition is an issue on any Division 1 sports team and it obviously could shift the picture, however attempting to predict any sort of attrition is futile.
That’s the recruiting picture in Cliff-Note form at this point. A little over a year ago, Darius Morris committed to Michigan giving Beilein his biggest commitment to date. Since then, Beilein has reeled in four commitments that are listed on at least one major top 100 list (Vogrich, Smotrycz, Hardaway, and Brundidge). It’s becoming awfully hard to critique Beilein’s recruiting.